When I was in college, a popular a cappella group came to sing in our gymnasium. With permission, I took my place to watch the concert not with my friends, but behind the person who was in charge of the sound for the concert. I watched intently as he made adjustments to mic levels throughout the first half of the show.
After intermission, I noticed something different. Each song began in darkness and the meters on the singer’s mics were no longer moving. It didn’t take me too long to figure out that they were lip-syncing! I was angry because they were touted as this amazing group but they were just singing along to a recording. My perception of them changed as I realized what was happening and how everyone listening was being fooled.
Peter, James and John went up the mountain with Jesus. We aren’t sure what they understood or believed about Jesus at this point. But on the mountain, whatever perception they had was completely blown away. Jesus was transfigured, (shown to be other than assumed) before their eyes. His clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them. If this wasn’t enough, Jesus was speaking with Moses and Elijah and they were terrified. Then the voice from heaven comes and tells them, “This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!”
The disciples don’t necessarily find clarity on that mountain but what they leave with is a changed perception of who Jesus is. He’s not a simple carpenter but one who speaks with the likes of Moses and Elijah and the one whom God calls “beloved.” They leave with the instruction, “Listen to him.”