In Matthew 17:1-13, during the transfiguration Jesus took His inner circle loyal friends: Peter, James and John, up to the mountain top to reveal His forthcoming Glory with Moses and Elijah. Jesus wanted to confirm His True Identity as Messiah to let them see He was above Moses, a great prophet of God, who led them out of physical bondage from Egypt and gave them the law on Mount Sinai. Elijah also led them out of spiritual bondage and restored them to God on Mount Carmel but their work was not enough to save them eternally. Peter was so carried away in the supernatural realm in the moment on the mountain top, he wanted to settle down to build 3 tabernacles to remain there. However, The Unique Heavenly Tabernacles, Treasures, Gems and Streets of Gold cannot compare with any beautiful buildings on earth. For they are beyond description, so like the tower of babel cannot compete with God. So Jesus reminded Peter there is no need to preserve a temporary moment in eternity for the heavenly mansions are already prepared by Jesus for the saved elect. So it is not necessary for churches to dwell more on size, or beauty of physical structural constructions of bricks and mortar, for vain display of prosperity, wealth, riches as designed Temples in the Name of God.
Peter is to build up sacred spiritual temple of souls, than cause burden of pressure from debt they could not afford. For instead of focussing more on soul winning, ministering to members for salvation and spiritual restoration, it turns attention to keeping up with the Joneses. Jesus had to bring Peter back to reality by reminding him of the priority of his calling, not to fixate on physical material needs or past laurels but urgently see the salvation fields ready for harvesting of souls for the end time is near. In Matthew 16:13-20, Jesus checked to see if His disciples recognise His Great Work by asking them, ‘Who do men say I am’ They said some thought Christ was Elijah, Jeremiah, John the Baptist or other prophets. Jesus knew they heard other’s opinions about Him including that of his depressed cousin, John the Baptist. John, in his lowest moments of trials and temptations that he brought upon himself, was in the valley of the shadow of death so sent to ask, if Jesus was the Real Messiah or they should look for another. John who prepared the way for Jesus’ ministry is worrying so much he became anxious and depressed.
John wanted Jesus to rescue him for his mistake of casting pearls before swine for judging and not minding his own business. Herod did not fear God, his brother, or listen to his own conscience. Jesus’ ministry would be short-lived if He joined John in similar predicament. Other Christians could pray for John like others did in Acts 16:16-40 so John could sing Praises like Peter and Silas worshipped God in the midnight hour and expressly released to surprise Rhoda. Instead of John the Baptist, helping himself by encouraging himself in the Lord like king David did in 1 Samuel 1:1-25, or be focussed to work together with Jesus to win more souls, John was distracted by Herod’s adultery of taking his brother’s wife in Mark 6:17-29. Jesus minded His Own Business First, by saving the lost, teaching, preaching, healing the sick, so did not waste time on Herod who did not listen to John the Baptist who was qualified and approved by God to deal with it. God endorsed John’s Baptism of Jesus by immersion, so acknowledged with His Voice Heard from Heaven seen descending like the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove upon Jesus. Yet Herod still refused to humble himself to repent with help, support and intervention of such a great prophets like John and Paul. Herod’s unhealthy obsessive compulsive codependent infatuation with his brother’s wife, cost John the Baptist his life and ministry.
Although greater than Herod, Jesus submitted by example in humility to John so Jesus knew Herod will not listen to Him. Herod saw John and Jesus as threats, trying to ruin his momentary passion, personal happiness and love – life and trying to destroying his political power and kingdom. So Jesus boldly continued his great work on earth, regardless of attacks by those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Jesus knew John will be resurrected in eternity while Herod burned in hell for his actions if he did not repent. Jesus was more concerned about the lost multitudes, His apostles and disciple’s personal belief and eternal salvation. Jesus wanted to ensure they focus on Him to accomplish their goals to save souls, not to dabble in matters too high for them, like Herod manipulated and used Salome’s dance to try to buy her affection with material promise of half his kingdom to a child, to compromise sin. Her mother took advantage of the situation and used her cruelly by demanding John’s head in retaliation.
Jesus wanted to clarify his inaction of not intervening to rescue John to declare and prepare them for his own death and resurrection as The Messiah. Jesus used Wisdom to choose battles carefully, so did not abuse His Power to get involved in all affairs, but ‘delegated’ such matters to other’s equally competent, like John the Baptist, in God’s Kingdom to deal with it. Jesus focussed on his disciples so asked, but ‘who do you say I am?’ Peter answered correctly, “You are Christ Jesus The Messiah, The Son of the Living God.’ Jesus told Peter, ‘flesh and blood did not reveal this to you but the Spirit of the Living God. Jesus explained, God’s Spiritual Truth is discerned by revelation from God. Christ Mission above all is to restore God’s Spiritual Kingdom first, before material things are added. Jesus called Peter to build His Church for the gates of hell cannot prevail against it by those who killed the flesh but cannot kill the soul. Peter was to focus first on Christ’s Priority to win souls, not be distracted by judging others or by tabernacle building to show off riches, wealth to display man – made sophistication grandeur often not too relevant for eternal soul winning with already – made mansions in Heaven by God The Greatest and Best Architect.
evidence, proof from history, in fulfilment of all the prophecies made thousands of years before Jesus was born. Due to Peter’s accurate deeper insider knowledge, Jesus declared Peter as the approved leader of His Church, to build the Kingdom of God, with His people of faith, power and praise under management leadership of Christ The Head through the Holy Spirit, whom the gates of hell can never prevail against His Church in Jesus Name.
So knowing God is not based on mere logical reasonings of man-made thinking and data analysis of information highway attempting to contradict God. Peter’s conclusion derives from a deeper spiritual insight into God’s Truth, plus facts received by open minds filled with the Holy Spirit and understanding of the Word of God. For faith comes by hearing God’s Truth from the Word of God and the Truth you know sets you free. Jesus had to clarify with the disciples to find out exactly what they truly believed to ensure they had accurate knowledge. Jesus knew if those closest as disciples got it right for Jesus to be lifted up, then they will pass on accurate information to draw all to Jesus Christ to become their personal Saviour. It was important and essential Jesus had a deep conversation with the disciples for they had heard and seen many contradictions about Jesus. As The King of kings and Lord of lords, granted all Power and Authority from Heaven and earth, some expected Jesus to solve all problems immediately and save them from their enemies the Roman rulers and Greeks defiling their Holy Temple, Land, taxing and levying them. They expected Jesus to establish a worldly physical kingdom to meet their material needs. So they misunderstood Jesus who had to ensure they fully understand his true calling and mission on earth.
As familiarity breeds contempt the people of Jesus’ hometown, Nazareth did not believe, accept or support Jesus because they saw Christ merely as an adopted son of a carpenter. They did not believe a natural human being could be used by God to do Supernatural things as Jesus did. The accusers, doubters, mockers, and sceptics constantly searched for excuses to use against Jesus saying he was from beelzebul. The sceptics believed in the little devil’s power than the Bigger Power of the Living God used by Jesus Christ. Though Jesus worked with the disciples daily and empowered them with authority to heal the sick and cast out the devil and evil spirits, Jesus still had to talk with them. It seemed fairly obvious they will know who Jesus is by now, for He is very special and different from other leaders. Yet Jesus had to prepare them to think beyond their physical needs of the material world beyond eternity to live forever longer than years on earth. God wants His beloved people to prosper and be in good health even as their soul prospers. However, God does not want them to live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from God’s word. God wants them to live and enjoy more abundantly and wealth and riches but not at the expense of not investing in the harvest of souls.
Jesus helped the apostles and disciples to know the full meaning of ‘Christ’ the Saviour to let them understand what it cost Jesus. He took their place for punishment, had to bear their sins to endure pain, grief and sorrow to set them free. That Special Christ Hat nobody could wear because no human sacrifice could pay the exact price of sin. So must never be taken for granted to love earthly pleasures more than love God. Material things and pleasures of the flesh last for a fleeting season. Jesus helped them give up unfruitful toiling to become eternal fishers of men. Their families thought they lost their minds and brainwashed to follow Jesus with no fixed place to call his own. Jesus sent for colts to travel and ate food prepared by His loyal supporters. Jesus told them not to carry a wallet or extra change of clothing but totally depend on God. Such an accomplishment was not for the fainthearted who needed to know their bank balance, profit stocks and shares before starting any projects.
Christians bear the Mark of Christ Jesus so set apart for full commitment to God. They had to stop toiling without good result, unhealthy relationships, estranged family, constantly trying to discourage faith and trust in God to focus on God. Christ left His earthly hometown Nazareth where He could not do any miracles because of their unbelief. He did not waste His precious time to be distracted and delayed with silly debates, arguments and gossip trying to convince them to believe in Him. Jesus went straight to help those who desperately and urgently needed Him most. The same power and anointing that touched and healed others will work if only you believe. The choice is yours, so the question is, ‘who do you think you are in relation to Christ?’ Do you ensure you fully know and understand His True mission on earth because Christ came to save those who are lost, to heal, deliver and destroy all works of the devil in lives, in family, business, finances, relationships, to restore and reconnect them to God directly. Christ is real and will return as a Savior to rescue the remnant faithful but judge skeptics and mockers who reject Him. As Israel is precious on High Priest’s breastplate so Christ has you in His Heart and knocking at your door to save you. Answer and let Jesus into your heart today even if distracted off course, back-slided, repent, ask God’s forgiveness, mercy, pardon, grace to start afresh for With God all things are possible because Jesus loves you.