Christ on Every Page

The Mount of Transfiguration


Monday: Luke 9:28-34

Eight days earlier:

  • Jesus revealed His identity: He is the Christ.
  • Jesus revealed His mission: Suffering, death, resurrectionatonement. 
  • Jesus revealed what a Christian is:  A new creation. 

Eight days later, He takes Peter, James and John up a mountain to reveal something else: His glory!


Here is a visage of Christ that is less the suffering servant and more the vanquishing king.  

His revealed glory showed the three participants in His first coming a glance ahead to His second coming.  In his first coming He is Son of Man clothed in flesh. In the second coming, He is Son of God clothed in glory.   


Peter, years later, will liken this event to be a glimpse of Christ’s glory and second coming: 


“For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ--but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. (2 Peter 1:16, NKJV) 


Three Disciples on the Inner-Circle?

We cannot help but wonder why Jesus took only Peter, James and John.  These same three were pulled into to some inner circle  moments like the raising of Tabitha and the Gethsemane prayer. Luke 8:51, Mark 14:33  


Did the other disciples experience jealousy? 

Did the three insiders exhibit pride? 


Before the chapter finishes, we see certain “unnamed” disciples arguing about who would be greatest.  Luke 9:46  A couple of these guys are named in Matthew 20:20-22. You guessed it, it is two of the inner-circle guys: James and John. The other disciples, if they weren’t jealous, are described as indignant.   What nice word to use instead of annoyed!


We mustn’t look at another servant with either jealousy or condescension.  “one man waters, another plants.”  There are no better jobs in the kingdom of heaven, only different jobs.  David was a King but he would have been happy to be a doorkeeper in the house of the Lord.  Psalm 84:10


So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor.” (1 Corinthians 3:7–8, NKJV) 


If God is using you, don’t be conceited and look down on others. Don’t think yourself above failure. You are not.  If you are looking at how God is using others and comparing yourself to them, don’t do it.  Step back and evaluate your own work, then you can rejoice over what God is using you to do.   


“But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.” (Galatians 6:4, NKJV) 

Transfiguring prayer

Tuesday: Luke 9:28-29

Now it came to pass, about eight days after these sayings, that He took Peter, John, and James and went up on the mountain to pray. As He prayed, the appearance of His face was altered, and His robe became white and glistening.” (Luke 9:28–29, NKJV) 


“As He prayed…”   

Jesus took the disciples up to the mountain to pray and as He prayed, the transfiguration happened.  How many times have we been in a prayer meeting and there is more sharing, teaching and discussion than there is praying?


I know this pastor is guilty of it. 


Jesus doesn’t fall into that trap. He is having Facetime with the Father.  The three who are with him will learn an unforgettable lesson: Prayer transfigures.  How many of us have heard the phrase, “Prayer Changes Things!”  We say “Amen.” But listen, “Prayer changes you!” And it needs to.  In most, if not in all cases, unless we change—nothing will change. 


There is a picture within the transfiguration event that teaches us about our transformation.   Having a new life in Christ means becoming a new creation.  Jesus just taught his disciples, eight days earlier, that true Christianity is picking up your cross and losing your life to find life.  


The proof the Christian is the proof of a new life—a new creation.  


But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but the only thing that counts, is a new creation. (Galatians 6:14–15, NKJV) 


Jesus is transformed when He is looking at His Father. The Bible teaches that we are transformed when we look to the Lord.  


We become like the one we gaze upon. 


“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 3:18, NKJV) 


Being a Christian isn’t a series of things you do. Being a Christian is worshipping Jesus and becoming like Him through desire.  Transformation is sanctification, which means to become like Jesus your thoughts, actions and outcome.  

This all happens in the place of living a life of transfiguring prayer. 


For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son…” (Romans 8:29a, NKJV) 

His face and clothing

Wednesday: Luke 9:29


As He prayed, the appearance of His face was altered, and His robe became white and glistening.” (Luke 9:29, NKJV) 


As Jesus humbles Himself in prayer, He is exalted.  See Jesus revealed in majesty. Jesus’ first coming is marked by being clothed in flesh.  For this reason He is rightly called the Son of Man.  Here, the few disciples see His visage as Son of God, clothed in glory.  


Jesus told the disciples eight days earlier that His mission was to suffer as the Son of man to do the atonement work. 


“The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.”” (Luke 9:22, NKJV) 


He also told them that “some” would not taste death till they see the kingdom of God.  Here, some of the disciples see a foretaste of the glories of the kingdom to come.  Christ is revealed to them in glory.  


This isn’t the first time Jesus has been seen in glory and it won’t be the last.  

Ancient Daniel saw Him:

“I watched till thrones were put in place, And the Ancient of Days was seated; His garment was white as snow, And the hair of His head was like pure wool. His throne was a fiery flame, Its wheels a burning fire;” (Daniel 7:9, NKJV) 


The guards and the women at the tomb saw Jesus in a glorified state:

And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow.” (Matthew 28:2–3, NKJV) 


John, the same John as on this mountain, will see Him in coming glory.  As an old man, exiled to an island to get him out of society, Jesus appeared to him in majesty.  Revelation is his written record: 


His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters;” (Revelation 1:14–15, NKJV) 


Changed from the Inside Out

He is changed from the inside out, not from the outside in.  First his face and then his clothing.  How this world tries to change man from the outside-in.  You cannot fundamentally change a man with a new “enlightened” education and political “wokeness”.  Man’s problems aren’t external, they are internal.  True transformation begins in the heart and it is a work of God.  


Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh,” (Ezekiel 11:19, NKJV) 


This inwardly transforming Gospel work is what we need and what any of us can freely have. 

Moses, Elijah & Sleeping men

Thursday: Luke 9:30-33

And behold, two men talked with Him, who were Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of His decease which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.” (Luke 9:30–31, NKJV) 


One is the Lawgiver the other a great prophet.  One died and his grave is unknown to men. The other was translated, having not tasted death. Both live in a glorified state. 


Both had encounters with the Lord and His glory on a mountain. Exodus 24, 1 Kings 19  Moses was so impacted by his communion with the Lord on Sinai that his face shone. Elijah was brought back to spiritual life after meeting with the Lord on Horeb.  These same two men are the great witnesses of judgment upon the earth in Revelation 11. 


What did they speak about? They spoke about Jesus’ mission that was going to soon be accomplished: death and atonement.  Luke uses the word exodos for death.  This is fitting for a conversation with Moses. Jesus’ exodus will be greater than Moses departure from Egypt. The exodus of Christ will bring spiritual liberty from bondage to death. 

Sleepy Men

Peter and the others were heavy with sleep.  Peter always seems to be sleeping at the wrong time. He sleeps on Transfiguration’s mount.  Peter slept in Gethsemane’s garden.  Peter was sleeping in a prison cell on the eve of his own death.    


Peter’s sleeping is our sleeping.

We have earthly limitations that make us dull to spiritual realities.   They awoke and saw the glory of Christ through eyes heavy from sleep.  We are blurry to spiritual things, like those who were just awakened from a deep sleep.   See our limited revelation: 


For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away…


But greater revelation is coming when we shake off these earthly garments:


For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.” (1 Corinthians 13:9–12, NKJV) 


Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” (1 John 3:2, NKJV) 


When Peter was in prison sleeping, death was waiting for him. An angel came and struck him in the side to awaken him to his deliverance! These mortal bodies are in need for heaven’s stirrings and angel prodding.  

There is another world around us and another world that is coming. Without divine intervention, we will never see it. 


The rich fool had a banner year and every prospect for prosperity’s enjoyment.  He didn’t foresee his passing from this world when he went to bed that night.  Jesus says he closed his eyes in death but opened them in hell. That is the worst way to wake up!


Better to be awake now to spiritual realities than later.

“Lord, awaken me to your glory now!  To prayer now! To my own death now, and my deliverance from it!” 

The father's testimony

Friday: Luke:9:34-36

 The cloud isn’t a weather pattern. It is glory.  Moses was enveloped in the same kind of cloud on Sinai. It made Moses’ face shine.  When he came down, the people were afraid to have him talk to them because of the glory on his face.  Moses would wear a veil. 


Now the glory of the Lord rested on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days. And on the seventh day He called to Moses out of the midst of the cloud.” (Exodus 24:16, NKJV)


Dull men speak too glibly of the things of God.  “Jesus is my homeboy” or calling God “the old man upstairs” language is greatly superficial, if not blasphemous.   

These sleepy disciples blurt out: “Let’s make three shelters for you…” But they are interrupted a cloud of glory that silences them in fear.  


God’s glory is no joke. 


The Father’s voice has the final word: “This is my beloved Son. Hear Him!”   


Moses had spoken the prophecy of Christ many years before.  ““The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers—it is to him you shall listen—” (Deuteronomy 18:15, ESV)


This experience was branded into Peter’s memory. He would write many years later:  


“For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,  but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.” (2 Peter 1:16–18, NKJV) 


It wasn’t a myth. It wasn’t a vision. It wasn’t a clever story to impress people or to manipulate followers.  It was supernatural and it was real.  It had three witnesses: Peter, James and John.  Peter died a martyr’s death because of his eyewitness experiences with Jesus Christ. People don’t die for lies.