This story comes directly out of Scripture, Matthew 17. An amazing story that the Bible calls the mount of Transfiguration. It is when Jesus, with some of His disciples went up on a mountain, and on that mountain Moses and Elijah show up. It is awesome, but it brings some serious questions and thoughts we ought to think through.
The disciples, Peter and James and John, were with Jesus when this awesome happening took place. The first thing that Peter said when he saw this with his own eyes was:
4 Peter exclaimed, "Lord, it's wonderful for us to be here! If you want, I'll make three shelters as memorials—one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah."
Not sure how I would have responded, but lets think about what Peter said. One piece was about the wonder of being with God in the flesh, with Jesus. Another piece is the fact that humans love memorials to special times, experiences and traditions. I am not saying that either is wrong. What I am saying is the presence of God is always more important than the experience we have. That tends to create things we always look for in the past. Whereas when we cherish and love the presence of God, we tend to look forward and work forward to more time with Him. Think about those shelters Peter wanted to build. What do you think about them?
Then the disciples got scared and so would I. Here is what happened:
5-8 But even as he spoke, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, "This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy. Listen to him." The disciples were terrified and fell face down on the ground. Then Jesus came over and touched them. "Get up," he said. "Don't be afraid." And when they looked up, Moses and Elijah were gone, and they saw only Jesus.
The last verse from The Message Bible says this:
8 When they opened their eyes and looked around all they saw was Jesus, only Jesus.
That is where I want to be. Real and authentic followers of Jesus will encounter Christ in awesome ways. The blessings are huge and many. The experiences will begin to out number anything else we really enjoy. Yet the best part is Jesus, only Jesus. What do we do when we are in the presence of God, when we are with Jesus?
I was touched by this story early this morning because too many times I find myself thinking about the extra stuff surrounding the good things. That is when I miss what really matters. And what really matters is Jesus!