Listen to him.

Jesus had been in disguise, sort of. He had fit with all their understanding of what a messiah should be. Jesus was the kind of hero they were comfortable with. Looked like them, was from where they were from, and yet was so much different.

Before they could say anything about the glory, more people were there.

Elijah and Moses showed up and were talking with Jesus. Moses, the leader of the exodus, the hero of freedom. And Elijah, THE prophet. He didn’t die but was taken up alive in a chariot, to heaven. He was supposed to come back sometime, to let people know that Messiah was coming.

It wasn’t like Peter, James and John recognized them from photos. They simply knew who was there. They were stunned.

Peter tried to make sense of it. He put it in terms of hospitality (lets put up shelters). He put it in terms of staying on the mountain, in terms of Moses and Elijah being in the presence of God on mountains. For all he knew, this would be a 40 day stay.

And then they heard a voice: “This is my son, whom I love, with him I am well pleased”

And then the voice said, “Listen to him.”

They were awestruck. They were terrified. They were overwhelmed.

Comparisons fail me. I can’t say, “This is like”.

Jesus, who they saw sweat, who they heard snore, was so much more than that. He glowed. He conversed with heroes. He was called beloved son by the distant glory that Moses had seen, that Elijah had seen. What was part of the story of Israel turned out to be real. We would be terrified, too.

So what did he say?  What did Jesus say after all this?

Get up. Don’t be afraid. Don’t tell anyone until after I’ve been raised from the dead.

Sunday was Transfiguration Sunday. Ash Wednesday is tomorrow. As we walk through the valleys between now and Easter, it is good to remember the mountain. And the one they saw revealed.

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