Jesus invited Peter, James and John to join Him in a prayer meeting on a mountain. They had no idea what was going to transpire that day, or they would have been so excited that they could hardly stand it. Instead they slept through some of the event; no doubt, the greatest event in Jesus’ life between His birth and His crucifixion and resurrection. The story is told in Luke 9:27-36.
While Jesus prayed, an amazing thing happened. His body was changed and glorified, still recognizable, yet glistening with glory. Not only that; but of all things, Moses and Elijah appeared with Him, men who lived on this earth a thousand years earlier.
About this time the three disciples awoke and could hardly believe what they were seeing. The three glorified men conversed about Jesus’ coming crucifixion. Peter was star-struck! Imagine, seeing Moses and Elijah from the past and having the ability to recognize them!
Immediately Peter’s tongue started flapping before he had his mind in gear. “Jesus, this is wonderful! Let’s build three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses and one for Elijah and let’s just stay up here, we six and no more!” As usual, Peter had to say something on this occasion, but he really didn’t know what he was talking about. He was about as subtle as an elephant in a china shop, as he babbled on in this transcendent moment.
Then another amazing thing happened. A heavy cloud came down upon them and made it difficult to see. From the cloud came a powerful voice, the voice of God the Father. He spoke, “This is My beloved Son, hear Him!” When the cloud disappeared, Moses and Elijah were gone and there stood Jesus, in His normal human body.
Peter and his friends, James and John, kept quiet about this event and told no one. It was too awesome to even talk about it. Later on in life, Peter commented on the event when writing II Peter 1:16-21 In that passage he described what had happened and then he explained that the Scriptures we now have and can read for ourselves are more wonderful and more certain than the experience he shared with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration.
What can we learn from this story?
Certainly, we miss much when sleeping or day dreaming or whispering or just messing around in church when we could be listening and learning. To some, preachers are boring. To others in the same service, the preacher is teaching exciting truths. Some go out bored. Other go out blessed.
Like Peter wanting to build three tabernacles, we also want to capture exciting moments and make them last forever, but that is impossible. Exciting moments come and go. If you are chasing after excitement in church or anywhere else; you will probably find it, but it won’t last. Next day it will be gone and you will be depressed. The important thing is not to seek exciting emotional experiences, but to seek to know Jesus. Learn of Him in His Word. If you seek Jesus, He will still be there after the excitement is gone.
In that moment of Transfiguration, God the Father said to the three disciples, “This is My beloved Son. Listen to Him!” When it comes to spiritual growth, it is much better to shut our mouths and listen to His Word. When the Word is being preached, that’s the time for us to listen with expectation, discernment and submission. When we are out in the world among those who do not know Christ; that’s the time to open our mouths and proclaim the Good News.
God does not announce beforehand what He is going to do. If we get in the habit of chasing the spectacular, we are going to miss God’s glory altogether. Jesus didn’t say to them, “If you men aren’t at prayer meeting tonight, your are going to miss seeing Moses and Elijah.” He didn’t say to them, “You had better stay awake tonight or you are going to miss something tremendous!” Most of the high point of our life come without notification.
Think of that beautiful young woman, Rebekah, in Genesis 24. She could have felt sorry for herself and griped about how boring it is to go draw water from the well, but instead she carried out her routine responsibilities. In doing so, she met an old man by the name of Eleazer and because of her hospitality to him, she met her future husband. What if she had chased the spectacular and ignored her boring duties?
Every day starts out as another ordinary day, but if you have spiritual eyesight, you may be amazed at what God is going to teach you or bring about in your life. One ordinary day, when we are not even thinking about it, Jesus is going to suddenly return to catch us up to be with Himself and we will be with Him forever in sinless, glorified bodies. You can read about it in I Thessalonians 4:13-18. Does that excite you or are you bored by the idea?
Jesus transformation and glorification came as He prayed on the mountain. His was a total transformation, at least for a few minutes. Later at His resurrection it was a total, eternal transformation. In II Corinthians 3:18 Paul tells us that we also can be transformed from one degree of glory to another as we spend time in God’s Word and in prayer. One day, we will also experience a total transformation when we are changed and caught up to meet the Lord when He returns for us in.
Thank God for His divine intervention at special times in our lives. In those time, God transforms us and makes us usable servants for Him. Don’t doze through your transformations!