Happy SNOW DAY! If you’re hunkered down this snowy Monday with no place to go, take a moment to rewind to Matthew 17 and reflect on last Sabbath’s teaching from the Mount of Transfiguration.
Rewind to Matthew 17:1-5. Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem to die. Six days after Peter’s confession that Jesus was the Messiah (see 16:15, 16; 17:1), Jesus, like Moses before Him, (Ex. 24:9, 10) climbed a mountain with His companions to meet with God.
“His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light” (Mt. 17:2). This glory was a reenactment of how Moses’ face shone after meeting with God on Mt. Sinai (Ex. 34:29-35). The Moses and Elijah appeared talking with Jesus, representing the law and the prophets.
Peter wanted to honor all three with shelters for them to abide in. But God intervenes. “While he was going on like this, babbling, a light-radiant cloud enveloped them, and sounding from deep in the cloud a voice: “This is my Son, marked by my love, focus of my delight. Listen to him” (17:5, Message).
Peter’s eyes were focused on all three, but God didn’t want their eyes on anyone but Jesus. He wanted them to know that Jesus was enough!
So, first God comes in a cloud—like He did on Mt. Sinai. Then He let His voice be heard. Why? “The Lord said to Moses, ‘I am going to come to you in a dense cloud, so that the people will hear me speaking with you and will always put their trust in you.’” (Ex. 19:9) God comes to His Son in a cloud and allowed the disciples to hear Him speaking to Jesus so that they would always put their trust in Him.
“When the disciples heard it, they fell flat on their faces, scared to death. But Jesus came over and touched them. “Don’t be afraid.” When they opened their eyes and looked around all they saw was Jesus, only Jesus.” (Matt. 17:6-8, Message)
All they saw was Jesus, just Jesus. And God had said, He is enough. Listen to Him. Is He enough for you today? Not Jesus and your works; not Jesus and your ideas of what you think you need to be happy; not Jesus and the voices in your head telling you that you can’t do this, that you’ll never be good enough, never get victory, never be the person God created you to be. Just Jesus. Listen to Him!
Why listen to Jesus? Because religion is not righteousness and righteousness comes only from Jesus, Just Jesus. It is when you hear and include Him that “justice will roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” (Amos 5:24)
At the bottom of the mountain the voices of the skeptic, the church, the desperate and the devil, all merged together in a hellish symphony of confusion. The reason God wanted the disciples to see only Jesus on the mountain, is because they needed to see that only Jesus was the answer to the chaos in the world. And I believe He’s still the only answer for the chaos of our lives today. The skeptic and the religionist and the desperate need to see nobody but Jesus. Are they seeing Him in us?
The secret to life, happiness, and the peace of God is Jesus, just Jesus, in you, the hope of glory. (See. Col. 1:26, 27.) And it is this hope that we believe God wants us to offer publicly this spring.
April 14-21 we will present a series of evangelistic meetings that will present Jesus as the hope of the world. For seven nights we will invite the public, former and inactive members, and seekers to reexamine the claims and ministry of Christ with new eyes. Please pray now for who God wants you to invite to these meetings.
Why do we feel God wants us to do this? Because there are people in this world, like the father at the bottom of the mountain (Matt. 17:14-16) who are fed up with the games religious people play—the lack of caring and compassion from the teachers of the law on the one hand, and the infighting and lack of power from the disciples on the other. All he wants to do is get to Jesus, Just Jesus. He’s leaving his “religion” and desperately seeking to believe something new.
What’s the “something new” the father and many people around us crave today? I believe it’s Jesus. He said Himself, “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.” (John 12:32)
We want people to find Jesus again; to leave the baggage of hurt and disappointment behind and behold only Jesus—the One of whom God said, “This is my Son, marked by my love, focus of my delight. Listen to him.” And if they listen to Him and believe, they will find deliverance, forgiveness, healing, rest, rescue, new life, and belonging.
That is what these meetings in April will be all about. Jesus, Just Jesus. And it will take all of us working and praying together to lift Him up so He can draw all people to Himself. Will you devote yourself to prayer and allowing Jesus to be seen in you?—Pastor Randy
p.s. What can you do to help prepare for these meetings?
- Join in a daily noon-time prayer chain in support of these meetings and the souls God will reach through them. Set an alarm and pause at noon every day to pray for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit on us and the people who will receive the invitation.
- We will need volunteers in a number of areas. Let the Pastor or Jane or one of the elders know where you’d like to serve.
- We need to raise approximately $2,000 to supplement our evangelism budget so we can purchase children’s materials, food, literature, and promotional materials for this campaign. Just mark the tithe envelope “Spring Evangelism” and enclose any amount to help us achieve our goal.