“And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid. But Jesus came and touched them and said, ‘Arise, and do not be afraid.’ When they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only” (Matthew 17:6-8).

When Peter saw our Lord with Moses and Elijah, he exclaimed, “Lord, it is good for us to be here,” as if he implied it was better to be with Jesus and Moses and Elijah than to be with Jesus only. Now it was certainly good that for once in Peter’s life he should see Christ transfigured with the representatives of the law and the prophets; it might be for that occasion the best sight that Peter could see, but ordinarily an ecstasy so sublime would not have been good for the disciples. Peter himself very soon found this out, for when the luminous cloud overshadowed him and the voice was heard from out of heaven, we find he along with the rest became afraid. The best thing for Peter was not the excessive strain of the transfiguration nor the detectable company of the two great spirits who appeared with Jesus, but the equally glorious but less exciting, society of Jesus only.

Depend on it, beloved, that ravishing and exciting experiences and transporting enjoyments, though they may be useful as occasional refreshments, would not be so good for every day as that quiet but delightful ordinary fellowship with Jesus only, which should be the distinguishing mark of all Christian life. As the disciples ascended the mountainside with Jesus only, and as they went back again to the multitude with Jesus only, they were in as good company as when they were on the mountain summit with Moses and Elijah, too. Although Jesus Christ, in his common garments, might not dazzle their eyes as when they saw His raiment as bright as the light and his face shining as the sun. Yet, He was really quite as glorious and His company quite as beneficial. Jesus only, as the common Jesus, the Christ of every day, the man walking among men, communing in secret with His disciples, is a better thing for a continuance while we are in this body than the sight even of Jesus Himself in the excellence of His majesty.

Adapted from In His Presence