What did they expect when they set off with Jesus that afternoon? An intimate conversation among the four of them? A chance to talk Jesus out of that strange, scary stuff he had been saying about suffering and dying, about saving or losing their lives?
Of course, whatever they expected, they got much more than they bargained for on that mountain: a dazzling experience of the holy, an encounter with the transcendent, Christ transfigured before their very eyes. Biblical scholar Eduard Schweitzer has said that “for a brief moment the curtain . . . is drawn aside,” and the disciples are “allowed to see in Jesus something of the glory of God and [God’s] kingdom, of that other life to which human eyes are otherwise blind.”