And after six days Jesus takes Peter, James, and John his brother, and brings them up into an high mountain apart,…
What was it the disciples feared? The voice from the opened heavens; the voice which some men think, if they only could hear, all doubts would vanish. If such men felt, under the Divine manifestation, so unnerved, what warrant have we for supposing that if a Divine voice spoke to us from heaven, we should gain any accession of faith? Let us learn to be thankful for the modes in which the Divine Presence is made known to us. Look at these disciples.
I. THE LOSS OF THEMSELVES THROUGH THEIR GREAT FEAR. "And when they heard it they fell on their faces," etc. They were no longer the men they had been. This prostration sprang from the conscious nearness of God, and the voice from the cloud was the chief cause of this feeling. Are these not experiences which seem to rob us of our manhood: in great sorrow our powers seem paralyzed. We feel that it has brought us into the presence of God, and we are sore afraid.
II. THE GRAVE SENSE OF RESPONSIBILITY WHICH COMES UPON US IN SOME CRISES OF OUR LIFE. Then the faculties we most want refuse to obey our bidding. The sudden out-flashing of some great truth may fill the mind with fear.
III. But there is yet another side to look at. We have been looking at the disciples, let us now turn to the Master. IN THE CONDUCT OF CHRIST TOWARDS THESE MEN THERE IS MUCH TO CHEER US. He did not leave them in their helpless condition. His love toward them is unchanged. He comforts as well as delivers from fear.
(J. J. Goadby.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,