Big Idea: What do you when your beliefs don’t match up with your experience? Listen to Jesus. (inductive)
Purpose: To listen to Jesus in our present circumstances, even though his glory is hidden
Introduction: Sometimes I think there ought to be a warning sign on the doors of churches, saying: “Warning: This church may cause a crisis in your life.”
Not because of its faults; because it describes a world which we believe is true, but doesn’t always match up with our experience.
- we believe: more than conquerors; same power that raised Jesus from the dead lives within us; power of prayer
- reality: kids with learning disabilities; problems at work; more questions than answers; never ending procession of meals to be cooked, clothes to wash, and things that break down
Transition: What do you do when your beliefs don’t match up with your experience? That’s exactly what happened to Peter in the passage we’re going to look at today.
1. There are times that we have great clarity about what we believe (18-20)
During Jesus’ ministry, Peter was never in better form theologically.
2. That clarity can create a crisis for us (21-27)
What Jesus said didn’t match up with what Peter expected from the Messiah. Their theology had no place for a suffering and dying Messiah.
What we believe is often hidden by suffering.
3. The Kingdom is real even when we experience this crisis (28-32)
28-32 – changed; Moses (old covenant, restoration, prophetic office; prototype of Jesus) and Elijah (last days)
a revelation of the glory of God; confirmation of his teaching; beneficial experience for his disciples, who were discouraged
Peter saw Jesus’ glory – a reminder and a preview. There is more!
4. Because we won’t always see the Kingdom, we must listen to Jesus (33-35)
Mistake: Peter wanted to preserve the experience (Feast of Shelters, to be observed in the Messianic kingdom)
What you see may disappear.
The truth you know on the mountaintop is still truth even in the valley.
Returned to reality: would rather spend time in the mountain. But the two go together: mountain-top experiences and shrieking, stubborn demons. We would rather spend time on the mountain than trudge along with the disciples.
Christianity doesn’t deny the glory of Christ and His Kingdom, and it doesn’t deny suffering; the way to glory is through suffering.
It’s nice when the veil is drawn back, and we see His glory, but that isn’t our everyday experience.
Listen to Jesus, because what you hear from him is more real than what you see.
When you return to reality, and his glory is hidden, listen to him. His words are true, even when his glory is hidden.