And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray.…
This remarkable story divides into two parts the ministerial life of Christ. It is the central point of His public career. It is connected, in thought, with His baptism by the voice from heaven. It is connected with His death by the conversation with Moses and Elias. We must not forget the appropriateness of the comparison of the whiteness of Christ's garments to snow, for above the apostles' heads was the dazzling snow which illuminates the peak of Hermon. Observe —
I. CHRIST'S LOVE FOR MOUNTAIN-SOLITUDES. This is only one instance out of many, and it brings before us the sensitive humanity of Christ. Christ loved nature. All the world to Him was sacramental. It should be so with us. Celestial messages and grace should flow to us through every sight and sound which touches and exalts the heart.
II. THE TRANSFIGURING GLORY. It supplies us with a principle. The outward form takes its glory or its baseness from the inner spirit.
III. THE VISION. Moses and Elias represent the law and the prophets, and Christ is the end of them both. All the revelation given in the past culminated in the revelation which He gave. The glory of the law and of the prophets was fulfilled and expanded in His perfect glory. The whole of the Old Testament, so far as it was spiritual, was taken up into the New. The unity of the Old Testament with the New was declared, and the superiority of the New Testament over the Old.
IV. The apostles not only saw a vision, but they heard A CONVERSATION. Strangely in the midst of radiant glory, of ecstatic joy, intervened the thought of death and sorrow. Learn that eternal life is giving, that eternal joy is the sacrifice of self; that the human is only then transfigured into the Divine life when the pain of sacrifice is felt as the most passionate ecstasy. That is the transfiguration power. That thought transfigures the world of humanity. It is the life of heaven with God.
(Stopford A, Brooke, M. A.)
I. THE LEADING FEATURES OF THE TRANSFIGURATION ITSELF.
1. The prayers of Christ.
2. The witnesses of the Transfiguration.
3. The manner of the Transfiguration.
4. The appearance of Moses and Elias.
5. The subject of their conversation with Jesus.
II. THE DESIGN OF THE TRANSFIGURATION.
1. TO accredit the Divine mission of our Lord.
2. To connect the different dispensations of revealed truth together, to give an authorised sanction to Old Testament announcements, to affix the signet of heaven to all the ancient types and prophecies, and to show that Christ was the glory, the substance, the terminating object of them all.
3. To afford a practical demonstration of man's immortality.
4. To asssure us that in the life of the world to come we shall know each other.
(D. Moore, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray.