Did the faces of the privileged three reflect what they had seen? Why not? The experience had surpassed what happened to Moses when he reflected the brilliant light of God:
When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord. When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, his face was radiant, and they were afraid to come near him” (Exodus 34:29-30 NIV).
But that was after God had engraved the Ten Commandments on stone for the second time. Why hadn’t Moses’ face glowed when he carried the Decalogue down the mountain the first time? He had been in the presence of God then too.
Maybe Moses’ glowing face was a result of what he requested of God before the law was set in stone again. He asked to see God’s glory. And it was God’s glory that those privileged three had seen:
And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light (Matthew 17:1-2 ESV).
When Jesus and His hand-picked three came down the mountain the next morning, the people “were overwhelmed with wonder” (Mark 9:15 NIV). Was that because Jesus’ face was shining residual celestial glory? Wouldn’t the faces of Peter, James, and John have looked different also even if not to the same degree? They had been in the very presence of God.
Jesus’ Transfiguration revealed to Peter, James, and John the unadulterated majesty of His divinity. Moses’ radiant face, a lesser transfiguration, beamed to his fellow Israelites that he had been with God. You and I, through drawing closer to God, can have an internal transfiguration that reflects Him in our spheres of living:
“All of us are looking with unveiled faces at the glory of the Lord as if we were looking in a mirror. We are being transformed into that same image from one degree of glory to the next degree of glory. This comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:18 CEV).