Jesus promised His disciples that some would soon “see the kingdom of God after it has come with power.” Six days later “He was transfigured before them.” Suddenly Elijah and Moses were with Jesus who was shining in glorious splendor. As Peter, James, and John were given a glimpse of heavenly light, the Father spoke these words from above: “This is My beloved Son; listen to Him.”
What was the message from Jesus that they needed to hear, and did they comprehend it? The men who were going to be the leaders of the Christian church at its inception were unable to make sense of the phrase “risen from the dead.” They knew the sorrows of life under the sun, but they could not imagine a far better world that God would establish. Like the desperate man they soon encountered after their time alone with the Lord, they could have rightly said to their Master, “I believe; help my unbelief!”
Jesus again proclaimed the central facts of history. “The Son of Man” was going to suffer, and “when He is killed, after three days He will rise.” Their reaction? “They did not understand.”
We face our own doubts and unbelief as we wait for the fullness of the promise of God. We struggle for recognition and are perplexed by persecution. Our King has given us simple directives for perseverance. First, some evils will not be “driven out with anything but prayer.” Second, the “greatest” must be the “servant of all.” Third, don’t make unnecessary adversaries, since “the one who is not against us is for us.” Fourth, get rid of anything that “causes you to sin.” Finally, when we feel the refining “fire” of God’s loving discipline, remember that we have the “salt” of the Lord’s grace preserving us through trials. Attending to these truths will help us to “be at peace with one another” as we await a new life of unspeakable blessing.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Majestic God, You will cause us to be known in our resurrection bodies on the day Jesus returns. We long for the radiance of that final hour, for the departed will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. We do not see this all now, but we gaze upon our risen Lord with the eyes of faith. The Messiah has suffered many things, as was written of Him in the Scriptures. When He renews the earth, He will not be troubled in any way, but will reign in glory. The healing You have for Your church will be full and glorious, but the judgment upon the world will be overwhelming. We believe; help our unbelief. Teach us to trust in the power and kindness of Your Son. Make Your people more knowledgeable of our future life, that we might speak the truth in comfort to those who are in the most extreme need today. Our Savior died and rose from the dead. We will not seek any longer to be the greatest in the view of our neighbors, but we will devote ourselves to serving others. We belong to Christ. Give us His love for the young and the helpless. He had abundant mercy on Your chosen flock when we were lost. Grant us hope concerning the coming of His Kingdom, and may we live at peace with each other.