Can you imagine keeping a secret as huge as the one that occurred when Jesus was transfigured (Mark 9)? How could Peter, James and John contain it? I mean, wow! What an encounter with glory! Yet that’s exactly what Jesus tells these three men to do – until “the Son of Man had risen from the dead” (Mark 9:9). And they do!
Now, I have to point out that not telling anyone didn’t mean they didn’t discuss the meaning of “rising from the dead” among themselves. Scripture tells us they did. Who wouldn’t? But what they had witnessed in the physical they kept contained deep in their hearts. It’s not until 2 Peter 1:16-18 that we read in print about Peter’s experience with Jesus on the mountain. And I love what he has to say…
“We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory…”
“The Majestic Glory…” I know I’ve read that phrase many, many times, but it really hit me this time! What a fitting description of the cloud that appeared and “enveloped them.” And with the cloud (a tangible glimpse of God’s glory) came the command: “Listen to him.”
The message is the same for us today, isn’t it? If we are to be transformed into his likeness and witness to the transforming power of the gospel for others, we have to read, study, discuss, listen and learn from Jesus. He is the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets, as represented by Moses and Elijah that day on the mountain.
It didn’t take many more weeks for the mountain experience to get told, I imagine. Jesus rose from the dead, just as he said he would! The “Majestic Glory” that Peter, James and John saw on the mountain is just a taste of the glory of God that will eventually be revealed to us. And, just like Peter, I can only imagine how many not-quite-coherent words I will utter!