TODAY’S SCRIPTURE Luke 9:28-36 Who are your closest friends? Do you feel close to your family? Are there ever times you just need to be around the people you love and you know love you?
Matthew 17:1-8 and Mark 9:2-8 tell the same story from their own perspectives. Neither Matthew, Mark, or Luke were present for this event, but they were guided by the Holy Spirit to include it in their accounts of Jesus’ birth, life, death and resurrection.
What is going on here? This seems like such a strange event. Peter, James and John are taken by Jesus up on top of a mountain to pray. Jesus begins to glow. Mark says His clothes became whiter than any launderer on earth could make them. Then, Jesus is changed and they see Elijah and Moses talking with Jesus. Even though these men have never seen either Elijah or Moses, they know who they are. These apostles are not quite sure what is going on, but they recognize it as being important. Peter asks if they should build something special in that place to honor these three men because of what they have seen.
The main reason for Jesus’ coming to earth is to become a sacrifice for the sins of the world (John 3:16). Apparently Jesus is nervous about all things surrounding His crucifixion. He asks God to deliver Him from these events if there is any other way salvation could be accomplished (Luke 22:42). But “for the joy that was set before Him” He endured the cross (Hebrews 12:2). He wanted what it would accomplish but He did not necessarily want to go through the pain.
This is why Moses and Elijah come to Him. Luke says in verse 31 these men speak to Jesus about His “departure, which He was about to accomplish in Jerusalem.” Jesus needed encouragement. Peter, James and John are some of His closest friends on this earth. Moses was of benefit to Jesus because he was a leader of people who did not necessarily want to follow Him. Elijah could identify with Jesus because he felt like He was the only one standing up for God against the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18). Jesus needed the fellowship of good men who could help Him with the struggles He was going through and would soon face.
While this event seems strange, it helps us understand the human side of Jesus. It also helps us understand Jesus’ need for encouragement and fellowship. If Jesus needed fellowship with good people, so do we.
Today, I will…think about the people who have helped me through difficult times in my life. I will also name good people I could go to if I needed some help or encouragement with a tough situation. I will also try to be that kind of person for other people.