by Dorette Saunders
Usually in our cadre of friends, we have an inner circle. The others are like names on a chart, important and loved, yes, but we choose two or three as our confidants. The ones we share our heart with. Jesus was no different. Among the twelve disciples, he chose Peter, James, and John.
A reading of Luke 9:28-36 relates the awesome mountaintop experience these three men had as they accompanied Jesus to pray. (Bible students may remember what happened when these same men went with Jesus to pray at a most agonizing time near the end of his life. See Matthew 26:40-45).
Many factors could account for the line in the Luke narrative which tells us plainly, “Peter and the other two disciples had been sound asleep…” (v.32). Weariness had overcome Jesus’ right hand men. Perhaps the trek up the mountain, the weight of discipleship, the intensity of Jesus’ prayer, or the length of time they were there.
No matter. If we are honest, sometimes we have fallen asleep during our own prayers! But Jesus had brought them with him for a reason, and they woke up to find that “his face changed, and his clothes became shining white” (v.29).
There, in their midst, Jesus was glorified. Imagine seeing Christ in all his glory. Changed!
Glory! Glory! Glory!
Appearing with Jesus were Moses and Elijah, discussing the significance of Jesus’ impending death. They, too, had been changed as well. Awestruck, Peter blubbered, “Master, it is good for us to be here! Let us make three shelters…” (v. 33)
Suddenly, the disciples were covered in a cloud. They heard a voice declaring: “This is my chosen Son. Listen to what he says!” (v.35).
The disciples had caught a glimpse of the glory of heaven. It was once again a confirmation of Jesus’ identity as the Son of God. God, the Father, proclaimed it, just as he did at Jesus’ baptism.
And yes, it was good for them to be there. It is always good for us to be in the presence of a holy God. But no, we cannot contain God’s glory with structures we build! The human mountaintop experience does not last forever. One day we will shed our mortality and be clothed in immortality (1 Corinthians 15:53-55). But until that day when we, too, are changed from glory to glory, into God’s likeness, we have work to do (2 Corinthians 3:18).
God the Father has asked us to heed the words of Jesus, and carry out his commands to share the gospel with the world. We have all the evidence we need. We were given the law (Moses) and the prophets (Elijah). However, the fulfillment of them all is found in Jesus. Speaking of Jesus, John the apostle tells us:
The Word became
a human being
and lived here with us.
We saw his true glory,
the glory of the only Son
of the Father.
(John 1:14, CEV)
Jesus Christ changes us, and his Word equips us to go, to do, to be—world changers.
PRAYER: Lord, change me in all the ways I need changing. Write on the walls of my heart the names of those whom I need to embrace for your sake. Remove from my grasp the things I need to release. Light my life with your glory so that I will be a true reflection of your love. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.