And six days after this, Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up on a high mountain by themselves. 2 And His appearance underwent a change in their presence; and His face shone clear and bright like the sun, and His clothing became as white as light. 3 And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, who kept talking with Him. Matthew 17:1-3 AMP
Peter, James, and John went up a high mountain with Jesus and as they watched, His appearance completely changed. His face shone clear and bright like the sun and His clothing became as white as light. Luke 9:29 says that, “His raiment became dazzling white” and Mark 9:2-3 says that, “He was transfigured before them and became resplendent with divine brightness. And His garments became glistening, intensely white, as no fuller (cloth dresser, launderer) on earth could bleach them.”
What Peter, James, and John saw was the glory of God upon Jesus and shining out from him. God’s glory can be both seen and felt. 1 John 1:5 AMP says that, “God is Light, and there is no darkness in Him at all [no, not in any way].” There is not one drop of darkness in God—only light. God’s glory is indescribably, brilliantly radiant. There is no earthly light that shines as brightly as the glory of God!
Luke 9:31 AMP says that Moses and Elijah appeared in splendor and majesty and brightness and were speaking to Jesus about His death—His exit from life—which He was about to bring to realization at Jerusalem. In Matthew 16:28 Jesus said to the disciples, “Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in (into) His kingdom.” People think that the kingdom of God is only in heaven, but God’s kingdom is here on earth in those who have believed the truth that Jesus died for their sin and was resurrected from the dead and who have recognized Jesus as Lord and Savior.
Once Jesus was raised from the dead and poured His blood on the heavenly mercy seat it was done. The New Covenant was activated and Jesus became Lord of a brand new kingdom and the dispensation of the church began. Jesus’ disciples lived to see the kingdom of God, just as Jesus has proclaimed. They were each made a brand new creation that had never existed before. The kingdom of God was alive in them!
Then Peter began to speak and said to Jesus, Lord, it is good and delightful that we are here; if You approve, I will put up three booths here–one for You and one for Moses and one for Elijah. 5 While he was still speaking, behold, a shining cloud [composed of light] overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, This is My Son, My Beloved, with Whom I am [and have always been] delighted. Listen to Him! 6 When the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were seized with alarm and struck with fear. 7 But Jesus came and touched them and said, Get up, and do not be afraid. 8 And when they raised their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only. 9 And as they were going down the mountain, Jesus cautioned and commanded them, Do not mention to anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead. Matthew 17:4-9 AMP
Looking back in time, we know that Jesus is the Son of God, who was born into the earth in the body of a man and who died on the cross, was raised from the dead, and who presently sits at the right hand of the Father, but when Jesus walked on the earth, all the disciples saw was a man who looked like them, but who did and said extraordinary things. When Jesus asked His disciples who they thought He was, Peter, momentarily inspired by the Holy Spirit, replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:16) However, none of them truly understood the significance of the things Jesus said and did until after He was raised from the dead and He had visited them and explained things to them.
On the Mount of Transfiguration, Peter offered to put up three booths—one each for Moses, Elijah, and Jesus. In his mind you built a building to house the glory of God, in the same way as the temple was built to house the glory of God on the Ark of the Covenant. However, this is Old Covenant thinking. When Jesus cried, “It is finished!” the veil of the temple was split in two and God came out of the temple made with the hands of man and He came to live in you and me forever: God’s glory—His precious treasure—revealed in an earthen vessel.
For we are fellow workmen (joint promoters, laborers together) with and for God; you are God’s garden and vineyard and field under cultivation, [you are] God’s building. 1 Corinthians 3:9 AMP
For God Who said, Let light shine out of darkness, has shone in our hearts so as [to beam forth] the Light for the illumination of the knowledge of the majesty and glory of God [as it is manifest in the Person and is revealed] in the face of Jesus Christ (the Messiah). 7 However, we possess this precious treasure [the divine Light of the Gospel] in [frail, human] vessels of earth, that the grandeur and exceeding greatness of the power may be shown to be from God and not from ourselves. 2 Corinthians 4:6-7 AMP