Wednesday, August 13, 2008

What is real?

Jesus was always going up into the mountains to pray. He went there so He could be alone and talk with God. One day, however, He took Peter, John and James along with Him.

I‘m sure they were thrilled to be able to go with Jesus to pray. Can you imagine the feelings and excitement they must have felt as they walked up to that special place where they would get to see and hear Jesus talking to God? Not only were they chosen to accompany Him on the journey up the mountain, but they were also going to be able to participate in the moment. They must have thought, “What a day this will be!”

It must have been a long trip up the mountain, because when they arrived at the place where Jesus intended to pray, Peter, James and John fell asleep. In fact, they almost missed the whole entire event. While they were asleep, Jesus began praying. Luke 9:29-31 reads, As He prayed, the appearance of His face was altered, and His robe became white and glistening. And behold, two men talked with Him, who were Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of His decease which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.

Jesus was in the presence of Moses and Elijah, talking with them about His fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. His face became different, His robe lit up, and Peter, James and John slept. However, something stirred them.

As they became fully awake, they saw Moses and Elijah talking to Jesus, and also saw Jesus in His full glory. They were then allowed into a cloud in which they heard the voice of God. They must have been speechless to encounter the true power of Almighty God.

However, Luke 9 tells us that as soon as God spoke, suddenly they were alone with Jesus. There was no more shining robe, no Moses or Elijah to talk with, no thundering voice from heaven. Once again, it was just the three of them and Jesus. Many thoughts probably rushed through their minds. “Did it really happen?” “Was it a dream from their heavy sleep?”

I read an article on Monday about the Olympic opening ceremony fireworks. Apparently the fireworks show that was seen in Beijing was a little different than the one seen on our television screens. Some of the fireworks on television were faked. They were computer generated.

A good number of people are upset that they believed the display to be true. However, some are not upset at all. They enjoyed it whether some of it was fake or not. They are not upset, because they appreciate the effort that went into the display, whether it was the real thing or generated by computer.

Make no mistake, Jesus’ light show on the mountain with Peter, James and John was real. It was no dream or group psychosis. It really happened. There was nothing fake about it. However, what if it had been a dream? Couldn’t that dream be used of God to strengthen their belief?
Sometimes the question is not whether an experience is real or not. Sometimes the better question is what can we learn from it? What is God trying to show me through this real event, dream, or emotion?

What is happening in your life that seems unreal? Instead of trying to take it apart and analyze it, try trusting God for the faith to understand it. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you just as He did that glorious day on the mountain to Peter, James and John. He will relish the opportunity for you to know Him better.

The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law. Deuteronomy 29:29

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