About a week later, Jesus took Peter, John, and James with him and went up a small mountain so they could pray alone (99).
As the three witnesses looked on, a change came over Jesus; his face was shining like the sun, and his clothes were dazzling white!
Then Peter, James & John saw Jesus talking with Moses & Elijah — both of whom had died hundreds of years earlier! They were discussing what Jesus would soon accomplish at Jerusalem.
Not fully understanding, Peter exclaimed, “Master, it’s great for us to be here! Shall we make three tents — one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah?”
But while he was talking, a shining cloud came over them all, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my dear son, with whom I am very pleased. Listen to him!”
When Jesus’ witnesses heard the voice, they were so terrified that they fell face down on the ground. Jesus came to them and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid!” So they looked up and saw no one there but Jesus!
As they came down the mountain, Jesus told them, “Don’t tell anyone about what you saw until after I’ve risen from death.” They obeyed, but they wondered what “rising from death” meant.
Then they asked Jesus, “Why do the teachers of the law say that Elijah has to come before the Messiah?” “Elijah is indeed coming first,” said Jesus, “to get everything ready. In fact, Elijah has already come and people didn’t recognize him; instead, they mistreated him, even to the point of killing him. They will mistreat me in the same way.”
Again Jesus’ witnesses didn’t fully understand him, but they did realize he was referring to John the Baptizer as Elijah.
(99) Matthew 17:1-13, Mark 9:2-13, Luke 9:28-36