Summary: I am sure that all the way down from the mountain, Peter must have kept uttering this sermon to himself!
Title: "What I should have said was..."
Have you had an awakening?
When Jesus took with him his inter-circle of disciples to the top of the mountain, he desired that they should see him glorified. As Jesus was in prayer, Peter, James, and John fell asleep.
The Church needs an awakening!
When Peter came awake, he beheld Jesus glorified before him talking with Moses and Elijah. Just like Peter on other occasions, Peter felt that he just had to say something. Today we are going to examine what he said, and why he should not have said it. The Bible is clear, "He did not know what he was saying!"
Have you ever said something to someone in the rush of the moment, and regretted it later? All the way down the mountain, I am sure that Peter must have uttered the following sermon to himself!
1. Perhaps he should not have said anything.
As soon as Peter spoke up, Elijah and Moses disappeared and the conversation ended. If Peter had not said anything, he could have learned much from just sitting at their feet and listening. Can you imagine the great trues that could have been gained by just listening to Jesus, Moses, Elijah as they talked together.
2. It was not goodness that brought them there. It was grace.
Peter said, "It is good for us to be here." I wonder how many people think that they are doing God a favor
by attending Church on Sunday? We are not saved by our goodness, we are saved by God’s grace. Whatever we have, we have by the grace of God. Perhaps what Peter should have said was something like this, "How awesome, that the grace of God has allowed us the privilege to be in this place!" That is the way you ought to feel every Sunday sitting in the Church pew!
3. Peter was not in the same league with Jesus, Moses, and Elijah… not yet.
"For us to be here..." as if they belonged. Peter was likened unto a kindergartner saying to the graduating class of Seniors, "We are in the same league!" One day Peter, James, and John would be great patriarchs of the faith, but on this day, they were discipleship trainees.
4. Peter was not on the same page with Jesus, Moses and Elijah.
Moses and Elijah were talking with Jesus about "the death that he should die." Peter began talking about building tabernacles, when Jesus was talking about going to a cross.
Too often, we forget that the word "Church" is referring to the body of believers, not to the building that sits on the corner of the street. It is easier to build a building than it is to build a life. We cannot by pass the cross. You cannot make good Christians ought of people who do not know Christ, and if you bypass the preaching of the cross, you will have a building full of heathens!
The Church is to be the Bride of Christ purchased by the blood of the cross.
5. Consider the enormity of what he proposed to do.
I know that some commentaries suggest that Peter was simply proposing to build three "shelters" for Jesus, Moses, and Elijah. But whatever it was that Peter was thinking of building, God the Father rebuked his plans!
I cannot imagine that Peter, James, and John would have been content with just putting up three roadsides shacks for their Master, and Moses, and Elijah! Can you imagine the huge project that would have ensued if God had given the green light to the idea of Peter! St. Peter’s Square would have looked like a child’s recess play ground before the affair would have been over!
6. The stupidity of what of what he was proposing to do.
Jesus must have the preeminence. That is why God the Father moved Moses and Elijah aside. Although we are to honor the sacred writings of the Old Testament, we are to move on to the New Testament. Christ alone is head of the Church. Jesus Christ is our Chief Cornerstone! That is why God caused Moses and Elijah to disappear and said from the voice in the bright cloud, "This is my beloved Son, hear him!"
7. There are no five minute solutions.
I do not know how long Peter had been awake before he blurted out his remark, but if he had been awake throughout the entire conversation, he would have made a more astute comment!
So often people think that they know all the answers after only listening to five minutes of a conversation. Maybe it would be better to hear the "eternal plan" before we offer our temporary advice!
The only way to climb the sacred mountain is by taking the way of the Cross.