Our Lectionary tells us that today’s Gospel represents verses one to nine in the Gospel according to Matthew, however it is not all there. It chops off the first part of verse one which tells us it was “After six days” that Jesus took Peter, James and John up a high mountain where he was transfigured.
What happened six days before that was that Jesus, for the first tine announced that he was going up to Jerusalem to suffer greatly and to be killed. The prospect of the pain and humiliation that lay before him filled his soul with such dread that he needed to meet with his Father for strength and comfort. For that, Jesus climbed a mountain where he could be close to his Father.
To strengthen him for what lay ahead, God gave Jesus a little foretaste of his heavenly reward.
To the Apostles who awoke to the strange happenings, it seemed as though the floor of heaven was stretched down to take Jesus bodily into heaven. Thus engulfed into heave, Jesus began to glow like a resident in heaven.
The Apostles had heard how Elijah was carried to heaven in a fiery chariot; and they had heard that Noses along with his grave had been bodily taken up to heaven; so it seemed right to them that they would see those two coming over t chat with Jesus.
As well as giving a boost to Jesus when he needed it most, this little drama of heaven coming down would have given a boost to the Apostles, and should also give us a boost.