Matthew 17:1-2 – And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.
Many years ago I traveled to Paris as a student, and there I met several French students from the local university. They were kind to give me and several other American students a tour of the French capital one Saturday during our stay. After visiting several famous sites like the Arc de Triumph and Notre Dame cathedral with them, it became clear that they had never been to these places themselves. These famous landmarks, within walking distance to them, were tourist traps to be avoided. However, seeing them with us and witnessing the wonder we showed gave them an appreciation a local might find hard to replicate.
Similarly many days it seems as if we wander through life without truly appreciating the real and amazing Jesus Christ. We trust that He is there and we never visit. It seems enough knowing we could go anytime we wanted. Only we do not want to deal with the inconvenience of the crowds. Sometimes we need a wake up call to reset our minds and refocus on the Living God. Nothing should keep us away.
The Apostles Peter, James, and John had such an wake up call when Jesus took them up into a high mountain separated from the other disciples. While they were on the mountain, Jesus was transfigured into a being of light and glory before them. Moses and Elijah appeared there and conversed with Him. The apostles were stunned and amazed. Clearly the Lord wanted them especially to experience this event, and He wanted them to remembered it alone for a time as He told them to keep it to themselves. They saw what no other man would see during Jesus’ earthly ministry.
While the location of this event is not recorded in Scripture, it is commonly believed to be Mount Carmel in Galilee. The view from the top is amazing as the mountain stands alone watching over the lush Jezreel Valley to the northeast. This site was the place where Elijah challenged the prophets of Baal and won. Napoleon Boneparte is believed to have stood upon this when he conquered the region, and countless battles have been fought in the surrounding area through the centuries. It is a famous place to say the least, and it was already when Jesus transfigured before these three men.
Whether or not Jesus’ transfiguration happen there or another place is not really important. These men needed to know the One they served. They needed Jesus to demonstrate to them His glory to put them in their place and to assure their confidence in Him. Sometimes we need such an awakening too. As you go through your day, think of Jesus as He appeared to the Apostles. The glorified Christ is the One we serve. He is no mere man. He is God too. Best of all, He is our friend.