Sunday, May 6, 2012

Peter Got It Right Before He Got It Wrong!

It doesn't make me happy but it's certainly character-building to find pieces of myself in Jesus' man, Simon Peter. Jesus chatted with His main men one day and casually asked, What's the word on the street about Me? What are people saying?
Answer: O, some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, some say another of the great prophets...
Jesus: OK, but who do you say I am?
Peter: You are the Messiah, Son of the Living God!
Jesus: You got that right, Peter!
A short time later Jesus took three of His men - Peter, James and John - on a hike up a high, rocky mountain. Jesus went up there to pray. Peter, James and John took a nap. When they woke up, they got the surprise of their lives there on top of rocky top mountain!
Flashback: Remember how the Hebrew slaves were finally freed by Pharaoh and high-tailed it out of Egypt. Only ole' King Pharaoh changed his mind and tore out after them with his entire army. There the band of some several million slaves were with the sea blocking their forward progress and Pharaoh in hot pursuit. Then God showed up and blew a dry path thru the sea so they could walk to the other side. They kept walking in the desert - led by Moses - until they reached the Mountain of God. God told Moses to come up the mountain for a little chat. God came down in a huge cloud that covered the mountain top. God and Moses talked for 40 days. Moses got close enough to God's presence that when he came down he had to wear a bee-keepers hat or something so his shine didn't blind anyone.
Last night there was a perigee moon - the biggest, brightest in a year - tho' it was not so much in cloudy Pittsburgh! The moon might have looked mighty fine last night but the truth is that the moon has absolutely NO light in or of itself. It's lunar rock (or green cheese) have no shine at all! The moon simply reflects the light of the sun. The moon is like Moses when he came down from his talk with God. Moses shone with the reflected light of God's glory!

Now centuries later there's another mountain, a cloud, the voice of God speaking and Moses!
This is far more wonderful than Moses' shine long before! This isn't about reflected glory! This is Jesus and He produces the glory of God; it comes directly from Him! The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of His being. (Heb. 1:3)
One of my sons loves to sit on the front row at movies. It's a little too close for comfort for me but he relishes that front row seat! Peter, James and John have a front row seat on God's glory!
When Peter woke up and saw Moses and Elijah with Jesus and all of them shining and Jesus shining the most - Peter is scared! Being Peter he just blurts out the first thing that pops into his head. This is the part where he gets it wrong - he suggests building three churches on the mountain top: one for Jesus, one for Moses, one for Elijah.
Peter lost his focus - something he and I have in common, I'm sorry but honest to say.
Then Peter realized that Moses and Elijah are gone and only Jesus is there. Peter is starting to make a course adjustment. He is starting to get that Jesus IS the Messiah!
Many years later Peter wrote: We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory sayiing, "This is My Son, whom I love - Listen to Him!" (2 Peter 1:16-19)
When my dad was captain of a US Navy ship during WWII in the Pacific he left a young ensign manning the bridge and went to the mess to eat. One of the other officers looked out the port hole and asked, Capt'n, you preparing to beach? Daddy looked out and as he ran for the ship's ladder yelled to the helmsman, Left full rudder! When he got to the bridge, the ensign was sitting with his feet propped up. Daddy asked, Are you preparing to run this ship onto the beach? The ensign calmly looked at his watch, Capt'n, it's 20 minutes before we're due for a course correction. Daddy said, Do you think this thing has wheels? In 20 minutes we'll be 3 miles inland! Apparently the ship turned just as it reached where the breakers were forming to roll onto the beach. Any later for a change of course would have been too late!
Peter needed a course correction and so do we. Where is our focus? Where is our life focus? Are we sitting with our feet propped up counting the minutes? OR are we keeping Jesus in view, filling our view - so we follow Him?
Check it out! Jesus spend most of His time caring about and for people with big needs! There was no need too great for His care! If we follow Him, are we willing to get down and dirty in messy minitry? It's messy to get involved in caring for people needs, for families and individuals with all kinds of special needs! Where is our focus? Are we going to know what's right and then get it wrong? Do we need a course correction?

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