A First-Person Dramatic Narrative: John, an Apostle of Jesus Christ
“And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him” (John 17:1-3).
“For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount” (2 Peter 1:16-18).
“I first knew about Christ by the testimony of others. My mother Salome was His aunt. It was only natural that I be told of our remarkable family member. It was whispered about that he was born of Mary while she was still a virgin. While the talk of Jesus was interesting, there was work to be done, and, with my brother James, I worked.
Our father Zebedee had been very successful in the fishing business. He owned his own vessel and we were prosperous enough to hire servants. While I was mending my nets one day, a shadow fell across my path. Naturally I glanced up to see Who was blocking the sun. Silhouetted against the blue sky was the form of a Man. I shaded my eyes with my hand and then I saw the face of Jesus. He was ordinary looking in many ways. People did not call Him handsome. He was of medium height and had a grown man’s full beard. His feet were shod with sandals, and He wore an ordinary seamless robe, but there was something compelling about His mere presence.
As I looked up and He looked down, it was as if Jesus was looking into my soul. Suddenly he said something that changed my life forever. He invited me to follow Him. To this day, I cannot explain it, but I rose up and I followed Him. And that is how I came to know Jesus personally. I never expected that I would come to know Christ by Divine revelation, but I did.
One-night Peter and James and I were taken by Jesus up into a mountain to pray and talk.
We were very tired and fell asleep only to be awakened by a bright light that glowed all around us. After rubbing our eyes we actually saw Christ being transfigured before our eyes (Matt. 17). His face suddenly began to shine as the sun, and His clothing became white as the light. That in itself was spectacular but there was more to come. From out of nowhere appeared Moses and Elijah. Don’t ask me how I knew it was Moses and Elijah; I just knew. They had stepped from the realm of eternity into the stream of human consciousness.
I hope you can appreciate what I am saying. Perhaps you have had a sense of the eternal in a small way yourself. You know that a person can pick up a book on history and enter into a particular time period. The narrative can be so intensely followed that the soul is almost transported backwards or forward in time. But then the consciousness of it all abruptly comes to a conclusion, and the mind is back in the present.
Of course, the difference between that experience and what I experienced is Moses and Elijah were literally present that night in the mountain. I saw them and so did Peter and James.
And speaking of Peter, you know he was so excited by the displaying of the Divine glory he wanted to stay on that mountain forever. An impulsive thought crossed his mind and Peter blurted it out. “Lord! he said. This is wonderful! It is good for us to be here. Now, with your permission, let us make three dwelling places; one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
I don’t know where Peter got the “us” part for the work he was planning that night. James and I were not consulted about his vision to build. We had no desire to stay in the mountain permanently. And why only three dwelling places?
Maybe Peter did not mind the elements, but James and I did. If Peter was going to build three dwelling places, he could just as easily build six so we could all be more comfortable together.
While Peter was busy making his fantastic plans, and trying to persuade the Lord to let everyone stay, a cloud of light overshadowed us all. That made Peter hush up, and then we heard a voice. It was the voice of God the Father saying, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him.”
I do not mind telling you that when we heard the voice of God, we were terrified. We fell down on our faces we were so afraid. We were still hugging the earth when Jesus walked over to us and touched us one by one. “Peter, James, John, Arise,” He said, “and be not afraid.” I remember rising up slowing to my knees and looking around.
James and Peter also looked around. We looked at each other in astonishment. Elijah was gone. Moses was gone. The cloud of light was gone.
There was no one present except the Lord. Other people can say what they will, but I have known Jesus by divine revelation.”