After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus. Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” Luke 17: 1-5
We must ask, why did Jesus go there? Why did He make this expedition to these lonely mountain slopes? It is Luke who gives us the clue for Luke tells us that Jesus was praying (Luke 9:29). We must put ourselves, as far as we can, in Jesus’ place. By this time He was on the way to the Cross. Of that He was quite sure; again and again he told his disciples that it was so. At Caesarea Philippi we have seen Him facing one problem and dealing with one question. We have seen Him seeking to find out if there was anyone who had recognised him for who and what he was. We have seen that question triumphantly answered for Peter had grasped the great fact that Jesus could only be described as the Son of God. But there was an even greater question than that Jesus had to solve before he set out on his last journey. He had to make quite sure sure beyond any doubt that He was doing what God wished him to do. He had to make certain that it was indeed God’s will that he should go to Jerusalem to the Cross. Jesus went up the mountain to ask God the question “Am I doing your will in setting my face to go to Jerusalem?” He went up that mountain to listen to the commands of God and to listen to the voice of God. Jesus would take no step without consulting God. How then could He take the biggest step he ever took or ever could take without consulting God? Of everything Jesus asked one question and only one question: “Is it God’s will for me?” and that was the question He was asking in the loneliness of the mountain slopes.
It is one of the supreme differences between Jesus and us. It is one of the great facts that made Jesus what he was that Jesus always asked: “What does God want me to do?” We nearly always ask: “What do I wish to do?” We often say that the unique characteristic of Jesus was that he was sinless. What do we mean by that? We mean precisely this – that Jesus had no will but the will of God.
When Jesus had a problem he did not seek to solve it only by the power of His own thought; He did not take it to others for human advice; he took it to the Lonely Place and to God.
William Barclay Study Bible Gospel of Matthew Volume 2