1. And, as it turned out, just six days later the first three of them actually did, indeed, see that glory, just as Jesus had prophesied. The way that it happened was this: With no warning to them of what was about to occur, or any explanation at all, for that matter, Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John, his brother, and led them up on a high mountain by themselves.
2. And once they had reached the top, almost immediately His appearance began to undergo a complete metamorphosis, right before their very eyes! His visage seemed to literally change from the inside out, causing His face to shine with the intense, blinding light of the sun! Even His clothing began to morph into a surrounding aura that was as white as light!
3. And as this supernatural light continued to emanate and radiate from every part of Him, it seemed to burn off some kind of layer or membrane, which then allowed the disciples to suddenly and literally see into another dimension…and what they saw was two men standing right there with Jesus, holding a conversation with Him. And somehow, inexplicably, they just knew that the two men were Moses and Elijah! They had obviously never seen them before, since both men had lived on the earth centuries before this…and yet, as these two Prophets continued to commune with Jesus, the disciples not only recognized them, they were totally comfortable in their presence…not at all alarmed or surprised that they were seeing living people from another time and era right there on the mountain…in the now!
4. Then Peter, always the first to speak up, regardless of whether or not it was appropriate, said to Jesus, “Lord, this is an amazing and unforgettable moment in time! If You approve, I’d like to put up three booths right here…to build three memorials…one for You and one for Moses and one for Elijah!”
5. But while he babbled on about this notion of memorializing the moment with mere mementos, a shining cloud, completely composed of transcendent light just emerged and sort of overshadowed all of them. And a deep, thunderous voice from within the cloud began to speak, saying, “This is My Son…My Beloved, with Whom I am and have always been delighted! Listen to Him!”
6. And even though the disciples hadn’t been startled by Jesus’ trans-figuration, or the appearance of two people from the distant past whom they had considered long dead, for some reason, when they heard this voice, they fell flat on their faces in fear.
7. But Jesus, now back in His normal, physical form, came and touched them and said, “All right…get up. Stop being so afraid of these things.”
8. And when they opened their eyes and looked around, they not only saw that Jesus was no longer in an altered state, they realized that He wasn’t accompanied by the other two men any longer.
9. So they got up and descended the mountain in somewhat of an awkward silence, which was finally broken when Jesus spoke up and said, “Look, I don’t want you to say anything at all about what just happened here on this mountain to anyone…at least not until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”
10. The disciples then asked Him, “Why do the religious scholars say that Elijah must come first?”
11. He replied, “Well, they’re right about that…Elijah is, in fact, the one who is supposed to come first and get everything restored and ready.
12 But what they don’t grasp is that Elijah actually has come already…they just didn’t know or recognize him when he came. So, seeing him only with natural eyes, they did to him in the flesh what flesh-minded and flesh-limited people would naturally do. And what I’ve been trying to get you to understand is that they are going to treat the Son of Man exactly the same way.”
13. Then, in a rare and short-lived moment of insight, the disciples understood that He was really speaking to them about John, the Forerunner.
14. As was typical for Jesus and His disciples by this point, a crowd of needy people was waiting for them at the foot of the mountain. As they approached the throng, a man came up to Him, fell on his knees before Him, and began to beg, saying,
15. “Lord, please have mercy on my son! He has a terrible condition that causes severe, epileptic-type seizures which manifest, frequently…and when they do, he becomes suicidal, and tries to find relief by ending his life. He has burns all over his body because he has run into an open fire on several occasions, and many other times he has attempted to drown himself!”
16. Previously, I brought him to Your disciples to see if they could help him, but they weren’t able to do a thing for him.
17. In extreme frustration, Jesus answered, “Oh, you unbelieving, clueless, and backward generation! How long am I supposed to demonstrate dominion before you? How many miracles is it going to take before you realize the power that you already have?! Bring him here to Me.”
18. Then He addressed the boy’s condition as a rebel or demonic spirit, and evicted it from his ravaged body. As soon as it was expelled, the young man who had been so tormented was made instantly well, both mentally and physically.
19. Later, when the disciples had Jesus off to themselves, they asked Him, "So, why couldn't any of us, no matter how hard we tried, do for Him what You so easily did?”
20. He said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith…because you force your faith to remain in tiny seed-form. The truth is, if you have faith that is like a seed…say, like a grain of mustard…all the faith that you’ll ever need is already resident within that small, insignificant thing. If you just allow the seed to grow and mature, and stop striving with it…stop trying to make things happen in the flesh…that seed will naturally and organically produce after its kind. Just trust the nature of the seed! As the grain of mustard doesn’t try to grow into a tree, but rather lets the growth process take its course in its time, you have the seed-potential to say to this mountain from which we have just descended, “Move!”, and that mountain would move! It’s already all inside you. Seriously, if you can embrace this concept, nothing at all will be impossible to you!”
21 – (Verse 21 doesn’t exist in any original manuscripts.)
22. As they were regrouping in Galilee, Jesus said to them, "Listen, you don’t seem to be comprehending this yet, but I’m telling you again that the Son of Man is about to be betrayed and turned over into the hands of carnal men.
23. You need to prepare yourself for this, and accept the fact that they will murder Him…but you also need to prepare yourself for the other part of this scenario…as I’ve told you, three days later He will be raised alive!" This time it began to sink in with the disciples a little more, and, even though they couldn’t fully accept it, they believed it enough to feel horrible about it.
24. When they arrived in Capernaum, the tax men came to Peter and asked, "Does your teacher pay taxes?"
25. Peter replied, "Yes, I’m sure that He does.” But as soon as they were in the house together, Jesus confronted him, saying. "Simon, what do you think? When a king levies taxes, who pays…his children or his subjects?"
26. He answered, “His subjects, of course.” Jesus said, "Then the children are tax-exempt, right?
27. But so that we don't upset them needlessly, go down to the lake, cast in a hook, and pull in the first fish that bites. Open its mouth, and in it you’ll find the required tax money. Take it then and give it to the collectors to pay what is owed, according to their system, by both you and Me.”
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
All right...I guess it doesn't take any extra time to just post this with no editing and no pictures, so here it is...peace!