Pastor Jim Stultz
Lessons from the Mountain
Updated: May 1
My son and his family live in Superior, Arizona. Behind their home looms the Apache Leap Mountain. According to legend the mountain is the place where a group of Apache warriors were in a battle with the U.S. Calvary. The Apaches were driven back to the edge of the 400-foot cliff. Instead of surrendering, a group of about 75 warriors chose to leap off the cliff to their deaths. My son has a goal of climbing that mountain someday.
I am not much of a mountain climber myself. However, Jesus would often go up to a mountain to commune with His Father. On one such occasion He took with Him Peter, James, and John. As Jesus was praying, He was transfigured before them. His whole body shone brightly. His essential nature of infinite deity shown through His human body. The Old Testament personages of Moses and Elijah were also there speaking with Jesus. The 3 disciples were awestruck. Then a voice came from heaven that said: "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!" (Matt. 17:5). After the disciples got off the ground Moses and Elijah were gone and only Jesus was left standing before them.
That incident on the Mount of Transfiguration can give us some lasting impressions. First, the disciples got a peek at glory. Even though Jesus would soon suffer and die on the cross this was not the end of Him. He would rise again and one day rule and reign on the earth. We too need to keep in mind that the sufferings of this life will soon be over and we will join our Lord in glory. Another lesson we should learn is to focus our lives on Jesus only. We get so distracted with other priorities, when we need to make sure that our Savior is first in our lives. A third lesson can be heard as the Father’s voice from heaven instructed the disciples to “hear Him”. We too need to make it our heart’s desire to always listen to our Lord’s instructions and encouragements. Today we listen to Him through His Word.
The Apache Leap Mountain was a place of tragedy. The Mount of Transfiguration was a place of glory. Let’s keep our eyes on Jesus only.