Jump Start # 2999
Matthew 17:4 “And Peter answered and said to Jesus, ‘Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, I will make three tabernacles here, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.’”
Our passage today comes from the amazing transfiguration of Jesus. Moses and Elijah appear. The Father speaks. The scene causes great fear upon the three disciples who witness this. Jesus is shown in His glory. In essence, He is showing what God looks like. Bright. Glorified. Gleaming.
In our verse, Peter offers to build three tabernacles. By doing this, he was making Jesus equal to Moses and Elijah and making Moses and Elijah equal to Jesus. They all get the same. Equal. No one is better than the others. But this wasn’t the case. Jesus was superior. The Father said, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; hear Him.” Not, hear THEM.
Our Peter got many things messed up and sideways that day. He was trying, but he just wasn’t right. But there is one thing that he said that was right, “It is good for us to be here.” It was. John would later say, “We beheld His glory.”
It is good for us to be here. Let’s consider that statement.
First, it is good for us to be here on the planet. This world would really be dark if there were no Christians. Yes, we are outnumbered. Yes, evil prevails. But all over this planet are those who refuse to bow to Satan and they hold the Lord in honor. Throughout this world, on Sundays, God’s people gather. Prayers are lifted upward. God’s word is preached. Souls are saved. Lives are changed. Serving and sharing takes place. Yes, it is good that we are here. We are making a difference.
Second, it is good for you to be in your family. Now, your family may be dysfunctional, broken and mess and you may wish that you had another family, but those people need you. They need to see Jesus. They need to see what Christianity looks like outside a church building. They need to see Christianity in attitudes, in right speech, in choices. They need to see hope. They need to see forgiveness and grace. They need to see unselfish serving. They’ve seen the other side of things. In fact, that’s where many of them dwell. They live in selfishness and arrogance. They live with misery, complaining and negativism. They gossip about others. Their minds are in a gutter. They watch endless TV shows that are not fit for pigs. They do as little as possible. That’s their world. And, you, you show them the other side. It is good for you to be there. It might be stressful. It might get on your nerves. There are days that you are ready to scream at them, but you don’t. They need you, even if they don’t realize it. It is good for you to be there.
Third, your school and place of work really needs you. This both can be the worst toxic dump of attitudes, sinfulness and indifference. In the summer, between college I worked for a landscaper. Predominately we mowed the yards in apartment complexes. The name of the company was “Pro-Care.” The motto was, “Professional care by professionals who care.” That was the official motto. The workers had their own motto. It was, “Professional care by professionals who careless.” And, many of the workers demonstrated that. I saw one guy run his mower purposely over a leaf rake so it would mess the mower up. He called the boss. He went home. I saw others sitting behind the apartment buildings smoking dope. And, all these years later, the work force hasn’t improved. Far too many offices have allowed a bully to run the place. The bully is loud and demanding. The bully bends the rules and does whatever the bully feels like. For the Christian, it’s hard to go to work. School isn’t much different. Classes are being taught that the students have very little interest in. So, they play around. They talk about others. They make fun of those who are not like them. School can be hostile and destructive to one’s self esteem. Yet, as Peter said, “It is good for us to be here.” They need to see different. They need to see someone standing up for the underdog. They need to see quality work. They need to see Christ. It is good for you to be there.
Fourth, your congregation needs you. It is really good that you are there. Someone who brings their Bible, takes interest and engages and connects with others. Someone who sings to the Lord. Someone who loves worship and loves to honor the Lord. Your smile. Your presence. Your involvement. It is an encouragement to others. It helps others. It reminds others. It is good for us to be here.
Someday, we won’t be here. We’ll finish school. We’ll take another job or retire. Eventually, we’ll move to the next room in God’s house and our presence and our example will no longer be seen. What will the work place look like without you? What will the family look like without you? What will the congregation look like without you?
It is good for us to be here. That’s one thing Peter got right that day!