Monday, April 13, 2020

Even when we need to be rebuked ...

Today, I'm continuing my F.E.A.R. series with the story of what happened on the Mount of Transfiguration. It's another story of Peter sticking his foot in his mouth.

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.

In this age of pandemic fears, stock piling and shortages, I've resurrected some of my earlier posts about the fears we all experience. I'm calling it F.E.A.R. - False Evidence Appearing Real because most of what we are afraid of is in our minds. Today we've dealt with the fear of experiencing the glory of God.

You can also look at my last post on the subject, "Trusting Him, not your eyes," which focuses on the fear of what things look like.

I'm linking this post with the communities at Inspire Me Monday and #TellHisStory


  1. We do learn from Peter. I enjoyed your retelling of the story, and I marvel at the transformation that we saw in Peter's life as he grew in faith.

  2. Jerralea - I'm guessing that more of us are like Peter than we'd like to admit ...


  3. Peter is easy to relate to on so many levels. I'm pretty good at pausing before I speak but when it comes to giving God all the glory that is another story. Too many times I try to do things in my own power and when I succeed I take all the credit. May I look to God for help and the glory.


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