“Then a cloud formed, overshadowing them, and a voice came out of the cloud, ‘This is my beloved Son, listen to Him!’” (Mark 9:7)
The story of the transfiguration is utterly fascinating (Mk 9:2-8). For a few moments, Christ’s human appearance was transformed into that of a heavenly being. The light emanated not from an outside source like the sun, but from Jesus Himself. “His garments became radiant and exceedingly white, as no launderer on earth can whiten them” (v3). Alongside Jesus appeared two of the greatest prophets from the Old Testament: Moses and Elijah. We can only imagine what this awesome site must have looked like.
However, the story of the transfiguration is not merely to spark our imagination. An emphatic message was being sent to the apostles who witnessed it—Peter, James, & John—and to us as well. Upon witnessing this awesome site Peter pipes up: “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three tabernacles, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah” (Mk 9:5). Peter’s well-intentioned proposal was meant to honor Moses, Elijah, and Jesus—three of the greatest prophets of God.
It is at this point that God delivers the emphatic message of the transfiguration: “This is my beloved Son, listen to Him!” (v7) As great as Moses and Elijah were, they were not the beloved Son of the one true and living God. While Peter’s intentions were noble when he proposed to build three tabernacles, he viewed Jesus as merely being a prophet among prophets.
The message of the transfiguration is that Jesus is greater than any man will ever be. This meant that salvation is not found in Old Testament prophets like Moses and Elijah—only Jesus. Likewise, our faith should never be based on mere men: preachers, elders, friends, or family members. Our sole allegiance is to the author and finisher of our faith: Jesus Christ. Listen to Him!