What an overwhelming experience it must have been for Jesus’ closest disciples, Peter, James and John. He took them to the mountain top, and there they saw a glimpse of his heavenly glory. He seemed ‘as brilliant as lightning.’ With him were Moses, the leader of Israel, and Elijah, the greatest of the prophets, there to show the disciples that God’s promises to his chosen people would be fulfilled in Jesus. And they heard the voice of God the Father from heaven.
Until now, the disciples had seen Jesus, probably, as a friend and a wise teacher. They had seen his love and kindness for everyone he met, his compassion for the poor and the sick, and his power to heal and work miracles. But now, they saw who Jesus really was; they saw his glory as the Son of God. No wonder they were overcome – ‘heavy with sleep’ and not knowing what to say.
When they came down the mountain, Jesus began his journey to Jerusalem and the Cross. His disciples would go through the terrible experience of watching him suffer and die. Perhaps Peter, James and John were granted this vision to strengthen them for the ordeal of Christ’s Passion. They would never be the same again. Once we have come to know Jesus as the Son of God, we can never be the same again.