When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.
Peter, James, and John had just seen their humble teacher, Jesus, transfigured into a shining and glorious version of himself. Jesus showed them a glimpse of who he truly was as the Son of God. The three disciples also saw two great prophets from long ago: Moses and Elijah. Seeing Jesus in all his glory and hearing the voice of God the Father speak from the heavens must have made the three disciples feel very small and unworthy. In fact, after they heard the voice from heaven, “they fell facedown to the ground, terrified.”
But Jesus came over to them, touched them, and said, “Get up. Don’t be afraid.” At that point they looked and saw no one except Jesus. Moses and Elijah were gone. The voice from the cloud was gone. Jesus wasn’t shining with the light of the sun anymore. He was normal looking Jesus again. But he was all Peter, James, and John really needed. The bright glory of heaven they glimpsed on the mountain would be theirs again one day. But right now, they needed their Savior and the humiliation of death he was about to undergo for them. They didn’t need all that glory yet. They did need their Savior now. As great as it was seeing all the glory of God there on the mountain, what they really needed to see was…just Jesus.
This is ultimately what we need to see—just Jesus. The glory of God is too bright and overwhelming for us poor sinners. We needed God to come to us when we could never approach him. So, he did. Jesus, God himself, came to earth in our flesh and blood to be one of us so he could die for us in our place. If we want to know God, we look to Jesus. He is the one who allows us to come to the Father. He is the one who makes us worthy of all the glory of God by sharing the glory of his resurrection with us. This is what we need—just Jesus.
Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for coming as one of us in order to save me. Thank you for being our Way to the Father and glory everlasting. Amen.