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Seeking to equip people to live as Christian disciples wherever God has placed them.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

“Jesus’ Touch”

Matt. 17:1-8

Jesus takes Peter, James and John with him up the Mount of Transfiguration.  Throughout the Old Testament mountains are special places of revelation.  Moses receives the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai.  Elijah calls down fire from heaven on Mount Carmel.  The disciples on this mountain see two amazing sights.  The first is Jesus in his glory.  His face shines like the sun and his clothes are dazzling white.  The second amazing thing is that they see Moses and Elijah alongside Jesus, talking with him.

Peter once again interjects his own thoughts into the proceedings.  He begins by saying that it is good for them to be there.  That is certainly true.  However, his next suggestion misses the mark.  He personally (never mind the other two disciples) will make tents for Moses, Elijah and Jesus.  Peter here is thinking about religion, humanity’s own attempts to find and worship God.  Jesus however represents revelation.  Even as Peter is speaking he is interrupted by the voice of God saying, “This is my Son, the Beloved, with him I am well pleased; listen to him!”  As important as the law (Moses) and the prophets (Elijah) are they cannot equal Jesus.  He alone fully reveals the Father.  He is, as we have seen, the One who desires mercy, not sacrifice (law) (Matt. 12:7).

There are no trivial or ordinary encounters with Jesus.  The disciples fall to the ground overcome with fear.  Jesus then comes and touches them.  To be touched by Jesus, to encounter him in some direct way, is the greatest experience we could ever have.  Jesus then gives this gentle command, “Get up, and do not be afraid.”

In Jesus there is no fear.

Merciful and loving God and Savior, correct me when my thoughts are not your thoughts.  Touch me and take away my fear.  I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.