Luke 9:28-36, (37-43a)
9:28 Now about eight days after these sayings Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray.
9:29 And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white.
9:30 Suddenly they saw two men, Moses and Elijah, talking to him.
9:31 They appeared in glory and were speaking of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.
9:32 Now Peter and his companions were weighed down with sleep; but since they had stayed awake, they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him.
9:33 Just as they were leaving him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah” — not knowing what he said.
9:34 While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were terrified as they entered the cloud.
9:35 Then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!”
9:36 When the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and in those days told no one any of the things they had seen.
9:37 On the next day, when they had come down from the mountain, a great crowd met him.
9:38 Just then a man from the crowd shouted, “Teacher, I beg you to look at my son; he is my only child.
9:39 Suddenly a spirit seizes him, and all at once he shrieks. It convulses him until he foams at the mouth; it mauls him and will scarcely leave him.
9:40 I begged your disciples to cast it out, but they could not.”
9:41 Jesus answered, “You faithless and perverse generation, how much longer must I be with you and bear with you? Bring your son here.”
9:42 While he was coming, the demon dashed him to the ground in convulsions. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, healed the boy, and gave him back to his father.
9:43a And all were astounded at the greatness of God.
Sometimes regardless of how many miracles we witness, our faith still needs to be tested and strengthened. The disciples experienced first hand the awesome power and Glory of God being put to work right before their very eyes. They were even audibly told that Jesus is truly God’s son. The transfiguration was a moment in which the disciples could fully see God at work and that Jesus was truly the God-man that was sent to this earth to spread the news of the Gospel.
However, despite how many times the disciples were exposed to it they still lacked faith in moving past just simply acknowledging that Jesus was the son of God. It was an action-less based faith. They would hear, see and understand but they had a hard time putting that into action. This is a struggle that we all face and it is something that can cause us to loose sight over who is truly in charge at shaping and moulding our faith. The disciples were God’s chosen vessels to do His work and He equipped them to do it. They were struggling with the fact that they had God’s strength to rely on. Our faith does not come from our own abilities, it derives from taking what God has equipped us to do and stepping out in faith, trusting that God will lead and guide us.
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. (Mark 11:24 )
It is interesting that the disciples were willing to make dwellings for Moses and Elijah. How long did they think they would be up on that mountain? What did they expect would happen while up there? It is something we might never know. Based on Jewish beliefs though, it is clear that the disciples would have believed that this moment was the moment when the true Messiah would take power and conquer all of Israel’s foes and setup an eternal kingdom.
However, this is not at all what happened. Rather, God spoke to them instructing them to “listen to him!” Perhaps they needed to be told that there was work yet to be done. That same truth should be a warning for us today. Whenever we think the Lord is returning and how that return happens is irrelevant. Jesus says to us,
Open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest (John 4:34)
Let us focus ourselves on doing the work of God, not working about whether or not revelation is pre-trib, post-trib, A-trib, or no-trib. Instead, let us continue the work of Jesus and be found faithful when He does return.