In Matthew chapter 17 we are taken up into a mountain which is described by the Holy Spirit in the Word of God as both high and holy. Matthew records in verse one of this chapter that it is a high mountain and Peter refers to it in his second Epistle, chapter 1:18 as a holy mountain, and indeed it fits both these descriptions. Peter speaks of the occasion as a time of the revealing of our Lord’s majesty and the time of His receiving honour and glory from His Father who spoke to Him from the excellent Glory. Matthew is relating the experience of others, but led by the Spirit of God he writes of how Jesus was transfigured before them. They had never seen anything like this before, simple fishermen that they were, but here they are given a glimpse of the effulgent brightness of the Son (Heb. 1:3), and what a sight for human eye to behold!
Note that He was not transformed, He was still the same person whose moral glory they had continually witnessed, but He was transfigured. So that His inherent brightness is at least seen in part. Those who appeared unto them with our Lord were Moses and Elias — the law and the prophets. Peter would build tabernacles for each one as though their ministry and persons paralleled each other. He was so wrong, and as another has well said, the only thing Peter did right on this occasion was to give Jesus first place. This, however, will not do, He is not merely first and foremost, but uniquely He stands alone for He is before all things. It is not only that there is none to equal Him, but that there is none like Him whatsoever. He stands alone as Creator and Sustainer of all things. He stands alone in His blessed relationship to God the Father, as the eternal Son, and as a Man as well, How jealous God is of His Son and how quickly He corrects Peter’s error!
Out of the excellent glory God focused their attention on the altogether Worthy One, His beloved Son. Oh, how He delights to use this significant expression, and how it delights our hearts to know that there is One who ever pleases God!
With the same complacency with which God rests in Christ, we too can rest, and say with another, “God is satisfied with Jesus, we are satisfied as well.”
What a delight it is to turn from mortal men, no matter how noble in character, and meditate upon Christ in His various glories! The glory of His creative power, the glory of His wisdom, of His sonship, His humanity, His humility, His redemption, His resurrection, His ascension, His present place and occupation. His coming glory, the glory of His judgments, His reign and the glory of His grace. Truly “our meditation of Him shall be sweet.” Notice, if you will, the subject of the conversation on this mountain between our Lord and Moses and Elias.
Luke tells us in his Evangel, chapter 9:31, that they spake of His decease which He should accomplish at Jerusalem. To the natural man death is a defeat, but our Lord’s death was an accomplishment.