The Nature of Jesus
Luke 9:28-48 is fascinating. Firstly, the glory of Jesus is revealed to Peter, James and John on the Mount of Transfiguration. Jesus was seen shining brilliant white. Moses and Elijah, who represent the law and the prophets, are speaking of Jesus’s future departure. This is very appropriate, as he had come to fulfil both the law and the prophets. God Himself then affirms His Son and tells them to “listen to him”, but Peter just wanted to stay in that place. Peter is so like us. We often want to stay in the place of blessing, on the mountain top, but we must move on, even when the path ahead seems difficult.
Next, we see Jesus was frustrated with his disciples because of their lack of faith when they were unable to cast a demon out of a young lad. “How long am I to be with you and bear with you?”
This is not the picture of Jesus that we like to think of. We like to think of ‘gentle Jesus meek and mild’, but he was a strong man who knew his destiny, and knew his purpose and was not going to be dissuaded from it. Jesus then reaffirmed to his disciples in the strongest possible terms “Let these words sink into your ears: The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men.”
They still didn’t understand! Soon afterwards they started arguing about who would be the greatest. I can’t imagine the exasperation and disappointment that Jesus must have felt. He knew he was going to suffer and die. These were to be his last few days with his disciples and he wanted to impart some things to them. He had shown them that twice, yet they could only think of who was going to be the greatest…
Put yourself in Jesus’s position. Imagine you had only days to live and you had spent the last three years pouring yourself into your successors, yet they could only think of their own selfish interests. This spirit of self, of competition for the top position, is so often a feature of us as humans, but Jesus showed himself to be selfless. He showed, in a child, how we were to be.
Jesus is the greatest, yet he became small, confined to human form. We are human, we are small, but we want to be great.
Jesus showed us in words and action, the path to true greatness is to be the least, to be small.
Only a fool would trade the temporal acclaim of man, for the eternal acclaim of God.
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