Glimpses of Infinity.
….Six days later, three of them saw that glory. Jesus took Peter and the brothers, James and John, and led them up a high mountain. His appearance changed from the inside out, right before their eyes. Sunlight poured from his face. His clothes were filled with light. Then they realized that Moses and Elijah were also there in deep conversation with him. Matthew 17:1-6 MSG
Memorializing the Moment.
Peter broke in, “Master, this is a great moment! What would you think if I built three memorials here on the mountain—one for you, one for Moses, one for Elijah?”
In life there are great moments. Turning points, moments of clarity that change the direction of our life forever. Deciding to say NO against the flow or saying YES to a call. Moments of revelation, inspiration and understanding. In this moment Peter must have felt like he understood everything past, present and future. He had just witnessed a glimpse of the Glory of God reinforcing his long held belief in a coming Messiah.
Inspired, Peter races to build. Peter, the rock, the one who believed, who knew Jesus as the Christ, the Son of the Living God. Peter the activist, the man of action acts swiftly to solidify his belief through action.
The Voice of Truth.
While he was going on like this, babbling, a light-radiant cloud enveloped them, and sounding from deep in the cloud a voice: “This is my Son, marked by my love, focus of my delight. Listen to him.” When the disciples heard it, they fell flat on their faces, scared to death. But Jesus came over and touched them. “Don’t be afraid.” When they opened their eyes and looked around all they saw was Jesus, only Jesus.
Peter’s activity get’s interrupted. There is no rebuke for his enthusiastic activity nor is there an answer to his request. Three things speak to me from this passage.
- I am invited to participate in the cosmic plan of God
In this scene the infinite Glory of God is glimpsed through Jesus’ face and clothing , long departed saints appear and converse with Jesus, a radiant cloud envelops them and the voice of God is heard. A great moment indeed. Possibly most amazing is who the voice spoke to. Not to Jesus, nor to the departed saints but to Peter, to James and to John. To the most normal, most fallible beings present.
The message? This is my Son whom I love, my delight…… wait for it…… LISTEN TO HIM.
When my son Harrison was a toddler one of the best ways to get his attention was to say “Come here, I’ve got something to tell you”. He would stop what he was doing and wait to hear what the news was.
We are invited to stop what we are doing to listen to Jesus. Jesus said ‘follow me’, here in this great moment the voice of God confirms our calling , ‘listen to Him’. I like this invitation very much.
- I need not be afraid
After the invitation to listen, Jesus’ first words are “Don’t be afraid”. At this point they are afraid, terrified in fact. These words of Jesus speak to their current predicament but also to their tomorrow. Don’t be afraid.
Whatever my situation or predicament. Whatever lies ahead or whatever has gone before when we listen to Jesus, when we respond to the invitation to participate, to follow, we need not fear.
- Only Jesus
As God reveals a measure of His Glory to Peter, James and John they are awestruck. Peter wishing to memorialize or bring structure to the experience suggests building memorials to Jesus, Moses and Elijah.
I don’t know what Peter was thinking. Was he imagining the beginning of a Messianic conquest, or did he believe Moses and Elijah had returned for good? Maybe this was the restoration to the good old days of Israel, no more Roman/Babylonian/Persian rule.
Then God speaks and every word he speaks points to Jesus, the Beloved Son, the focus of Gods delight. In this great moment forget the structures and plans, forget the past and future, forget who it is you are, forget your heroes of old, forget all that might distract from the focus of Gods delight. Jesus. Listen to Him.