Humble Hero


Jesus Transfigured

This chapter is based on Matthew 17:1-8; Mark 9:2-8; Luke 9:28-36.

Evening was approaching when Jesus called Peter, James, and John to join Him and led them far up a lonely mountainside. They had spent the day traveling and teaching, and the climb added to their weariness. Soon the sun disappeared, and the travelers were wrapped in darkness. The gloom of their surroundings seemed in harmony with their sorrowful lives, around which clouds were gathering. HH 195.1

The disciples did not dare to ask Christ where He was going or for what purpose. He had often spent entire nights in the mountains in prayer. He was at home with nature and enjoyed its quiet. Yet the disciples wondered why their Master would lead them up this steep climb when they were tired and when He, too, needed rest. HH 195.2

Soon Christ told them that they should not go farther. Stepping aside a little distance from them, the Man of Sorrows poured out His prayer with tears. He prayed for strength to endure the test in behalf of humanity. He must gain a fresh hold on Omnipotence, for only then could He contemplate the future. And He poured out His heart-longings for His disciples, that their faith would not fail. The dew was heavy on His bowed form, but He paid no attention to it. So the hours passed slowly by. HH 195.3

At first the disciples united their prayers with His, but after a time they fell asleep. Jesus had told them about His sufferings and had longed to lighten their grief by assuring them that their faith had not been misplaced. Not all, even of the Twelve, could receive the revelation He wanted to give. He had chosen only the three disciples who would witness His anguish in Gethsemane to be with Him on the mountain. Now He prayed that they might witness a scene that would comfort them at the time of His supreme agony with the knowledge that He was truly the Son of God and that His shameful death was part of the plan of redemption. HH 195.4

God heard His prayer. Suddenly the heavens opened and holy radiance came down on the mountain, covering the Savior’s form. Divinity from within flashed through humanity and met the glory coming from above. Arising from His position facedown on the ground, Christ stood in godlike majesty. His face was shining “like the sun,” and His garments were “white as the light.” HH 195.5

The disciples woke up and gazed in fear and amazement on the radiant form of their Master. As they became able to endure the supernatural light, they saw two heavenly beings beside Jesus—Moses, who on Sinai had talked with God, and Elijah, who experienced the high privilege of never coming under the power of death. HH 196.1

Because of his sin at Meribah, Moses was not allowed to enter Canaan. The joy of leading Israel into the inheritance of their fathers was not for him. A wilderness grave was his after forty years of toil and heart-burdening care. Moses passed under the dominion of death, but he did not remain in the tomb. Christ Himself called him back to life. See Jude 9. HH 196.2

On the mount of transfiguration, Moses represented those who will come out from the grave in the resurrection of the just. Elijah, who had been translated to heaven without seeing death, represented people living at Christ’s second coming, who will be “changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.” 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52. Jesus was clothed as He will appear when He comes the second time “in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” Mark 8:38; see Hebrews 9:28. On the mountain the disciples saw the future kingdom of glory in miniature—Christ the King, Moses a representative of the risen redeemed, and Elijah representing the translated ones. HH 196.3