1. It is the new anointing of Jesus as the Christ of God, his installation into the last part of his ministry on the earth. At the baptism the spirit descended and the voice came from heaven, “My beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.” A general inauguration of Messiahship. Now comes a special inauguration of Christ as the end of the law of righteousness to every believer. Moses and Elijah appear to hold conversation on that sublime event (Christ event) and to solemnly to consign into his hands once and for all, their delegating and expiring power.
2. It was on a Mountain: The hill or upland scene occupies a prominent place in the history of the Lord. To mountain he went to pray, on the high ground he preached his famous sermon, when all went home, he went to Mt. Olives, on the hill of Golgotha he died, he met his disciples after his resurrection on a mountain in Galilee, from the slope of Olivet he ascended to heaven, now for the brief moment of glory he is on mount Hermon.
3. He goes up the mountain not to meet Moses and Elijah but to spend time with his Father. It was in the prayer struggle, Jacob found the new name
4. Conference with the departed: Well, we read of two men Elijah and Moses who for long generations had been removed from this earthly scene, profoundly interested in events to be transacted on this globe of ours on which depended the salvation of the world. Is not the talk on Hermon, an illustration of the communion of saints, reminding us that heaven and earth are nearer than we think of?
5. The Glory is transient: The Lord cannot afford to luxuriate on the mountain tops. There is a universe to be reclaimed; there are shapes of disease and sin and want waiting for him below. It is good to have the retreat, the mountain, the sabbatical hour each day, the sabbatical day each week. But the purpose of the rest is to refit for the labour.
All of us can experience this transfiguration to a certain extent. When we surrender ourselves totally to God, God transfigures and transforms us with newness. This great experience should not keep us comfortable within the walls of well built Churches and beautifully designed chapels. It should naturally lead us to the people. Every experience of transformation should become a catalyst for the transformation of the society at large. This social transformation will not be possible without the personal transformation which can happen only when we struggle with the Lord in Prayer.
The Pulpit Commentary
Sacra Pagina Series