“Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John, and led them up on a high mountain apart by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. His clothes became shining, exceedingly white, like snow such as no launderer on earth can whiten them. And Elijah appeared to them with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus. Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, ‘Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles; one for You, one for Moses and one for Elijah’ – because he did not know what to say, for they were greatly afraid. And a cloud came and overshadowed them; and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, ‘This is my Beloved Son. Hear Him!'”
Peter, Peter, Peter. Open mouth and insert foot!
It’s important to remember that Peter is Jewish, James and John are Jewish. AND Jesus was born of a Jewish mother. So it is understandable that Peter is trying to understand this transfiguration through a Jewish perspective. Although he believed Jesus was the Messiah, Peter was still trying to figure out how everything fit into his convenient little box of understanding and tradition. Certainly Moses and Elijah were great in Jewish history, well deserving of a Tabernacle. After all, they were carriers of the Law, prophets, forerunners of Christ, but…
But, only Jesus Christ would be exalted as Lord, as the Messiah of a lost world.
What happens after Peter’s mistaken rambling?
Verse seven, “And a cloud came and overshadowed them; and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!”
Whoa. The exclamation point is God’s, not mine. “Hear Him!”
The cross references excite me because, again, I see the Old Testament supporting the New.
First reference: Exodus 40:34, “The cloud covered the tabernacle of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle.”
Quite often, in the Old Testament, the Spirit of God descended upon the children of Israel in a cloud. This moment was no different. God wanted to erase any confusion Peter might be having concerning this supernatural event and Who Jesus was in relation to Moses and Elijah. God says, “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!”
Are you ready?
Second cross-reference: Deuteronomy 18:15,18, “The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me (Moses is speaking) from your midst (Jesus was Jewish), from your brethren. Him you shall hear.’ And the Lord spoke to Moses and said, ‘I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will set My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him.'”
Now, (drum roll, please) get this:
In Acts 3:22,23 Peter quotes these verses out of Deuteronomy as he preaches in Solomon’s Portico. He is reminding his Jewish listeners of their prophetic teachings and is proclaiming to them that Jesus is the fulfillment of all the prophets have spoken.
Gotta love Peter. He allowed God to show him the truth of His Son the Messiah. Peter could have crossed his arms in defiance and said, “Jesus, this isn’t playing out the way I expected.” But instead, Peter embraced the discipline of the Lord and opened the eyes of his heart to understand. He did not allow his religious knowledge to keep him from experiencing the wonders of the Lord.
And that is what we must do.
We must never get so smart in our own eyes that we limit the God of our Salvation.
“But as it is written (in Isaiah 64:4): ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.'” (1 Corinthians 2:9)
The Word of God is simply amazing.
Lord, It is true – Your Word IS amazing. I love how intricate it is and how it supports itself as You reveal Your mysteries to Your children. Thank You. Stir up a hunger within us to study Your Word and increase our knowledge of You. Help us to let go of our religious traditions, not because they are bad in and of themselves, but because they limit You and Your power. And help us let go of the pride of our knowledge so that we can hear from You directly. Lord, You always confirm in Your Word the things that You speak to us. Hearing Your voice is not “Twilight Zone” kind of stuff. You clearly say in Your Word that we will know Your voice! Teach us to LISTEN as we pray and learn to recognize Your voice. Thank You, Lord. How exciting it is to unravel Your mysteries and deepen our relationship with You, our awesome God. I love you, Lord.