“The appearance of Jesus’ face changed, and his clothes become as bright as a flash of lightening” Luke 9: 29 b). Jesus, Moses, and Elijah all together appeared before Peter, John and James. What a sight to have seen! Not only was Jesus transfigured into a beautiful vision, but two men of old (who have influenced the Jewish faith) appeared in bodily form. “What an honor,” Peter must have thought. Peter, in a state of awe and a posture of worship, wanted to build a shelter for Jesus, Moses, and Elijah. It’s as if he was making each one equal to the other.
Quickly, God our Father chastened Peter and revealed to him that the only One who mattered is Jesus. God speaks from the cloud with authority and said, “THIS is my Son (not Moses, not Elijah), Jesus is the One deserving of worship. It is Jesus whom I have chosen, not another prophet (no matter how great he was); LISTEN TO JESUS” (Luke 9:35-36 amplified).
God’s instructions changed their focus. Jesus was the One and Only to listen to now. Suddenly, when God’s voice had spoken, the three disciples found that Jesus was alone. This signified that God had chosen Jesus to lead the train for full salvation for all people. Yes, Moses and Elijah played their very important part in the kingdom of God, but they were not the ones to be worshiped – Jesus was (and is).
The lesson in this experience for Peter, John and James was simple and profound. Look to Jesus! Do not worship man – worship the Son of God. Respect the men of God in our midst – but do not bow to them or build a structure of Holy Honor for them. They are mere man, serving the Lord, just like we are mere human beings who need the Lord. We all need to look to Jesus! He is the only One who leads us to true reconciliation with the Father. He is the only One who is our worthy Lamb of sacrifice.
It is tempting today to hold up a pastor, a spiritual leader, or one in any ministry leadership role higher than we should. When we look to them for all our answers and all our needs, we are sorely disappointed when they can’t provide. Like the disciples in our story today, we need to be intentional at seeing Jesus alone, not on an equal plane with these leaders. He alone is our God; He alone is our focus of worship; He alone can meet our every need.