On this side of life, we are on a journey and we have not yet reached our destination. There are greater things awaiting on the other side – where our sufferings are exchanged for a crown of glorious praise to our Creator.
Until that time, we do not “camp out” and make s’mores on the mountain; we go up to the mountain for inspiration, vision and encouragement to walk through the valley of the “shadow” of death for God is with us and nothing can separate us from the great love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, for He is Creator of all things!
As the sheep can not live within the confines of the sheepfold, we too, follow Jesus, the Good Shepherd in and out and find pasture, still waters and rest. He restores us to right standing and heals our wounded spirits to God the Father.
Even as the Israelites were freed from Egypt by the blood sacrifice of Passover, we too leave Satan’s ball and chain behind and move out into newness of life heading for the Promised Land, the place that Jesus went ahead to prepare for our arrival on that Day.
As His ways and thoughts are much higher than ours, even so His purpose for our life is greater than our mere imagination and dreams.
There is no boredom in the creative and abundant life found in Him!
Peter broke in, “Master, this is a great moment! What would you think if I built three memorials here on the mountain—one for you, one for Moses, one for Elijah?”
While he was going on like this, babbling, a light-radiant cloud enveloped them, and sounding from deep in the cloud a voice: “This is my Son, marked by my love, focus of my delight. Listen to him.”
When the disciples heard it, they fell flat on their faces, scared to death. But Jesus came over and touched them. “Don’t be afraid.” When they opened their eyes and looked around all they saw was Jesus, only Jesus.
Coming down the mountain, Jesus swore them to secrecy. “Don’t breathe a word of what you’ve seen. After the Son of Man is raised from the dead, you are free to talk.”
The disciples, meanwhile, were asking questions. “Why do the religion scholars say that Elijah has to come first?”
“Elijah does come and get everything ready. I’m telling you, Elijah has already come but they didn’t know him when they saw him. They treated him like dirt, the same way they are about to treat the Son of Man.”
That’s when the disciples realized that all along he had been talking about John the Baptizer.
At the bottom of the mountain, they were met by a crowd of waiting people. As they approached, a man came out of the crowd and fell to his knees begging, “Master, have mercy on my son. He goes out of his mind and suffers terribly, falling into seizures. Frequently he is pitched into the fire, other times into the river. I brought him to your disciples, but they could do nothing for him.”
Jesus said, “What a generation! No sense of God! No focus to your lives! How many times do I have to go over these things? How much longer do I have to put up with this? Bring the boy here.” He ordered the afflicting demon out—and it was out, gone. From that moment on the boy was well.
When the disciples had Jesus off to themselves, they asked,
“Why couldn’t we throw it out?”
“Because you’re not yet taking God seriously,” said Jesus.
As they were regrouping in Galilee, Jesus told them,
“The Son of Man is about to be betrayed to some people who want nothing to do with God. They will murder him—and three days later he will be raised alive.” The disciples felt terrible.
Look, I’m standing at the door and knocking. If anyone listens to my voice and opens the door, I’ll come in and we’ll eat together.
In John 14:23 Jesus replied,
“If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.”
Luke 12:36 says, “Like men waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him.”
Clarke’s exposition says,
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock – There are many sayings of this kind among the ancient rabbins;
thus in Shir Hashirim Rabba, fol. 25, 1:
“God said to the Israelites, My children, open to me one door of repentance, even so wide as the eye of a needle, and I will open to you doors through which calves and horned cattle may pass.”
In Sohar Levit, fol. 8, Colossians 32, it is said:
“If a man conceal his sin, and do not open it before the holy King, although he ask mercy, yet the door of repentance shall not be opened to him. But if he open it before the holy blessed God, God spares him, and mercy prevails over wrath; and when he laments, although all the doors were shut, yet they shall be opened to him, and his prayer shall be heard.”
Christ stands – waits long, at the door of the sinner’s heart; he knocks – uses judgments, mercies, reproofs, exhortations, etc., to induce sinners to repent and turn to him; he lifts up his voice – calls loudly by his word, ministers, and Spirit.
If any man hear – If the sinner will seriously consider his state, and attend to the voice of his Lord.
And open the door – This must be his own act, receiving power for this purpose from his offended Lord, who will not break open the door; he will make no forcible entry.
I will come in to him – I will manifest myself to him, heal all his backslidings, pardon all his iniquities, and love him freely.
Will sup with him – Hold communion with him, feed him with the bread of life.
And he with me – I will bring him at last to dwell with me in everlasting glory.
Jesus is the door standing in the gate that leads home to the Father.
“The God who made the world and everything in it, this Master of sky and land, doesn’t live in custom-made shrines or need the human race to run errands for him, as if he couldn’t take care of himself. He makes the creatures; the creatures don’t make him. Starting from scratch, he made the entire human race and made the earth hospitable, with plenty of time and space for living so we could seek after God, and not just grope around in the dark but actually find him. He doesn’t play hide-and-seek with us. He’s not remote; he’s near. We live and move in him, can’t get away from him! One of your poets said it well: ‘We’re the God-created.’ Well, if we are the God-created, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to think we could hire a sculptor to chisel a god out of stone for us, does it?
“God overlooks it as long as you don’t know any better—but that time is past. The unknown is now known, and he’s calling for a radical life-change. He has set a day when the entire human race will be judged and everything set right. And he has already appointed the judge, confirming him before everyone by raising him from the dead.”
If you are willing to take the first step and open the door, Jesus is right there to take you by the hand and lead you into the journey of a lifetime! We were not created to “camp out” on the mountain but to return to the “shadow-lands” in the valleys to encourage others to get moving and find true freedom for living in Him. Even as a house has a door, we do not pitch our tent in the doorway but go in and out and make it a home. The door is the entry way to the home.
Jesus, thank You for being the Door to freedom to Real and Abundant Life! Thank You for giving Your limitless Holy Spirit to lead and guide me into all that You desire that life to be. Use that life to the fullfillment of Your purpose ordained for me. AMEN
For in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children.’
The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.