So often we examine the frailty of Bible characters in self-righteous criticism. It’s easy enough for us to scorn Peter for sinking below the waves when walking on the sea to Jesus. Yet how quickly we forget that he was the only disciple to step foot out of the boat! The section of Scripture before us today is one such passage. We so easily deride Peter, for hastily requesting that a tabernacle be built in honor of the 3 individuals, with them on the mount. But in all likelihood, we would have probably done the same thing in the presence of such fame, and men of renown. So let us humbly examine the underlying principle, and how such truth might apply to our understanding in the Scriptures.
First of all, the wondrous scene recorded for us in Matt 17, in no way trumps the supreme authority of Scripture. Even Peter calls the revelation of Scripture, “a more sure word of prophecy” in II Peter 1:19. But that doesn’t discount the enormity of what Peter, James, and John experienced: the glory of the unveiled Christ, which He had with the Father before the world was. What a sight that must have been! But it was more than a divine sight, it was also a divine statement. When Peter requests that tabernacles be constructed in honor of all 3 men, God the Father actually interrupts Peter, “while he yet spake.” The consideration of anyone or anything, sharing glory or equal standing with God the Son, is immediately dismissed.
“This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him.” There has never been nor will there ever be, a greater revelation of truth from God than the Lord Jesus Christ. Hebrews 1:1-3 dives into this in detail, further. But suffice it to say that Peter got a little sidetracked, he lost his focus in the moment. Being human, we’re all prone to this. Going through life, it’s easier than ever to exalt other things to the same level of relevance and glory that Christ should have in our lives. It’s not right, and we must prayerfully guard against it. For the face that shines with eternal glory also shines with life eternal. And it is in that face, in that Person, that we find all we could ever hope for, all that we ever need.