Look, Grandpa!


Matthew 17:4: “Peter said to Jesus, ‘Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, I will make three tabernacles here, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.’”


Observation: Jesus was mentoring His disciples by letting them watch what He was doing. He had taken them up on a high mountain where He was transfigured so he shone bright as the sun. His clothing radiated brilliant white light, and two of the most famous guys in Jewish history, both long gone, appeared out of nowhere for an historic conversation with Jesus. Peter’s response was to tell Jesus how good it was that they were there, and to suggest he ought to build a shelter for each of them.


Application: The passage is silent as to how Jesus responded to Peter. Did He roll His eyes heavenward? Did He smack His forehead and say, “Oy, Father! How are we ever going to win this thing with guys like Peter on the A Team? Did I hear You wrong? Was I supposed to have called that German fisherman named Dieter, instead?”


While there is no hint of what Jesus said or did, we can be certain there was also no chance of such thoughts passing through Jesus’s mind in response to Peter’s blathering. The Father, however, didn’t allow Peter to remain ignorant. In verse 5 it’s written, “While he was still speaking . . .  a voice out of the cloud said, ‘This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!’” The fact is, He is never put off by our immaturity, as long as our heart is to learn. I occasionally say things I would give a year’s salary to delete before the words reach hearing ears. Jesus knows exactly what He has to work with. When I am mortified with embarrassment, He looks beyond my inane, immature behavior. 


Recently my two-and-a-half-year-old granddaughter tugged excitedly at my hand.  Without stopping for a response, she said, “Look, Grandpa; look, Grandpa, a rock!”  And she ran a few feet ahead to pick up one particular, ordinary stone from among millions of similar stones littering her path. Should I become frustrated that she’s missing the bigger picture? Do I roll my eyes over her delight in one small stone when she is missing the magnificence of Mount Rushmore towering above? No, instead my heart delights that she is learning, she is engaged, and she is taking in all the information her immaturity allows her to grasp.  God has given me enormous capacity to grow, and He is a patient teacher indeed. He delights in my fresh discoveries of Him, and remains eager to show me more.


Prayer: Lord Jesus, I will never plumb the full depths of Your attributes, but I know You delight in my weak efforts to try. My heart’s desire is to know You better, to learn to hear Your voice. Thank You that You have made me Your child, and that You patiently unfold more of You to my understanding.