2 And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves; and he was transfigured before them, 3 and his garments became glistening, intensely white, as no fuller on earth could bleach them. 4 And there appeared to them Eli’jah with Moses; and they were talking to Jesus. 5 And Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is well that we are here; let us make three booths, one for you and one for Moses and one for Eli’jah.” 6 For he did not know what to say, for they were exceedingly afraid. 7 And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, “This is my beloved Son; listen to him.” 8 And suddenly looking around they no longer saw any one with them but Jesus only. 9 And as they were coming down the mountain, he charged them to tell no one what they had seen, until the Son of man should have risen from the dead. –NRSV
This is a curious passage of the Mountain top experience of Jesus with Moses and Elijah as well as Peter James and John and all together with God.
I cannot live in your spiritual high points nor can I live in your weakest spiritual lows. And neither can you find life in mine.
What we do find in this passage is a series of witnesses experiences.
If you are gathered with your family and flip through the 1000 channels and stop at a boxing match:
- Someone will be scared at two grown men fighting
- Someone will be nauseated at the violence
- Someone will become engaged in the aggression and in tune with the fight.
- Someone will look at the technical details of the sport
- Someone else will just leave the room and avoid it all.
- And other responses as well.
The point: We all can experience the same event and respond in different ways.
We have just such an occasion here recorded on the mountain…
We can learn from each others experience, but we cannot base our faith on the experience of others.
We are called to live, share and experience our own relationship with God…
- Moses (The Law) and Elijah (The Prophets)
- Moses (The Politian) and Elijah (The Academy)
- Moses (Died for breaking the law/trust) and Elijah (Carried up to heaven for keeping faithful)
- Peter, James and John… some of the first disciples,
- Peter, James and John… quite possible the wealthiest of the disciples, community leads/businessmen.
- Peter, James and John… travel with Jesus to Mt Tabor, when all the other 9 are not taken up the mountain.
- Jesus talks with the disciples on the way up.
- Jesus talks with Moses and Elijah on the Mountain
- Jesus talks with disciples on the way down and tells them to keep quiet.
- God speaks through Moses and Elijah, for Jesus’ benefit. They don’t talk to the disciples.
- God speaks to Jesus, Moses, Elijah, Peter, James and John… the clearest revelation: Jesus is it!
- God interrupts Peter, when he need to be listening and experiencing instead of talking and fixing.
These are the conversations,
These are the network of simultaneous conversations and events.
What is our conversation(s) to do with these?
We can learn from the invitation
We might assume Jesus wants these three disciples to know most fully and clearly Jesus is the Messiah.
We can assume Jesus wanted to talk with Moses and Elijah, for his own reasons
Disciples are witnesses…
We are witnesses of Jesus, the OT, the NT, and all other disciples…
What are we learning from each other.
- Don’t be quick to figure things out.
- Don’t assume you have what God wants figured out.
- Don’t talk when you need to be listening
- Don’t take action when God wants you to be still.
Listen to the Law
Listen to the Prophets and Teachings
Watch for the Light to be revealed
Listen for God’s voice that speaks to your heart and life
Don’t reveal your own ignorance… Trust God’s knowing.
Peter speaks up:
James & John let him speak out. (why didn’t they hush him up?)
Peter in effect says: Here is my idea, Here is what we need, I know what to do.
James and John: Let Peter ramble on, James and John let their actions be a witness
The greatest threat to the church is the quiet witness…
People will know Christ by my actions…
How do we witness Christ in our worry, gossip, controlling, and greed?
I don’t know about you, but my witness of actions may be no better than my words
BOTTOM LINE: God wants us to know for sure. That God is God and Jesus is our Savior.
God is willing to let that shine through other people,
But we have to be willing to hear through the scriptures, live through the Spirit/Glory
And be ready to share OUR experience when the time comes…
back down the mountain..
after to crucifixion and forsaken times
Where’s the strength when you are weak? Look to Jesus, Be Intentional.