Mark 9:1-12 | Jesus’ Transfiguration
Just as Jesus promised, there were some who were standing with him who saw his glory and power before they died. Leading Peter James and John to the top of a high mountain, the three witnessed their Lord burst into radiant light, speak to Moses and Elijah, and then be wrapped in the glory God in the form of a cloud.
But this glorious moment wasn’t a fine moment for Peter. Rather than beholding and enjoying the glory of Christ, Peter took things into his own hands. He thought should do something in response to amazing things he was seeing. Though likely well intentioned, Peter suggested shelters for three men who didn’t need them. Moses and Elijah, the chief representatives of the law and prophets stood and talked with Jesus. It was a momentous occasion for the three disciples, but Peter needlessly distracted himself with what he could add to it rather than what he could learn from it. Soon the cloud descended and the great voice boomed from it and sobered Peter and the others. It was a time to be still. It was a time to watch and listen.
Blessings from God try our souls just as much as suffering. This is because we are so hardwired in our thinking that we incessantly believe that our good deeds earn us favor with God. So we try to curry favor with him by giving him things he doesn’t need and we try to smooth over sins with good deeds he doesn’t want. We get so distracted with trying to earn God’s favor that we don’t relax and take in the blessings he sets right in front of us.
What God wants is faith. What God desires is our dependence and reliance on him. True good deeds will come, but only after we please God and he is pleased to give us himself to perform them. Faith begins by being still and listening. It begins by beholding and seeing Jesus’ goodness. Faith cannot happen by trying to add to God’s grace, as if we could somehow ever enhance the beauty and wonder of God, but by embracing the joy of who Christ is and what he has already done for us and given to us through his cross.