“He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.’ When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces and were terrified. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, ‘Rise, and have no fear.’” (Matthew 17:5-7)
The transfiguration of Jesus that took place in the presence of the disciples was meant not only to demonstrate conclusively that He was the Messiah, but also that He was God incarnate. No doubt it was a glorious awe-inspiring sight that would have left most of us speechless or blithering idiots mouthing inane spiritual platitudes.
For that reason we really cannot criticize the three disciples Peter, James and John. They did not understand as their response indicates that they placed Jesus on the same level as Moses and Elijah. The disciples were still unable to comprehend who Jesus was and what He had come into the world to do, though they had been with him for some time, and had even gone out in His name, preaching, baptizing and performing miracles and signs. Who Jesus really was and is was totally beyond their expectation. Great as Moses and Elijah were, they were subordinate to Jesus. He is the Son of God as the disciples learned when they heard the Father’s voice. And as they learned from Jesus, those who are in Christ Jesus have nothing to fear from being in the presence of the Almighty. Those who in Christ by faith hear and obey. Those who reject faith in Jesus have much to fear. They cannot live in the holy presence of the Almighty.