After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them. His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them. And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” (He did not know what to say, they were so frightened.) Then a cloud appeared and enveloped them, and a voice came from the cloud: “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!” Suddenly, when they looked around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus. As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus gave them orders not to tell anyone what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead. They kept the matter to themselves, discussing what “rising from the dead” meant.
Rev. Layne Kilbreath
Faith Christian Fellowship (Walnut Creek)
Often, I ask God to resurrect some of my relationships. Here, we’re invited to remember that if Jesus is King of our lives, we’re on a continuous personal journey from death to resurrection. Like me, Peter wants to avoid this journey. He asks to set up tents so neither he nor Jesus will have to die. God responds from the clouds: “This is my Son, Listen to Him!” Accept that Jesus’ way goes through death and starts with a promise: “I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power” (Mark 9:1). Peter saw this power in a shining, resurrected and perfected Moses and Elijah. Jesus? He was already perfect.
I searched the text for ways to resurrect some of my relationships and avoid death. I couldn’t find one. Instead, I was challenged to listen and to obey King Jesus and to kill my pride. Shortly after Matthew’s record of this story, Jesus says, “If I’m your King, listen to me: Ask me to change your heart to be a person pursuing reconciliation. When you hurt someone, ask forgiveness. When you’re hurt, offended or sinned against, be courageous, don’t stuff it inside or let it leak out with gossip. Drown your pride and go to the person one-on-one, vulnerably pursuing reconciliation and trust me for reconciliation and resurrection.” (Matthew 18:15) This is an impossible challenge for imperfect people unless God resurrects us. It’s often easier to get angry or leak, and it doesn’t always work in our way or in our time.
Father, we cannot guarantee reconciliation or manipulate you, so help us trust you as King and experience resurrection in our lives today. Amen.