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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


On Your Mark by Dr. George O. Wood

 

Veterans and Rookies

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.) (Mark 9:4-6, NIV)

It was a scene that would make one’s hair stand on end.

Not only are Jesus’ garments dazzling white and His face shining like the sun (Matthew 17:2), two great leaders from the past are talking with Him on the Mount of Transfiguration.

What were they discussing? Luke tells us: Jesus’ departure in Jerusalem. Mark leaves out that detail as well as the fact that the disciples were very sleepy (Luke 9:31,32). In the Greek New Testament the word for “departure” is ek hodos (the way out) — from which we derive the word exodus.

Moses and Elijah were both talking with Jesus about His exodus — an exodus of a different nature than Moses led. Moses brought his people out of bondage into the edge of the land of promise; Jesus’ exodus brings us out of the bondage of sin, death, devil and the grave and into the eternal land of promise!

The fact that Moses and Elijah were talking with Jesus about His exodus shows that the two great leaders of the Old Testament — Moses, representing the Law; and Elijah, the prophets — fully endorsed the mission of Jesus to go to the cross and die for our sins.

And what a moment it must have been for Moses. Fourteen hundred years earlier he had been denied entrance into the Promised Land. Now he stands in the land with the Son of God. Don’t worry if something you want doesn’t happen in your lifetime! God has all eternity to make it up to you! Moses’ appearance shows us further that after death we do not soul sleep, but are alive.

Wouldn’t you like to have been an observer of this scene? Jesus says to the rookies of the New Covenant, “Come over here. I would like you to meet the veterans of the Old — Moses and Elijah.” It was a moment that called for being dumbstruck. But not Peter!

What should you say when you don’t know what to say? Nothing! However, Peter — not knowing what to say — speaks anyway!

Eight days earlier he correctly identified Jesus as the Christ (Messiah). Now, it’s just Rabbi. He had awakened quickly from sleep and reverted to his old title for Jesus.

I would love to have listened to Peter later in life when he recounted this story. I think it would have gone something like this: “I blurted it out. We were so scared and sleepy. I spoke without thinking. But the Lord had patience with impulsive people like me. He didn’t rebuke me. That’s just the way He is with you. He’s so very kind even when we say or do dumb things.”

We do know that the Transfiguration made an indelible lifelong impression on Peter. He later recounts, “We were eyewitnesses of his majesty” (2 Peter 1:16).

At least Peter was willing for the rookies to spend the night without shelter — because his offer was only to build the three shelters for Jesus, Elijah and Moses. Credit Peter with humility, a trait we could all use more of.

A prayer of response
Lord Jesus, I thank You for the moments in my life that stand out as special in my relationship to You. Just as Peter wanted to serve You rather than himself, may I follow his example.

GEORGE O. WOOD is general superintendent of the Assemblies of God.

On Your Mark

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2013 On Your Mark

2012 On Your Mark

2011 On Your Mark

2010 On Your Mark

2009 On Your Mark

2008 On Your Mark


Podcasts of On Your Mark are available in video and audio.
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