Mesmerized by the indescribable sights that they were beholding, James, John, and Peter looked on in wonder. The night had turned to the unbelievable and unexpected. These three close friends and disciples of Jesus had followed Him up the mountain that evening. At the top, something unfathomable had happened. They were joined by two more men: Elijah and Moses.
In Jewish culture, if there were two figures that were idolized and adored, it was these two men. It was Moses whom God had chosen to lead the Jewish nation out of its Egyptian bondage. God had later revealed Himself to Moses through the giving of the Torah, the five law books. Moses had become the equivalent embodiment, historically and religiously speaking, of God’s communicated Word to His people. It would have been overwhelming enough to be on the crisp, night mountain with Jesus and Moses, but they were also joined by Elijah. Elijah (‘Elias’ as he is called here in Mark) had been the father of the prophets. It was Elijah who had prayed that rain would stop, and God had closed the skies for three years, devastating the unrepentant, idolatrous nation. It was Elijah who, after three years of famine, prayed to God and saw a nation showered with the raindrops of blessing.
These two were iconic. They were the voices of God. The Law and the Prophets were the revealed word of God to all of His people. Now, Peter, James, and John looked on in wonder as these two giants of the faith spoke to their teacher, Jesus. As they watched, a cloud descended and covered the group. Perhaps the disciples were contemplating the effectiveness of what Jesus’ ministry would be like now that Jesus could have Elijah and Moses as His wingmen. The mouths of the Pharisees could be stopped. The jaws of the scribes would drop when Jesus, Moses, and Elijah would show up in the temple.
But this was not the point of this meeting. Jesus was not recruiting new wingmen. According to John 5, Moses and Elijah were already agreeing with Him. Like Matthew 5 says, Jesus would fulfill all the things that Elijah and Moses had said. Suddenly, the voice of God spoke out of the cloud to the disciples, “This is my beloved Son: hear Him.” The ancient voices of Moses and Elijah had stood in that place, but now God was telling the disciples that the voice that they needed to listen to was that of Jesus, His son. This was a monumental day. There was an importance to the message of Jesus. God had given His divine confirmation of important things that night: 1) Jesus was truly God’s Son as God had already articulated in Mark 1:11, 2) The words of Jesus were vitally important.
It would ultimately be those words that would offer salvation to the world. Through His life, death, resurrection, and then through the power of His word He brought hope to the fallen world. He was here to banish sin, and to heal the broken. It would become very important that all of mankind hear His voice.
Food For Thought: Read John 5:39-47. What did Jesus say about the teachings of Moses in regards to Himself?