About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray. As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning.
A Heavenly Mountaintop
Each of the accounts of Jesus’ transfiguration begins with a statement that this happened about a week later than what had just been written about. So, God wants those events connected. And just what had happened about a week earlier?
It started out great! Jesus asked Peter, James, and John who people thought he was, and eventually Peter confessed oh-so-clearly that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God! But when Jesus began talking about his suffering and death, Peter took Jesus aside and rebuked him. In response, Jesus said, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns” (Matthew 16:23).
So, now it’s a week later, and you’re Peter, on this mountain, and Jesus’ face suddenly changes so that it is shining like the sun and his clothing become as bright as a flash of lightning. If you’re Peter, what are you thinking? Are you thinking, “Oh no! A few days ago, I was rebuking him! Look at him now!!! What was I thinking?”
How easily we question God in an improper way, even “rebuke” God. True? Yes, it’s true. We have the audacity to tell God that he is not handling things correctly in our lives or in our world. How dare we!
What is amazing is that Jesus didn’t cut Peter off and eliminate him from the disciples. Jesus continued to love Peter. He even invites Peter to come to the mountaintop, to view his glory.
And amazingly, Jesus continues to love you and me too. Despite our failures, Jesus continues to love us. And someday he will invite us to the heavenly mountaintop where we will experience his glory forever.
Lord Jesus, thank you for not rejecting me! I long to see your glory! Amen.