NOT MOSES OR ELIJAH, BUT JESUS
2 After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them. 3 His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them. 4 And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus.
5 Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” 6 (He did not know what to say, they were so frightened.)
7 Then a cloud appeared and covered them, and a voice came from the cloud: “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!”
8 Suddenly, when they looked around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus. Mark 9:2-8
Once again Peter opens his mouth and blurts out his muddled thinking. He sees Moses. Elijah and Jesus together in conversation and interprets it as together in position and authority so he suggests that they erect a shrine for each of them – Jesus, Moses and Elijah on a par! And so, once again the Father speaks in an audible voice so that none of them would mistake the message. “This is not about Moses and Elijah. This is about Jesus. He is superior and supreme over the greatest of Israel’s leaders. This is Jesus, my beloved Son. Listen to Him.”
Matthew and Luke put greater detail into their descriptions of this event so that we know that the disciples, like John on Patmos, were overwhelmed by this unearthly vision. They fell on their faces before the glorified Jesus. We also read that the subject of the conversation between Jesus and the two great prophets was His exodus in Jerusalem. They knew what was going to happen because, as part of the prophetic order, “…the prophets searched intently and with greatest care, trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow.” (2 Peter 1:10, 11).
Once more, towards the end of His public ministry and on the eve of His death, the Father audibly affirmed His pleasure in His Son. Everything Jesus was as a perfect representative of the human race, the second Adam, and the prototype of the new race of the redeemed, was packed into those four words, “This is my Son…” His essence, His being, His ECHAD with the Father, His vision, His partnership, His purpose, His mission, His submission and obedience are all packed into that one short expression of relationship.
Jesus’ purpose was to restore us to that same oneness that He shared with God. We cannot share His deity but He has made us partakers of the divine nature. We have the breath of God in us. We have been created in His image to be part of Him. All of His glorious mission on earth would be accomplished in that grand “exodus” in Jerusalem. The law, represented by Moses, and the prophets, represented by Elijahm great as they were, could not do what Jesus was about to do.