“And He was transfigured before them, and His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became white as light. And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with Him. And Peter said to Jesus, ‘Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.’ He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to Him.’ When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces and were terrified. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, ‘Rise, and have no fear.’ And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.”–Matthew 17:2-8
Atop the mountain, Peter, James, and John witnessed the transfiguration of Jesus and then made the mistake of ascribing to the Savior-King and Son of God a status on par with the law-giver Moses and the prophet Elijah.
God the Father interrupted while the well-meant but offending words lingered on Peter’s lips. The voice cut swiftly from the looming cloud, dazzling the disciples with its truth. Their hearts numbed in holy terror, Peter, James, and John crumpled to the ground and buried their faces in the folds of the mountain. Like mice nosed up to a dark corner, they tried to avoid the lightning and thunder of God by seeking shelter in the quaking crooks of their elbows. Thankfully, there was no escape.
“If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,’ even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.”–Psalm 139:11-12
The moment of trembling passed as the Savior came into their darkness and restored them. He reached down and conveyed assurance. He spoke and bid them “rise, and have no fear.” Upon lifting their eyes, Peter, James, and John “saw no one but Jesus only.” The King stood alone in His glory yet stooped to comfort the afflicted . . . by sight, sound, and touch.
Even alongside Moses and Elijah, Christ alone is worthy and deserving of our worship: the Grace come to fulfill the Law . . . the One to whom the prophets pointed.