What Peter didn’t know – we do!


Peter Didn’t Know,
but We Do!

Luke 9:28-36


May you realize that you walk in the grace, the mercy and peace of God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, even as we walk in His glory


Have you ever observed a situation where you wonder what in the world was that person thinking?  Why in the world did they ever say that? 

Didn’t they realize….. and then you list reason after reason after reason that what they did was idiotic, how in the world couldn’t they have seen, how in the world did they come up with,

Most of us treat Peter that way, wondering how in the world he could manage to put his foot in his mouth so often.  Sometimes he got it wonderfully right, like the time when Jesus asked, “who do you say I am?”.  Or the time he got out of the boat and set the Guiness Book of World Records for longest distance walked on water by someone who wasn’t divine.

Other times, like when he demanded that the Son of God NOT obey the Father and give his life for us, or the time he said, “I will never deny you!”  Or the time he got caught by Paul eating bacon wrapped shrimp with the Gentiles and then telling the Jews it wasn’t kosher!

There were also a few times, where he proved the broken clock theory, where he was right, even when the next second he was wrong.  Oh I want to applaud the words he started with – Lord, it’s wonderful we are here!   So incredible true were those words, but then – how could he follow up with, I know – let’s set up three tents… 

If you’ve ever seen NCIS, that’s a Tony line, one that’s about to get you whapped upside the back of your head!

Build tents?  What was he thinking….even John’s gospel tells us he didn’t know what he was saying…. But the part about it being wonderful that they were there…that is pure truth.

What Peter didn’t know… we do…

What Peter didn’t know/hear –do we hear it?

Peter, like a few other times in the gospels, was sleeping, otherwise he would realize what was truly significant in the event on the top of the mountain.   It wasn’t the revealing of Jesus in all of His glory, as St. John wrote about:

John 1:14 (ESV) 14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

That was incredible – and indeed Peter would mention it in his epistle as well:

2 Peter 1:16-18 (NLT) 16 For we were not making up clever stories when we told you about the powerful coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. We saw his majestic splendor with our own eyes 17 when he received honor and glory from God the Father. The voice from the majestic glory of God said to him, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.” 18 We ourselves heard that voice from heaven when we were with him on the holy mountain.

It’s not even that Moses and Elijah, the two great leaders of the Old Testament, the ones representing the Law and the Prophets, were there.

It is what is talked about among Moses and Elijah and Jesus, while the Peter and James and John are taking a quick nap.  It is the discussion about everything that Moses and Elijah, all the Law, and the Old Testament Histories, the Writings and the Prophets, what all of this pointed to clearly…

The NLT describes it as “his exodus from the world”, that which was about to be fulfilled in Jerusalem….His being lifted up – the crucifixion, His death

The glory of God revealed, the very thing Jesus was sent to do… it wasn’t about the glory days of Israel, it wasn’t about overcoming the rulers from Rome.

It was about the cross, and death, and realizing how much those three numbskulls who fell asleep needed the grace and mercy that would flow like the wounds that Jesus would bear as he was tried and sentenced and executed, bearing all sin upon himself.

Why it is so wonderful

That is why the Transfiguration was such an event. A few verses after this gospel reading, after a little more teaching, and healing as they rejoined the other disciples, Luke tells us, that as the times approached for him to be lifted up on the cross, he set his face like stone and journey’d toward Jerusalem.

So what does that mean for us?

It is about here (the baptismal font) where Kevin will be linked to that exodus of Jesus, to Jesus death, for as Romans 6 says,

Romans 6:4 (NLT) 4 For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.

Our chance, Kevin’s chance, to get out of this rat race, to escape, not the problems of this world, but the power that sin and the fear of death have over us, that journey out starts here.   As God’s word and the water cleanse him, not just of His sin, but opens up the opportunity to journey with God, in His peace, in His glory, until we arrive home, where we will see Him face to face.

Even so, the dwelling in His glory?  It is not so far off.  Hear Paul’s words from 2 Corinthians,

2 Corinthians 3:16-18 (NLT) 16 But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.

That is what this is all about, what we can comprehend far more than Peter.  That living in the love, and the peace of God, is living in, and sharing in the glory of God. Our journey is alongside His – to the cross, as Chuck says, – the cross where His body is fixed, in our baptism, and the cross where we celebrate His body and blood broken and risen,  as we share in the feast that is a foretaste of the feast to come.

Build three tents?  No!  Having fed on the word, let us celebrate as we witness the promises poured out on another brother! Then let us celebrate as we share in the glorious feast, as we realize we dwell in the presence of God; the merciful, loving presence of the one who would be transformed on a glorious mountain!  As He was encouraged as he set out for another mountain, one even more glorious, where the depth of God’s was revealed, glorious, even as Jesus would be lifted up for us on the cross.

Because of that – know that you dwell in the peace filled presence of God, which is beyond any understanding, in which we dwell safely, our hearts and minds secured there by Christ.


About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God's saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

Posted on February 10, 2013, in Sermons and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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