Jesus’ twelve disciples didn’t understand half of anything he taught in public. He loved to tell stories and riddles, but almost never explained their meaning. Of course they didn’t want to demonstrate their ignorance, so they’d smile and nod and argue about the few bits they thought they did understand.
So when he said a few of them would not “taste death before you see the kingdom of God.” They shouted a hearty “amen,” to appear attentive and went back to debating something else.
Eight days later Peter, James and John hiked with Jesus up a nearby mountain for some solitude and prayer. Little did they know Jesus had something besides peace and quiet on the agenda.
As the men watched their Rabbi pray, suddenly he was transformed.
They had to shield their eyes, because his face and even his clothes were blazing brightly—like a flash of lightning somehow sustained. As they squinted into the light, they saw something unbelievable.
Sitting with Jesus was Moses and Elijah.
Uncomfortable as usual with the silence, Peter thought aloud, “let’s build three shelters! one for each of you!”
Before he’d even finished his sentence, a dark cloud covered them all. They could no longer see the bright light of their Lord or anything else for that matter. But within the cloud a voice—sounding somehow simultaneously like a shout and a whisper—said to the three:
“This is my son, whom I love. Listen to him.”
And as soon as it had come, the cloud had cleared along with the great prophets. The four men stood speechless for one last moment before Jesus (now back to normal) insisted his friends keep this whole thing a secret until “the Son of Man has risen from the dead.”
So they began the trek home, each man wondering to himself what “rise from the dead” could possibly mean.
Written by Troy DeShano