Luke 9:28

ESV Now about eight days after these sayings he took with him Peter and John and James and went up on the mountain to pray.
NIV About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray.
NASB About eight days after these sayings, He took along Peter, John, and James, and went up on the mountain to pray.
CSB About eight days after this conversation, he took along Peter, John, and James and went up on the mountain to pray.
NLT About eight days later Jesus took Peter, John, and James up on a mountain to pray.
KJV And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray.

What does Luke 9:28 mean?

"These sayings" are recorded in Luke 9:18–27 and more fully in Matthew 16:13–28. Jesus asked the disciples who others thought He was; responses included John the Baptist, Elijah, or the return of one of the other Old Testament prophets. Then He asked who they thought He was. Peter responded that Jesus is the Christ. Jesus said He will build His church on Peter's words. Then Jesus revealed they are going to Jerusalem where the religious leaders will kill Him and He will rise from the dead. Peter rebuked Jesus, denying He would die. Jesus called those words satanic. Jesus explained that His followers need to have a different understanding of the purpose of the Messiah. They are thinking about the power and honor they will receive as the Messiah's closest companions. Jesus said they need to follow Him—not to the throne room, yet, but to the cross. It will do no good to rise to a powerful political position if they lose their soul in the process. They need to be mindful that someday He will return in glory to judge the world. Finally, He told them that some of them would "see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom" (Matthew 16:28).

About a week later, Jesus' words come true.

Why Peter, James, and John? Is it more than that they seem to be closest to Jesus? Peter, the leader of the Twelve, denies Christ, but is restored (John 18:15–18, 25–27; 21:15–19). James is the first of the Twelve to die—beheaded by Herod Agrippa I (Acts 12:1–2). John, on the other hand, lives a long life and trains the second and third generations of the church without seeing Jesus' physical return, though he does get a glimpse of it in a vision (the book of Revelation). All three will benefit from knowing without any doubt that Jesus is the Son of God. Peter and John both mention the event in their writings as proof of Jesus' identity (2 Peter 1:16–18; 1 John 4:14).

Both Matthew and Mark locate this event "after six days" from when Jesus told the disciples they would need to take up their cross (Matthew 17:1; Mark 9:2). This does not contradict Luke's "about eight days after." Luke may have included partial days. Whatever method the authors used, they all align the transfiguration with Peter's affirmation that Jesus is the Christ, Jesus' call to take up their cross, and Jesus' promise that some of them would see the kingdom of God before their deaths.

We don't definitively know where this mountain is. The most common guess is Mount Hermon near Caesarea Philippi, northeast of Bethsaida where Jesus fed thousands (Luke 9:10–17). Two other possibilities are Mount Tabor in south Galilee and Mount Meron, northwest of Bethsaida.

Luke, more than the other Gospels, emphasizes Jesus' dependence on prayer. Matthew and Mark each record Jesus praying three times; Luke mentions Jesus praying eight times, including a general statement that He often went away to pray alone (Luke 5:16).
What is the Gospel?
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