Luke is the only non-Jewish writer of any book in the Bible. His gospel and the book of Acts comprise over one fourth of the New Testament. This lengthy writing focuses on Jesus’ many parables and teaching but does not neglect the report of miracles. Luke emphasized that salvation was for everyone, an appropriate teaching for his audience of Gentiles. He most frequently refers to Jesus as “Son of Man” and attributes great importance to the Holy Spirit. His comprehensive gospel includes Jesus’ concern for the marginalized. Luke likely gathered his information from a variety of sources. Many of those would be eyewitness accounts.
Three of the four gospel writers included verses about Jesus being “transfigured”. Luke gives it seven verses, Luke 9:28-35. Peter is the only one who mentions it after the Resurrection. John alludes to it the introduction to his gospel, “We have seen his glory” ( John 1:14). It almost seems like a non-event. But, we know nothing in the Word is without purpose.
Jesus had told his disciples that he would die. It was about a week later when he took Peter, James, and John onto a mountain to pray. While Jesus was praying, “the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning.”
His face changed. No one records exactly how it changed, but all say it did. We know he was in prayer, in conversation with His father. His father may have been encouraging him in what was ahead. Or perhaps, simply being in the presence of His father changed his countenance.
The event was for the disciples who witnessed it. It was revelation, prophetic and instructional. The change in Jesus’ face and clothing as he talked with Moses & Elijah revealed his oneness with God. That they were on earth to talk gives us a picture of eternal life. It revealed that Jesus truly was God in the flesh. The voice from inside the cloud instructed the three disciples to “Listen to Him”.
For us, it is a lesson in prayer. We are changed physically and emotionally when we spend time with our Heavenly Father, listening as well as petitioning. Relationships are built by spending time with someone. Talking and listening, sharing emotions, situations, experiences. We build a relationship with God in the same way. Our faces, attitude and behavior should be changed when we are with Him.