Before my knee problems started, I would travel to different parts of the world to scale mountains because I loved to take in the spectacular views, and the sense of freedom I felt. However, these days I usually choose somewhere by water, since I find it calming and refreshing at the same time. I grew up in Australia by the sea, and as a child found myself on many occasions walking totally alone to enjoy an empty beach in the coolness of the changing seasons.
Now, in my senior years, I live by the sea once again and I just love the feeling of the deep serenity that an empty beach brings. When it is just me and the sea birds, the sand, and the vast sea, I feel alive and very close to God. Also, near where I live there is a river, and I often walk up the wooded path alongside the fresh bubbling water coming off the Welsh mountains. For me, the sound of moving water is like nature singing thanksgiving to God – beautiful! Nature is wondrously delightful, which reflects the love and nature of God. And what about you? do you feel a sense of wonder when you see a beautiful sunset, or snow-capped mountains, or even a great building? The next time you are out about, try to see God’s handiwork everywhere- even in the eyes of others, this can bring you such joy. All these wonders of nature can help to clear your head and bring peace to your soul.
Romans 1: 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
To show his disciples something special, Jesus took them up on a mountain. That would seem remarkable enough. The view from the mountain would have been glorious. Jesus wanted to lead them forward into a brave new world, and he needed them to be willing to be led and guided. Jesus had a particular purpose in mind on this mountain visit. He took his disciples to this remote place on the mountain to pray – or that is what they thought, and they could never had imagined the wonders that awaited them.
On that mountain, Jesus wanted to give them something more than a spectacular view of the landscape- he wanted to give them a glimpse of God. So as Jesus prayed, the disciples watched his face change in appearance. His clothing changed as well, they became white and dazzling (v. 29). Then to add to the spectacle, two great men of Israel’s past Moses and Elijah, popped in to visit and joined in with the illumination. Startled, the disciples then found themselves in a mist when a cloud suddenly descended. If there was television around in those days, they would have thought that they were in the middle of a science fiction-fantasy movie. But that is not all, it got weirder by the minute.
Coming from the cloud, a voice spoke. The voice declared “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him! (v. 35). Wow, that was a real clear-cut announcement, no wriggle room there! It was then that the disciples realised that the purpose of this visit was not to simply pray. The deeper purpose, however, was that Jesus wanted to give them a memorable glimpse of his glory so they could be confident in his leading into future. Prayer prepared their hearts and focused their minds on God.
Prayer opened their minds and heart to what was to be subsequently revealed. We don’t know how long they were praying, it might have been hours or minutes, however, the point is that Jesus wanted to get through to them that he was something more than just a great leader, like King David. He was more than just like God- he in fact, wanted them to know that he was Gods’ reflective glory (Son), in other words- he is the manifestation of God on earth- this is the only one true God who would lead them in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake, then eventually, they would take that Name to the world.
However, we know from the scripture readings to follow, that it seemed that the disciples were not geared up for that task because following events were turning out quite different from what they expected. The disciples anticipated that Jesus would apply a predictable strategy, like forming an army to defeat and push the Romans out of their land. The disciples must learn that Jesus was more than a good teacher or a political figure, and their role would be pivotal in building the new kingdom. However, they would not fully grasp the meaning of Jesus’ life and death until after the resurrection (John 20: 6-9).
Nonetheless, the experience on the mountain started to prepare them to be led, so they could lead in turn. It was a seed planted in the disciple’s hearts and would grow and blossom in due time. Have you ever had an experience like that? Some people have – I have. I have heard people talk about their dramatic experience when they were headed in the wrong direction, and suddenly without warning came face to face with God, which turned their lives around.
How has God turned you life around. May be your seeking to have your live turned around- you wont be disappointed giving your life to Christ to put God in the driving seat.
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