Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Fearless #5

Welcome back to my series on becoming fearless.  The next instance in the New Testament where Jesus says "Do Not Fear" includes one of my favorite stories about Peter.

I identify a lot with Peter.  We are both passionate about what we believe in, we both love Jesus, and sometimes we both speak before we think!

Let's go to Matthew 17:

17 Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, let us make here three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!” And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid. But Jesus came and touched them and said, Arise, and do not be afraid.” When they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.

What an experience!  What if you had been there?  How would you have processed being in the presence of glorified beings?  Jesus - like you've never seen Him before.  Years later, Peter wrote, "We were eyewitnesses of His majesty."

And, can you believe it, Moses and Elijah!  Guys who lived centuries before you.  We're talking heroes of Jewish culture. Standing. Right. In. Front. Of. You.

Moses who represented the Law, and Elijah who represented the Prophets, resurrected and with Jesus - what a sight!

So, Peter, being ... well ... Peter, blurts out, "Lord, it's good for us to be here, if You wish, let's make 3 tabernacles:  one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah."  In other words, Peter was considering them all equal. Both Mark and Luke in their retelling of this event, say that Peter didn't know what he was saying.  I can certainly relate.  I've shot off my mouth before sometimes not even really knowing what I'm saying and how it will sound to others.

No one can share the glory of God, and God spoke from heaven while Peter was still speaking: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!”

All the disciples thought they were goners and hit the ground.  Think about being rebuked by the audible voice of God! I've heard there was an ancient belief that if man saw the glory of God he would die immediately. 

I like how the Message version says Matthew 17:7:  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.

What's to be learned from this story?

Think before you speak.

Realize that no one can be equal with Jesus.  He, and He alone, receives the glory.

Keep your eyes on Jesus, only Jesus.

Even when we need to be rebuked, God's intention is to help us grow not beat us down. Don't be afraid, He is with you.

I'm sharing this at Titus 2sDay because I think we all need to learn to focus on Jesus and not our fears. You can link up at Darlene Shacht's blog, Time-Warp Wife.



Lori Poppinga said...

Amen and Amen~He is our all and all and constantly commands us~Do NOT be afraid, but rather be strong and Courageous for He is with us. Great word today.
Keep up the God work.

Alicia said...

Oh, I love the Message version you shared at the end- yes, Jesus, only Jesus. Seems simple if I could just remember....

thanks for visiting me at the Overflow today!