And after six days Jesus takes Peter, James, and John his brother, and brings them up into an high mountain apart,…
First, let me remark that it was only once in Christ's life on this earth, and that that once was only given to a chosen few. Some Christians seem to think that they must be always going up to mounts of extraordinary joy and revelation: this is not after God's method. Those spiritual visits to high places, and that wonderful intercourse with the unseen world, are not in the promises; the daily life of invisible communion is. And it is enough! We shall have the exceptional revelation if it be right for us. When the Master was there, three disciples had it, and nine had it not! And why it was when it was, and why those three were selected, we can see but few reasons. They were the three who walked the closest and dwelt the nearest to the heart of Jesus. They were also the three who were about to have their faith and their feelings strained to the uttermost by witnessing, most closely, the deepest agonies of their dear Lord. Peter was to found the Church; James was to be the first martyr of the Apostolic College; John, the writer of the Revelation. For these reasons, and perhaps also because their characters specially required the encouragements that were the most adapted to the occasion, they were selected. Do not envy others their higher joys or greater privileges. These things are talents. They do not seem to have been either the wiser, or the happier, or the better — at least at the time — for the marvellous vision. If we had to select the most dreadful position in which ever men were placed, we should fix directly on Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the "burning fiery furnace." And if we had to choose the most favoured — Peter, James and John. Yet Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were calm and entirely happy in the fire; Peter, James, and John were fearful and troubled on the Mount. Those on Tabor represented the three great states of God's Universal Church — this earth, the intermediate state, and glory; Christ, in heaven; Moses, upon this earth; Elijah, in paradise.
(J. Vaughan, M. A.)The doctrine taught and shadowed forth by the Transfiguration is probably greater, fuller, richer than is taught in any other episode in our Lord's life. It teaches —
(1) The perfect union of the human and the Divine in the Person of Jesus Christ;
(2) that the future life of the children of God is not a mere pietistic, sentimental dream, but a glorious reality;
(3) that the good, when they depart hence, do not go down into the darkness, but up into the light, and live unto God in a fuller, grander life;
(4) that heaven is vitally, closely connected with earth by sympathy and ministry;
(5) that the denizens are deeply and profoundly interested in the inhabitants of this sin-stricken world;
(6) that Christ's death on the cross was not a surprise, not an accident, but a work which He came to accomplish;
(7) that good men cannot for ever dwell in ease and rapture on the mount, but must toil and suffer in the great world below;
(8) that mortal man cannot have unveiled audience with God;
(9) that Jesus Christ will not abandon His disciples when they are sore afraid, but will draw nigh and comfort them; (10) that the mission of the servants of God is to lead men to Christ and to leave them with Him.
(E. D. Solomon.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,