Wednesday, 6 August 2008

My Thoughts on the Bible Readings of this day

Question: why did Peter offer to make three tents (one for Jesus, one for Moses, and one for Elijah) when he saw the Lord transfigured? To answer this question, we must first ask, why tents? Why not shrines, etc.?
Tents for one thing commemorate the accommodations of the Israelites when God brought them out of slavery in Egypt to mastery in the Promised Land. Thus in building tents Peter wanted to honor Jesus, Moses and Elijah and in this way commemorate what God has done in bringing about their marvelous manifestation. A tent is also the first home the Israelites built for their God for Him to live among them and talk to them. Peter was indirectly asking the three heavenly, prophetic figures to stay among the disciples and teach them about God. And lastly Peter wanted to be hospitable (i.e. giving them a place to stay), like he would have treated guests from afar.
But that's not what the event was all about. The main actor in the event was Jesus, and He was already among the disciples. There is no more direct access to God than through Jesus. So there was no need for Moses and Elijah to remain. The Transfiguration was only meant to confirm Jesus' identity for His disciples, not the start of a new mission.
We can learn from this too. Often we think we need to do more to hear God. We need to pray more, help others more, go to more seminars, etc. But God says “listen to my Son.” This is a much less elaborate thing, but often a much harder thing. All the elaborate works merely put us in a place where we are more ready to listen to Jesus. At the end of the day, we still need to find a quiet place & time to listen to God so we can hear Him, hear His plans for us, and know how to obey Him. This is more important than chasing after some spiritual experience that convinces us of God's presence and power. Such experiences are meant to be fleeting (like the Transfiguration) and merely serve to show us the right path to God.

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