What I’m Thinking: Not What He Expected

Earlier, Simon Peter had been first with the right answer: “You are the Messiah!” But on the mountain, with Jesus aglow, he had a confirmation he hadn’t expected.

Here is a transcript:

I’m thinking about the ninth chapter of Luke’s Gospel, Luke’s account of Jesus’ Transfiguration (Luke 928-36).

Earlier in the chapter, Luke described the famous conversation that Jesus had with his disciples, asking them who people said that he was. Then he asked them, “Who do you say that I am?”

Simon Peter, of course, was first with an answer. “You are the Messiah!”

Now in this story, Peter found his declaration confirmed, although probably not in the way that he expected. Certainly the confirmation was awe-inspiring, frightening, and ultimately humbling. Because there on the top of the mountain, with Jesus glowing like the sun, with two figures speaking with Jesus that Peter, James, and John promptly identified (at least to their own satisfaction) as Moses and Elijah, two of the heralds of the Messiah; Peter offered to make a contribution. “Hey, how about we make some booths? Some shelters? So that you Jesus, and you Moses, and you Elijah can be together.”

I’m not sure what Peter expected to happen after that. Perhaps after their consultations the three leaders and the three disciples would come down off the mountain and rally the people to them and there would be a great revival and the end of Roman domination and so on. What Peter didn’t expect was to hear these words: “This is my son, the beloved. Listen to him.”

Peter, I regret to say, was not marked for his ability to listen to other people, not even Jesus. You might recall that on that horrible night when Jesus was arrested, Jesus predicted Peter’s denial. And what did Peter do? He denied that he would deny.

It is, I think, one of the great struggles of the life of faith and of Christian life in particular to listen for the voice of Jesus, to listen for the voice of God. That voice may not fulfill our expectations. That voice may not fulfill our desires. But that voice will have renewal of our spirits and inspiration for our souls.

That’s what I’m thinking. I’m curious to hear what you’re thinking. Leave me your thoughts in the comment section below. I’d love to hear from you.

Categories What I'm Thinking | Tags: , | Posted on February 22, 2022

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