This morning we heard Mark’s version of the Transfiguration and a
brief comment from Paul about glory. The transfiguration of Jesus in
the presence of Peter, James and John was so important that it is
included in all 3 of the Synoptic Gospels. It was also an event that
changed their lives forever. .
But let’s now imagine we are listening in to Peter, James and John
as they travel back down the mountain with Jesus.

After dawn, Jesus led the way down the mountain, his three
companions lagging behind. For half an hour they hardly spoke a
word. Not even Peter who, normally boisterous, was now unusually
quiet. At last James drew back a little from Peter and beckoned to
his brother John: “I don’t know whether I should tell you this. But I
had the weirdest dream up there last night.”
“What do you mean, weird?”, said John.
“Well…. it’s hard to describe…sounds stupid, you’ll not believe
me….it’s just…….. Last night I dreamed I saw the Master all dazzling
like the sun. His face, his clothes, everything. Utterly awesome.
You’ll think I’m crazy.”
John gripped his brother’s elbow tightly: “No I don’t. Go on. What
else?
James looked sharply at his brother’s face to see if he was laughing
at him, then he continued, “The Master was talking with two men –
not ordinary men. Dead men. In my dream I was sure they were
Moses and Elijah.”
“Is that so?” was the only comment John made.

“You don’t look very surprised," replied James.

“I’m not. You see, brother, I had exactly the same dream last night. ”
“You’re kidding! Stop fooling around, John! I knew you would not
take me seriously!”
John spun James around and looked into his eyes: “I’m serious.
Absolutely serious. I did have the same dream. Jesus was
completely….well….er….. sort of transfigured with light. You had
better believe it, – it’s true. Exactly the same dream as you, including
the Moses and Elijah bit. I didn’t want to mention it, in case you and
Peter thought I had gone raving mad.”
Peter stopped his descent and looked back ; “Come on you two.
What’s keeping you.” James and John climbed down to where Peter
stood and John said: “A co-incidence. We’re talking about a weird
coincidence. We both had the same dream last night up there on
top of the mountain.”
Peter looked more relieved than surprised. He spoke softly: “I don’t
suppose I was in your dream, babbling on about building three
shelters?”
James and John seemed stunned. At last John said: “Well yes. You
were in the dream. And you did want to build three shelters. How
ever did you guess that?”
“I didn’t guess it!” exclaimed Peter. “You see, I had this vision kind of
thing. I don’t think I was dreaming but it was spooky. I saw Jesus all
shiny. Dazzling. And he was talking with…. you won’t believe this….
talking with Moses and Elijah? Then a cloud came over the
mountain and I thought I heard the voice of……wait for it…. the voice
of God saying: This is my precious son, with whom I’m completely
pleased. Listen to him. And then, the whole vision faded and there

was just the three of us, and the Master. Just us and that dark hour
before dawn.”
“Wow!” said John, “you too!” “Do you think it really happened?”
asked James. “Like, is it possible we were not dreaming, and you
Peter, did not have a freaky vision, but that it was real? Peter
nodded. “I’m beginning to think that’s more than a possibility.
Spooky, but real.” “Now that I know it was not just me, I can’t wait
till I get back to the others,” exclaimed James. “This will make their
hair rise on end.” “It’s already making mine stand up!” exclaimed
John. “It will certainly make quite a stir when we tell them. And won’t
they be envious!”
“No way!” cried Peter, grabbing the arms of the brothers. “No way.
You’re not going to rush back and tell them. Button you lips, for
goodness sake.” “Why should we?” chorused James and John,
shrugging off Peter’s grip.
Peter tapped his finger on his head. “Think, guys. Think. Will they
believe you? Or will they reckon we three have gone mad? Seeing
ghosts of Moses and Elijah? Hearing heavenly voices? Seeing the
Master shine like the sun? Use your heads, what would you think if
one of them came to you with a story like that? Didn’t each of us
doubt our own sanity, until what each saw was confirmed by the
other two?”
“I’m not convinced,” said John “It’s a risk, I know, but if it really
happened, then the others deserve to know. Isn’t that fair?”
“But” said Peter. “How can you explain something like that? It is so
different from anything else that has ever happened on earth, that
there are no words to fit it. How can you speak the unspeakable and
not make a fool of yourself?”
“That worries you, does it?” replied John, “making a fool of yourself?
You always worry too much about what others think, Peter. It will get

you into trouble one day. We should be prepared to put up with a bit
of ridicule for the sake of the truth. Shouldn’t we?”
James shook his head. “No John. It does not make sense to speak
about it now. Peter is right. How can you find words to explain the
out-of-this-world stuff that happened to us last night? How can we
speak about the unspeakable? You and I first thought it was a
dream. Peter thought it was a vision. The others will think we have
lost it and freaked out completely. They’ll reckon we are possessed
by some demons.” “Afraid so,” agreed Peter. “Even if I live to be a
hundred, I doubt whether I’ll be able to convince others of what we
saw. Unless people have experienced for themselves at least a bit of
that uncanny dazzling divine light around the Master, they won’t
believe.”

They descended silently for a few minutes.
“You know,” commented John,” the more I think about it, what
happened back up there was not new. It has happened before, while
we have been on the road with the Master.”

“Not with me, is hasn’t!” retorted James. “It was a one-off for sure.”
“Are you sure, James? Haven’t there been times when Jesus has
been teaching, or healing, or telling parables, or just talking with us
and asking questions, when just for a moment something, like a
flash of light, has flooded your mind and soul? In that brief moment
the Lord’s love has become suddenly clearer, and spiritual things
have become more real?”
“Maybe. Well come to think of it, yes. There have been moments
sort of like that. But I have not been able to hang on to them. The
light quickly fades; it goes before I can properly focus on it. I know
I’ve seen it, and I long to hang on to it. But I can’t.”

“Well there you are,” said John. “What we saw on the mountain was
that moment of light extended into a whole experience. We saw the
full glory that truly belongs to our Master Jesus. That glory that is
often not perceived by us. Maybe we what three have seen with our
own eyes is the glory of God in the face of our Master Jesus?”
“That light stuff works for me”, said Peter. You know the other day,
when Jesus asked who we thought he really was? And I suddenly
blurted out: You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. Well, what
suddenly came out of my mouth was a surprise even for me. You
see, the answer came like a great flash of light, but brighter and
longer than the very tiny moments that you have reminded us, about,
James. I briefly saw the glorious truth that belongs to the Master as it
belongs to no other man or woman. You’re right. The vision (or
whatever) up there on the mountain was an extension of that. But I
reckon if we hadn’t already put our trust in the Master, and followed
him, we would not have seen anything unusual. Very likely we would
have slept through the lot- like old men dozing in the synagogue,
even although the rabbi might be preaching an enlightening
sermon?”
John said, “You are starting to convince me, guys. Maybe we should
stay quiet about it for now. Come on then, let get going. The Master
is waiting down there ahead of us on the track.”
Jesus was sitting on a rock looking back up the trail at them. They
came down to his side. He asked them: “What were you talking
about? You seemed agitated.”
Peter spoke up. “Master, I reckon you know. We think it was
something out of this world that happened up there last night. We
are still a bit shaken up. Our understanding was stretched beyond
breaking point, yet it did not break. Master, what happened last night
was real, wasn’t it?”

Jesus answered: “Maybe it was more real than today’s sunrise, and
more real than this mountain. More real than the rock on which I’m
sitting. What do you think?”
Peter answered: “We think it was real. Not a dream. Nor a freaky
vision of my crazy mind. We reckon we are now beginning to
understand where you get all your wisdom and love from, Master.
It’s spooky, like awesome. But it’s also wonderful!”
“Don’t be afraid. Just keep believing,” Jesus said. “But you seemed
to be arguing. What was that about?”
“We were trying to decide whether we should tell the others,”
answered James.
Jesus grinned and shook his head: “If you at first thought it was
some kind of a dream, or a vision, what will the others think? They
are not ready for it yet. Their time will come. But that time is not yet.
“No more buts. Just stay with me. And don’t try to speak of what
happened last night. Don’t mention what you saw, or what you heard
from the cloud of God holy Presence. Say nothing until I have risen
from the dead. Okay?” Peter screwed up his face in bewilderment.
James and John again seemed about to protest.
“Come here, you three,” said Jesus. “Tell no one what you have
seen until I have endured what must be endured. Everything is going
to be okay?”
“No’ said Peter, it is not okay. I want it to be okay, Master, but what
you predict seems terrible; impossible, an utter waste of your life.
We don’t get it, Master, but we love you and will do as you say. We
have glimpsed your glory. Thank you for taking us up this mountain
and giving us this incredible insight. We will not tell the others, yet.”
“Amen!” agreed James and John. “Thank you Master.”

Jesus looked upon them and loved them. “Peter, James and John, I
have prayed for you and will pray for you until the end: That you will
pass through the tribulations that are to come, and be my witnesses
to the far corners of the world. Come on now, let’s move. We are
needed down on the plain.”