Luke 9:28-36, (37-43a)
Now about eight days after these sayings Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly they saw two men, Moses and Elijah, talking to him. They appeared in glory and were speaking of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.
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. 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. While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were terrified as they entered the cloud.
Then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!” 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. On the next day, when they had come down from the mountain, a great crowd met him.
Just then a man from the crowd shouted, “Teacher, I beg you to look at my son; he is my only child. 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. I begged your disciples to cast it out, but they could not.”
Jesus answered, “You faithless and perverse generation, how much longer must I be with you and bear with you? Bring your son here.” 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. And all were astounded at the greatness of God.
Stories from the book of Acts and other church histories give me reason to revere the disciples. Peter, the one upon whom the church is built. James and John who left their father to follow Jesus and constantly were part of his inner circle. These are the leaders of the 12 who would go on to lead the people of the Way to what we practice and celebrate today as Christian faith. Stalwarts really…examples to be followed. But before the history captured in Acts, we are reminded that these men were fully human, and sometimes, just like me, clueless to what Jesus expects from me.
The three had just been on the mountain with Jesus. They experienced the Transfiguration. They saw Moses and Elijah. They heard the voice of God. The very next day a man approaches Jesus asking for help for his son, lamenting that the disciples couldn’t do anything. Jesus was left to bear the work the disciples were called to do. They were clueless, just one day after hearing the voice of God, seeing Elijah and Moses, and not telling anyone about it.
They weren’t perfect in their faith. You and I don’t have to be either. We just need to be faithful.
This week’s devotion is brought to you by Campbell University’s Center for Church & Community.