And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray.
And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering.
And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias:
Who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem.
But Peter and they that were with him were heavy with sleep: and when they were awake, they saw his glory,
and the two men that stood with him. Luke 9:28-32
"If I have found grace in thy sight, show me thy glory" (Exo 33:13).
What exactly happened here? Matthew says that Jesus’ face shone like the sun (Mat 17:2), and both Matthew and Mark use the word transfigured to describe what happened to Jesus. For this brief time, Jesus took on an appearance more appropriate for the King of Glory than for a humble man.
How did it happen? This was not a new miracle, but the temporary pause of an ongoing miracle. The real miracle was that Jesus, most of the time, could keep from displaying His glory.
Why did Jesus do this, and why at this time? Because Jesus had just told His disciples that He was going the way of the cross, and that they should follow Him spiritually. It would have been easy for them to lose confidence in Jesus after such a “negative” statement. But now, as Jesus displays His glory as King over all God’s Kingdom, the disciples know that Jesus knows what He is doing; if He is to suffer, be rejected and killed, He is still in control
Jesus is showing in a dramatic way that cross bearers will be glory receivers. The end isn’t the cross, the end is the glory of God.
In moments of meditation and prayer, saints may catch a glimpse of opening gates. Who has not in the secret place of holy communion felt the rush of some white surging wave of emotion-- a foretaste of the joy of God's presence?
The Master had times and places for quiet converse with His disciples, once on the peak of Hermon, but more often on the sacred slopes of Olivet. Every Christian should have his Olivet. Most people, especially in the cities and towns, live at high stress. From early morning until bedtime they're exposed to the whirl. Amid all this turmoil how little chance for quiet thought, for God’s Word, for prayer and heart fellowship.
Daniel needed to have an Olivet in his chamber amid Babylon’s roar and idolatries. Peter found his on a housetop in Joppa; and Martin Luther found his in the "upper room" at Wittenberg, which is still held sacred.
Dr. Joseph Parker once said: "If we do not get back to visions, peeps into heaven, consciousness of the higher glory and the larger life, we will then lose our religion; our altar will become a bare stone, unblessed by visitant from Heaven." Here is the world’s need today-- men who have seen the Lord. -- The Lost Art of Meditation
Come close to Him. He may take you today up into the mountain top, for where He took Peter with his blundering, and James and John, those sons of thunder who again and again so utterly misunderstood their Master and His mission, there is no reason why He should not take us.
From some aspects this was the highest point in our Savior’s earthly career. He was the second Adam and had not sinned. There was no reason, therefore, that He should die. He might in a moment have been changed; that which was mortal might have been swallowed up of life. The door through which Moses and Elijah had come stood open, and by it our Lord might have returned. But He could never, under those circumstances, have been the Savior of mankind. He knew this, so He turned His back on the joy set before Him and set His face toward Calvary.