September 13: The Transfiguration

Read Matthew 17:1-21

Who was Peter? We have seen him as a fisherman turned fisher of men. We have identified him as a man with spiritual insight and confusion, recognizing Jesus as the Christ but not capturing the essential nature of the cross. And today, we observe that he was part of an inner circle that was afforded incredible privileges.

Peter, James, and John were alone with Jesus on some special occasions. They were the only ones there when Jesus raised Jairus’ daughter. (See Mk. 5:37.) They were there in Gethsemane, Jesus’ most vulnerable moment. (See Matt. 26:37.) And, of course, they were the only ones with Jesus on the mountain we sometimes call the Mount of Transfiguration.

It was there on the mount that theses three witnessed one of the most magnificent and glorious spectacles to have ever taken place on the earth. Jesus radiated light. His clothes were whiter and brighter than anything ever seen. And in His glory, He was joined by Moses and Elijah. Together they carried on a conversation. Then came the voice of the Father. “This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased. Listen to Him!”

If you follow Christ, you’ve likely experienced the presence of Christ at some point in powerful, glorious, almost palpable ways. Perhaps it was in the midst of an impossible situation, at a time when you experienced an incredible answer to prayer. Maybe it was during a time of sincere worship, or as you engaged with Him in the study of the Scriptures. We want to savor those mountaintop, unique, inner-circle experiences, don’t we? Peter certainly did. He suggested they build shelters. Perhaps he wanted to put their ministry hats on the shelf and stay in the glorious presence of Christ there on that mountain.

But staying there wasn’t an option. You see, part of the purpose of our encounters with the glorious Christ is to empower us for continued and greater service . . . not taken out of service. If you have encountered Christ in powerful ways, don’t stay there. Allow His glory to propel you to even more fruitful ministry for Him!


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