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  • Writer's picturePastor Jim Stultz

Joy on the Mountain

The air was fresh and cool, and the view was breathtaking on our excursion into Rocky Mountain National Park. My family enjoyed the fun of a horseback ride and an exquisite view of the mountains all around us. Some part of us wished we could just stay in this magical place. But our vacation time was limited, so we drove back down the mountain and returned home.

Jesus took Peter, James, and John with Him up to a mountain to be alone with God. On the mountain He was transfigured before them. His clothing glowed with the glory of God. At that moment they were joined by Moses and Elijah who testified to the eternal glory and the coming death of Jesus. The powerful voice of the Father spoke from heaven in Luke 9:35: “And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!” As the cloud of glory surrounded them Peter spoke up and said it is good for us to be here. He wanted to build three booths, one for Moses, one for Elijah, and one for Jesus. I believe that it was Peter’s desire to preserve that mountaintop experience as long as he could. He would have liked to just stay on the mountain and bask in the glory and joyful fellowship there. The scriptures tell us that Peter did not know what he was saying. As the cloud dispersed, and Moses and Elijah left, only Jesus was there.

We can learn two powerful lessons from the experience of the three disciples. The first lesson is that Jesus is infinitely more important than any experience. The Father directed all their focus on the Son, not the light show, not the cloud, not the notable figures of Moses and Elijah. Jesus only, was to be their laser focus. The second lesson is that no one can stay on the mountain. The next day Jesus led them down the mountain and they were immediately faced with the needs of broken people.

We should take joy when the Lord leads us into those mountaintop experiences. But we must always keep our eyes on Jesus, and on our ministry to people.

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