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The Voice in the Cloud

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Creative Commons License photo credit: utahca

Luke 9 32 Peter and those with him were almost overcome by sleep, but they managed to stay awake and saw his glory as well as the two men with him.

Why are the disciples always sleepy? I have no other comment than that….

v33 As the two men were about to leave Jesus, Peter said to him, “Master, it’s good that we’re here. We should construct three shrines: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”—but he didn’t know what he was saying. 34 Peter was still speaking when a cloud overshadowed them. As they entered the cloud, they were overcome with awe.

35 Then a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, my chosen one. Listen to him!” 36 Even as the voice spoke, Jesus was found alone. They were speechless and at the time told no one what they had seen.

Greek scholars admit that verse 33 can be translated two ways: one is as a statement, and the other is as a question. I kinda think it’s the later. Peter looks up half asleep, sees this vision of 2 ghosts talking to Jesus and he whispers.. “Uh, Master, Should we be here? Is this a good thing? Are we safe?” Knowing Peter, I’d think he’d be a little scared at this point – and it only makes the next thing he says make more sense.

Where Peter says he wants to build 3 little tents, one for each – to be honest, nobody quite knows what Peter is saying – he’s kinda just blabbering. Which is why Luke even says “ but he didn’t know what he was saying”

But think about what we just read in Exodus. Jesus is talking to men who have died, men who are heavenly in appearance, and like Moses- Jesus countenance has changed. Peter remembers…. hey, didn’t Moses used to hide this from the people so they wouldn’t be scared? Maybe we should make 3 meeting tents, one for each of them – so they could go into these tents and their glory would be covered.

Peter is probably afraid and he is remembering that when Moses radiated with God’s glory, he walked around covered with a veil. Peter’s worried that the brightness of God’s glory will hurt him, or that it’s too terrifying to look at, so he is asking if it’s ok to cover it up.

And remember in the Exodus story when God spoke to Moses, a cloud came down and covered the tent, and what happens next in this story? The same thing. God sees Peter’s fear and he covers the three men up.

Luke says, 34 Peter was still speaking when a cloud overshadowed them. As they entered the cloud, they were overcome with awe.

This is so incredible – a story that these men had read about as children was literally happening right in front of their faces. People always day-dream, “I wonder what it would be like to do this… or that?”

How cool would it be to step into the tent of meeting and have the cloud of God come down? Two thousand years later – history repeats itself and Peter, James and John get to reenact it.

Now imagine being in this protective cloud that God made and then radiating inside that cloud, you hear the voice of God all around you…. “This is my Son, my chosen one. Listen to him!”

Remember, the bible says that in the tent of meeting, God spoke to Moses like a friend. What would it have been like to be in that cloud, to hear that voice and receive that conformation?

I can’t even imagine….

 

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