Suggested Reading: Matthew 17:1-8
Jesus took Peter, James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain. There Jesus was transfigured right before their eyes. His face shone brighter than the sun. His clothing became as white as light. Then Elijah and Moses appeared there with Jesus and talked with Him.
Now, if we should imagine ourselves witnessing such a sight, Peter’s reaction is perhaps not surprising at all. Some people, when overwhelmed, become quiet and withdrawn, others laugh or cry. Others talk non-stop when nervous and it looks like Peter was part of this group of people.
Now Peter –he was a go-getter, take-no-nonsense kind of guy. If things happened too slowly to his liking, he would get up and do something about it. So Peter, obviously overcome by seeing Jesus transformed and radiant as light and Moses and Elijah appearing there with Him, simply had to say something. This was an unusual event and he had a suggestion.
Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.
He thought it would be a good idea to build monuments to Jesus, Elijah and Moses. This was a memorable occasion. Let’s remember it by putting up three monuments or three churches for each of them. The Greek word which the NIV translates as ‘shelter‘ is the Greek word skēnē, which means a tabernacle or temple.
But just as Peter was airing his bright idea, a bright cloud covered them on the mountain and a voice from the cloud spoke:
“This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”
The disciples were terrified by the Voice and fell down on the ground, but Jesus reached out and touched them, comforting them and telling them to get up and not be afraid. And here is the conclusion of the matter:
When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.
Considering the awe inspiring events, one could sympathize with Peter for getting his lines crossed. He wanted to express his wonder in a physical way. He wanted to keep Moses (who represented the Law) and Elijah (who represented the Prophets) as well as Jesus (who represented the New Covenant). His intentions were no doubt good intentions.
But the Voice intervened and set them on the right track, and as they lifted their eyes they saw no one except Jesus. Our Lord Jesus stands alone. No man compares with Him. He came to fulfill the Law and the Prophets, not to re-establish churches for them. Both the Law and the Prophets came together in Him.
Jesus is God’s final answer for the salvation of mankind. We are saved by faith in Christ alone; not by faith in Jesus and someone else. We are not saved by Jesus and a denomination. We are not saved by Jesus and a ministry.
There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved. Acts 4:12 NLT
Jesus alone remained perfectly obedient to God, no matter the personal cost. He alone paid the price for our sins so that we may redeemed by His blood. Jesus alone is the King of kings and the Lord of lords. He alone is worthy.
Everything comes together in Jesus. Everything is held together in Jesus. He is above all else. It is no coincidence that the Voice spoke just as Peter shared his idea for building churches. God wants us to get this straight. It is all about Jesus and being obedient to Him. The Voice of our Father makes it clear: “Listen to Him!“
- Who Can Open the Scroll (shelleywilliamsblog.com)