2P: For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we had been eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received honor and glory from God the Father when that voice was conveyed to him by the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, my Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.” We ourselves heard this voice come from heaven, while we were with him on the holy mountain. So we have the prophetic message more fully confirmed. You will do well to be attentive to this as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by human will, but men and women moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God. [NRSV]
MT: Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three dwellings here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, “This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!” When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were overcome by fear. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Get up and do not be afraid.” And when they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus himself alone. As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus ordered them, “Tell no one about the vision until after the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.” [NRSV]
Context of coupling of text
Firsthand Gospel Application
This is a very interesting couple of passages because we have the gospel account of historical, miraculous events and a second text in 2Peter where there is a teaching tot he church that directly based on that first hand experience.
The context of the Transfiguration mountain passage is part mystery and miracle of incarnation. My question of the text is: are Peter James and john those who can most appreciate and understand the reevaluation or are they those who most need it.
Transfer of authority and story, Avoid transferring the authority
The story clarifies Gods method do revelation through people and relationships as the central mode of communicating Gods word and presence. This is replicated in Peters rebelling to those in his letter and input hearing.
A secondary teaching mode is the Journey
The disciples are taught different parts of the story along the way, not all at once. Peter shares the journey with others affirming their journey in belief and understanding.
We leave the story here and it would be clean, neat and safe doe us all. But the heart lesson is the transformation of Peter between the two accounts.
What I want vs what God wants for me
God wants Peter James and John to see and share a moment with Jesus Moses and Elijah.
In this moment they have the true reality of Jesus’s identity and role, the confirmation of OT laws and prophet AND the ultimate confirmation from God divine pronouncement. It does not get any clearer.
Only Peters response is vocalized among the disciples. Just because the others are silent doesn’t mean their response was different.
God is about revealing the connection and Peter presents a disconnection.
< Story of connection >
Peter hears the voice of God, sees the pieces of old and new fit together before his eyes, and his response is to build, make, do, control the situation.
Let’s make some monuments
The movie, Monument Men, a WWII drama about protecting the accomplishments of artists and sculptors work from destruction by the failed Hitlers orders at the end of the war. It is a moving witness of bravery and boldness to save the evidence of our culture and accomplishments. It is worth the ticket price for sure.
Peters response is not so different. We need to capture this moment and memorialize it so that others can come to those holy place.
Recount my trip. Worth going to the holy ground but what stands today are the very thing that Peter wanted. Including fragments of crusader walls defending the structure, a monastery, double decker church and a gift shop and roaming peacocks revealing their splendor and hidden glory. The very monuments that Peter hoped for are present.
But these are not the things God declared as important or necessary on that spot. The instruction was to listen and understand, to hear and believe.
In the moment Peter changing a from confident planner and designer in charge to one falling to the ground in fear and trembling.
The gift of Perspective in Time
It is in the 2P passage that Peter has learned and is teaching from his weakness.
You would do well to listen to use who know what we are talking about.
It’s not about you
Your good deeds
It is about the Holy Spirit, No you.
We come to the table of holy communion and it is about connecting with God
It’s not about our sin, or worth, or fault, no blame
It is a table of love and grace.
So come and be filled, be connected, be loved and claimed by the God who sends us Gods only child that we might believe, trust and live I return. Come, let go, and allow God to fill you today.