Humble Hero


Peter Seriously Misunderstands

The disciples rejoiced to see the favored ones of heaven honor the meek and lowly One, who had wandered this earth as a helpless stranger. They believed that Elijah had come to announce that the kingdom was about to be set up on earth. They longed to linger here. Peter exclaimed, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” The disciples were confident that God had sent Moses and Elijah to protect their Master and establish His authority as king. HH 196.4

But the cross must come before the crown. Bearing the weakness of humanity, burdened with its sorrow and sin, Jesus walked alone among us. As the darkness of the coming ordeal pressed in on Him, His spirit was lonely in a world that did not know Him. Even His loved disciples had not understood His mission. In the world He had created, He was alone. Now heaven had sent messengers—not angels, but men who had endured suffering and sorrow and could sympathize with the Savior. HH 196.5

Moses and Elijah had been colaborers with Christ. They had shared His longing for the salvation of the lost. Moses had pleaded for Israel, “Yet now, if You will forgive their sin—but if not, I pray, blot me out of Your book which You have written.” Exodus 32:32. Elijah had known loneliness of spirit, as for three and a half years of famine he had endured the nation’s hatred and woe. He had run away to the desert alone in anguish and despair. These men had come to talk deeply with Jesus concerning His suffering and to comfort Him. The topic of their conversation was the salvation of every human being. HH 196.6

Overcome with sleep, the disciples heard little of what happened between Christ and the heavenly messengers. They had not received what God wanted to give them—a knowledge of Christ’s sufferings and the glory that would follow. They lost the blessing that could have been theirs. Yet the experience assured them that all heaven knew of the Jewish nation’s sin in rejecting Christ. They received a clearer insight into the work of the Redeemer. They were “eyewitnesses of His majesty” (2 Peter 1:16) and realized that Jesus was indeed the Messiah and that the heavenly universe recognized Him as such. HH 196.7

While they were still gazing at the scene, “a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!’” As they heard the voice of God speak in fearful majesty that caused the mountain to tremble, the disciples fell stricken to the earth, their faces hidden, till Jesus came near, dispelling their fears with His well-known voice, “Arise, and do not be afraid.” The heavenly glory had faded away, and the forms of Moses and Elijah had disappeared. They were alone with Jesus. HH 197.1