Matthew 17:5-8, “5 While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. 6 And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid. 7 And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. 8 And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only”
In 1999 I had the privilege of going to visit the Holy Land. As we traveled around the places that Jesus had once stepped, I noticed that wherever Jesus did something significant, a church was built to commemorate the act. The famous Church of the Holy Sepulcher had four denominations claiming the church. This was separated by tiles, which the Greeks, Catholics, Ethiopian Orthodox, all lay claim to. There was so much building of religious structures, yet so many that obviously didn’t have Jesus.
Many religious groups seem to claim allegiance to God through religious buildings, tradition, and religious acts. Has the story of the Transfiguration been somewhat of a mystery to you? Jesus was transfigured Jesus’ three closest disciples, Peter, James and John, and they were privy to see Moses and Elijah standing with Jesus. Peter had an idea to build three tabernacles, one for Moses, one for Elijah, and of course one for Jesus. Was this a bad idea? It was certainly typical, like many of the acclaimed religious building in Israel. God seemed to interrupt Peter as the voice spoke from the cloud saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” God’s emphasized His Son, and didn’t even mention His two faithful servants Moses and Elijah. The men fell on their faces and were sore afraid. Moses represented the Law, and Elijah represented the Prophets, Jesus of course was the fulfillment of the Law, and the One to which the Prophets spoke of. Truly with all our traditions in church, and all our attempts to be holy by trying to keep the Law, and all our prophesying (preaching), Jesus must shine. Jesus said, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill”, Matthew 5:17. What is it that fulfills the Law and the Prophets? Think back to the teacher of the Law (a Pharisee) who was testing Jesus after they had heard he silenced the Sadducees with His words. The question was asked, “what is the great commandment in the Law”. Jesus answered, “ You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets”. Is this not the picture at the transfiguration. Everything the Law was saying and everything the Prophets spoke hangs upon Jesus Christ. The law of love, the prophetic word of love is what is often not seen. If we are to honor Christ, we must love God and love people, and stop making our emphasis on building tabernacles for Moses and Elijah. We don’t need a more elaborate Bible, we need to spend time hearing from God with Word of God. We don’t need a bigger building, a television ministry, a big revival meeting. We simply need to obey God to love Him and love people. We need to spend and be spent doing this, as this is what God Himself deemed to be paramount, and so much so it is a command. It is the Great Commandment, not the great idea, not the great suggestion, and not the great option. So Christian, do you spend your time loving God and loving people. If not, then you side with Peter and are perhaps well meaning in building tabernacles to Moses and Elijah, but not touching the very heartbeat of God. We need to get on our heart what is on the heart of the Father. In the end God, His Word, and the souls or spirits of people will be all that remains. If Moses and Elijah had their hand upon Jesus, and you have Jesus in your life, then where is the shinning of that love emanating from your life? Make it a point to keep the main thing, the main thing. Do it today! By Pastor Phil
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