Matthew 17:9 – Matthew 16:13*
*The reference is backwards because this passage maybe clearer when starting with the climax

Have you enjoyed reflecting back on a mountain top experience?  I wonder if Peter, James and John processed the glorious experience so that it affected their normal life? The glorious starts as Jesus takes Peter, James and John to the top of a mountain and is transformed as He will appear as the glorious Son of Man.  His face was bright as the sun and His garments became white as light.  Jesus spoke to Moses and Elijah about His upcoming death and resurrection (Luke 9: 28-36).  Peter wants to build shelters for them (I presume) to make this glorious event permanent, but God the Father interrupts him, telling them to listen to His Son!  How should you respond?

Listen to Jesus!  If you want to follow Jesus, you must deny your desires – lose your own life to save it.  Shelters for Moses and Elijah will not fulfill the disciple’s life. Material possessions will not bring you a fulfilled life either.  To deny your self – to take up your cross – you must follow the Savior’s plan.  You may want to force the Kingdom of God to be restored NOW.  And Jesus may then tell you, “get behind me, Satan.”  Set your mind on God’s interests, not yours.  Jesus’ death on the cross had to happen to save all of us.  We are all lost and need to repent, so pick up your cross. Normal daily life becomes painful sometimes, even following Jesus.

You may have a mountain top experience with God. But what is then the first step of responding to Him?  Each of us must answer Jesus’ question:  “who do you say I am?”  Is Jesus only a good man or a great teacher?  Each of us must respond to His question like Peter, “You are the Christ the Son of the living God.”  Your answer could range from normal to glorious. But even normal or glorious, God pursues you where ever you are.

Where are you?
Answer His question “Who do you say that I am?”
Submit to His plan which puts Him first.
Lose your life to gain a greater life following Him.
Look forward to the glory of your resurrected body shining like the sun.

by Steve Sagué, Elder

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