Jesus took with him James and John and Peter up mount Tabor for a particular reason. It was James and John who wanted seats in the Kingdom with their mother coming to recommend to Jesus. It was Peter who left everything and followed Jesus expecting probably some power and position when Jesus would become King (remember Peter always wanted Jesus to be a conquering messiah and not a suffering messiah)
Jesus wanted the disciples to know that all the suffering and pain that his followers would have to endure was only for a passing moment and the Glory of God was awaiting them. He wanted them to know that the hand of God was upon him and all those who followed him. The suffering and pain was nothing compared to the glory that awaited them.
One of the most famous mountaintop experiences of our time is that of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. We do not know exactly when and where he had it but he spoke about it in his prophetic Mountaintop Speech made in Memphis, Tennessee on April 3, 1968. As it turned out, that speech was to be his last because the following day, only hours after he made that speech, he was stopped by an assassin’s bullet. The Mountaintop Speech ended with these words:
Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t matter with me now. Because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the promised land..
If .Martin Lurther King did not make that speech, his people would have lost their hope and the campaign would have ended. He wanted the best to happen even after he was dead and so the blacks were free from the shackles of slavery as they continued to fight with the same zeal that Martin Lurther did.
Moses did not see the promised land, but he made his speech on the mountain top and the people of God reached the promised land and experienced new liberation.
The Gospel invites us to come away to the mountain top with Jesus and discover the tremendous power of God over our lives. To experience this power, we need to break away from the noise of daily life, get closer to Jesus and see the splendor of his Grace.