My mom was a big country music fan. As a teenager, I was not. Hence, she had a weapon to use against me.
Each weekday morning, mom, with a shrill voice, would cry. “Jimmy get up, time for school!” I would shake it off and nod off again.
So, one day, mom put a Tammy Wynette record on the turntable. At 1,000 decibels Tammy began to wail in her Mississippi twang, “Our D-I-V-O-R-C-E becomes final today.” I jumped up, rushed out and with fierce intolerance I shut it down. Kudos mom. Mission accomplished!
Waking up is hard to do – but it is so important! Peter would agree!
Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem. There He would be betrayed, crucified and entombed.
What would His disciples think? Would they stumble in their belief. Would their faith grow as cold as the tomb in which Jesus would lay? They needed to be prepared, so Jesus led Peter, James, and John up a mountain. This is what took place there.
“As he was praying, the appearance of his face was transformed, and his clothes became very bright, a brilliant white. Then two men, Moses and Elijah, began talking with him. They appeared in glorious splendor and spoke about his departure that he was about to carry out at Jerusalem. Now Peter and those with him were quite sleepy…” – Luke 9:29-32a
As Jesus prayed, His glory as God, began to emanate beyond His flesh. It was dazzling and blindingly bright – something that could not be manufactured by a charlatan. Profound evidence of His Deity.
Yes, He had performed many miracles that required a divine touch, but great and godly men of the past had also performed healings and miracles. Who was to say that Jesus was not just another of God’s hand-picked prophets?
And yes, He seemed comfortable with those few who actually perceived Him to be God. But there are crazies today who also pretend to be God.
But when His glory was revealed on that mount, it was inarguable. He was clearly Deity wrapped in human flesh.
The disciples, however, missed it. They had a case of the nods. They had seen Jesus pray before and it did not enthrall them. But they woke up. The passage says, “Now Peter and those with him were quite sleepy, but as they became fully awake, they saw his glory.” – Luke 9:32
I imagine Peter’s eyes were closed, but the brilliance of Christ’s glory lit up the inside of his eyelids. He and the others were startled so they opened wide to see the dazzling display of Christ’s deity before them.
This was far more effective than Tammy Wynette.
This physical waking became a metaphor for the spiritual awakening that also took place. It was only when they were fully awake, that they saw His glory and understood what it meant – that Jesus was truly all mighty, all powerful and all together God.
Hooray for them, but what about us? Could it be that some Christians today are still in their spiritual sleep number bed? Like Peter we may have had some exposure to Jesus through His word, maybe even some experience with Him as He has answered our prayers.
But there is so much more of Him to know and understand. After many years of serving Jesus, Paul wrote, “My aim is to know him…” – Philippians 3:10
I can relate. In spite of 7 years of formal Bible education, 32 years of service as a pastor, and 50 years in the faith. I am humbled at how little I know.
Fortunately, our Lord wants us to more fully know and understand Him. That’s why He took the trio up the mountain. Maybe if I ask, He’ll take me there too.
A PRAYER: Lord we want to know more of You. Overwhelm us with Your glory.
This has been Jim Johnson and pickleheavenpress.com
May the grace of our Lord Jesus be with you
Scripture passages are from the NETBible®