Physical life is filled with burdens. The gift of living in this country removes some of them. However, as beneficial as living in this country is, those benefits do not remove our biggest burden. In fact, those benefits at best can only temporarily distract us from the biggest burden we all carry from time to time.
What is this burden? It is the burden of terrorizing fear. Accidents terrorize us! The passing of time terrorizes us! Serious sickness terrorizes us! Unexpected, uncontrollable forces terrorize us! The shocks of bad surprises terrorize us! Those do not begin to approach the terrors of personal phobias. Despite our claims, we all fear something.
In the above reading, Jesus took three disciples to the summit of the mountain of transfiguration. These men came face to face with (1) pure holiness--which always terrorizes people because we all have evil in us, (2) Gods power--which scares powerless humanity silly, and (3) Jesus identity--he was more than a man, more than just a righteous friend. To say he is Gods Son is one thing; to see it is quite another.
Peter, James and Johns reaction: In overwhelming fear, they fell on their faces -- too scared to look.
Note Jesus response to their fear. He did NOT say, I thought you were godly men! or Where is your courage? or What are you afraid of? or I am so disappointed in you men! or Can you lead others if you are terrorized by Gods presence?
Instead, Jesus touched them, told me it was okay to get up, and encouraged them not to be afraid. Jesus understood their reaction, cared about them, and encouraged them. Jesus was not ashamed of them for being afraid. Instead he helped them in their weakness. Jesus lifted the burden of their fear! Jesus mission to you: to be your burden-lifter.
Never be ashamed of Jesus. He is never ashamed of you. Let him lift YOUR fears.
Link to other Writings of David Chadwell