Tuesday, November 15, 2011

missing the point

 “It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.”
                                                                                                                                ~Mark Twain
I was reminded of this quote as I thought over Pastor Brian's sermon from Sunday morning.  Too many times we speak too soon.  It may be because of nervousness, confidence, or, as it was for Peter in the following passage, fear.
After six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up on a high mountain by themselves to be alone. He was transformed in front of them, and His clothes became dazzling extremely white as no launderer on earth could whiten them. Elijah appeared to them with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus.
Then Peter said to Jesus, "Rabbi, it is good for us to be here! Let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah" -because he did not know what he should say, since they were terrified.
A cloud appeared, overshadowing them, and a voice came from the cloud:
This is My beloved Son; listen to Him!
Then suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus alone.
Mark 9:2-8
Oh, Peter...quick to speak, Peter.
First, he spoke the obvious...to Jesus, even.
Then, he continued to speak and removed all doubt that he totally missed the point of this awesome encounter.
I've been there...done that.  I can relate.
I sat there Sunday morning, either hearing the message for the first time in such a way, or finally understanding it so that it sunk in and took up residence in my brain.  Either way, I am thankful for PB's faithfulness in preaching God's Truth to us.
I always wondered why Moses? why Elijah?  Out of all the OT peeps was it these two?
Here's the point Peter and I were missing...
Moses represents the Law.
Elijah represents the Prophets.
The Law & the Prophets both pointed toward the glory of God in the OT...to a Messiah yet to come.
Their presence together here, with Christ, points to the Glory of God, too.  Peter spoke out of line when he suggested building three tabernacles, one for each of them.  He was equating Moses, Elijah, and Jesus...giving them equal rights to glory.  God, alone, deserves glory.  God's glory is not to be shared with any one or any thing.
I sat there listening and thinking of the passage in Exodus we had just discussed an hour earlier in Sunday School.  The lesson covered Exodus 32, the time when Moses was on top of the mountain receiving the 10 Commandments and Aaron, down below with the people, gathered gold, threw it into a fire and *poof* out came a golden calf. {PB also covered this passage in his message, too...God moment! :)}  He shared the glory due to God with a man-made, golden image.
In SS, I had shared that I can relate to Aaron's failure at leading his people in giving God all the glory.  He should have been helping them choose to wait and see how God was working, being faithful in serving the one, true God.  Instead, he gave them an idol to worship.  He lead them to share God's glory with an image.  I do that with my own children at times.  My life's choices sometimes share the message that something or someone else is deserving of some of the glory that should only be reserved for God.  My choices send a message to my children, just like Aaron's did to the people of Israel.
So, Peter, I feel your pain of the moment.  I miss the mark at times, too.  I am convicted of not always giving God first place. (Hmmm...where have I heard that before?)  God's glory should be guarded in my life, so that my children and others see and hear the message of God loud and clear.  People and things are important, but they are not to be recipients of shared glory, but rather avenues for God's glory to be revealed.
It was good to be there Sunday morning!

2 comments:

  1. Wow, sounds like that was a very enlightening sermon. I never knew when Peter suggested Moses and Elija they were representing the law and the prophets. Never thought about that, but how it makes sense.

    I love the quote, too, at the beginning. Better to be quiet than to speak because you just don't know what the other person is thinking...which I tend to do. Thank you for this post!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Janet, what words of wisdom - I, too, can be a Peter or even an Aaron...speaking too soon, giving the impression that other things are more important...oh, too often I fail, and how grateful I am for His grace!
    btw, Never knew that about Moses and Elijah. Interesting.

    ReplyDelete