Mark packs a lot into the details of this Gospel. First, he notes that Jesus took Peter, James, and John with him -- the disciples who accompanied him when Jesus was especially concerned about secrecy. Together, like Moses and Joshua (Exod. 24:13) and Moses alone (Exod. 34), the four of them went "up a high mountain apart by themselves" (v.2). Jesus' "garments became glistening, intensely white," Mark says, and Elijah and Moses "appeared to them" and spoke with Jesus (vv. 3-4). Mark notes and emphasizes the whiteness of Jesus' garments, "as no fuller on earth could bleach them," to show the connection between the transfiguration and Jesus' resurrection. White was considered the color of the angels (Mark 16:5; Rev. 1:13-14), and the color of the clothing to be worn by the resurrected (Rev. 3:4). The appearance of Elijah and Moses points to the coming of the end of time. The people of Jesus' time expected Elijah to appear just before the end. Similarly, some people also expected Moses to appear at the beginning of the end. The transfiguration, then, was a glimpse of Jesus' glory. It confirmed Peter's confession of Jesus as the Christ (Mark 8:29), pointed to his resurrection from the dead (v. 9), and showed Jesus as the one who would bring in the end of time. It was this glimpse of Jesus' glory that staggered Peter. He saw more glory then he had ever dreamed of seeing. When he saw it he had only one thing in mind: to try to grab it and hold it, if only for a short while. "Master," he said, "it is well that we are here; let us make three booths or shelters of some kind." Before Peter could start his building program, though, God himself spoke. Addressing Peter and the disciples, God confirmed that Jesus was the Christ " "This is my beloved son," he said. But then he added three short words: "Listen to him" (v.7). These words, "Listen to him," were a reprimand to Peter. Seeing all the glory, Peter wanted to see more, but God wouldn't give him any more than a glimpse. He directed Peter to his ears, steering him from his visions to Christ's word. The true mission of Jesus was to be the suffering Son of man who came for the cross to surrender all his glory to the emptiness and terror of death, for us. So, instead of parading his miracles, he hid them, emptying himself to make us his own. This points, too, to the kind of life we live under the promise. We may pray for visions, as the prayer of the day for this Sunday encourages us to do. But God answers or requests in the same way he answered Peter: "This is my beloved Son; listen to him." We will not see God, nor will we "glimpse the King in all his beauty" now. But we will hear him, and do hear him now. For he is with us, speaking to us, in our congregations, just as he promised. He is coming to us in his Word, coming with water, bread, and wine, to make us new, to bind up or wounds, exorcise our demons, and make us whole. God is stingy with sights and visions, but while he closes our eyes, he opens our ears. And someday, the sooner the better, he will open our eyes as well. For, "as it is written, 'What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him,' God has revealed to us through the Spirit" (1Cor. 2:9-10).