History of Simon Peter: Beholding Christ in Glory

 •  6 min. read  •  grade level: 8
We have reached a new event in the spiritual life of Peter. Having learned that blessing could only be acquired by the death and resurrection of Christ, he and his two companions were privileged to behold from this earth the Lord Jesus coming in glory. They were favored to see where the painful pathway closes which begins at the cross, and to enjoy the vision. It left a deep impression on Peter's spirit, and later on he learned its full meaning. In chapter 1 of his second Epistle, after placing before the saints the conditions of entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, remembering the transfiguration, he explains to them of what the kingdom consists.
"For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For He received from God the Father honor and glory, when there came such a voice to Him from the excellent glory, This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with Him in the holy mount." 2 Pet. 1:16-1816For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17For he received from God the Father honor and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. 18And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. (2 Peter 1:16‑18).
All the truths which referred to the kingdom were summed up in the Person of Christ. It was His power and coming; His majesty was seen; honor and glory were given to Him there by God the Father from the heart of the excellent glory. It was above all Christ who filled the scene of the transfiguration. The disciples had to learn here below who this Christ was who had been speaking to them of His humiliation and cross. Peter needed to know Him, not only as Son of the living God, dispenser of all heavenly blessings to His own, but as a man declared the beloved Son of the Father in glory. He had to behold Him as the center of this glory, a Man from whom not only every blessing flowed as in Matt. 16, but to whom all honor and glory were given as the unique Object of earth and heaven. A supreme voice sounded in his ears which declared that all the affections and thoughts Of God were centered on this Man. Outside Him there remained nothing. When the voice had said, "Hear ye Him," they saw no man save Jesus only.
The second truth revealed to Peter on the mount was that men, subject to the same infirmities that we are, were associated with the Son of man in His glory. It was a remarkable fact that Moses and Elias each failed in his responsibility, and neither pursued the path of faith to its close. The blessing belonging to it was taken from them; at any rate, it was for Elias in his prophetic office (1 Kings 19:1616And Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel: and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room. (1 Kings 19:16)).
It was worthy of note that these two men were very great, for they represented the law and the prophets in the eyes of the disciples. However, Moses struck the rock twice, forgetting to sanctify the Lord in the midst of the people; and he had to die on Mount Nebo within sight of the promised land. Elijah lay down under a juniper tree, requesting to die; he then pleaded against Israel before God, and had to deliver up his office of prophet, anointing another in his room. What marvelous grace which sets them nevertheless in the same glory as Jesus- glory due to Christ, and conferred on His own in virtue of His work! Moses and Elias do not adore here; they talk with Him-a sign of perfect intimacy. The subject of their discourse was His death. The glory is the result of His death, and His death is the subject of their intercourse in glory.
In the third place, Peter had on the holy mount a complete vision of all that constitutes the kingdom -a glorious Christ, saints raised or changed, appearing with Him in glory; earthly saints associated in this blessed scene, all well-known prophetic truths, which I merely touch in 'passing, and of which the Apostle could say, "We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day-star arise in your hearts." 2 Pet. 1:1919We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: (2 Peter 1:19).
We have seen the disciples permitted to enjoy the glory of Christ before the moment of His manifestation. They did not then understand the bearing of the scene which later on served to support their apostolic authority. Not having been called to behold it from this point of view, we only know it on their testimony; but we are also in present possession
of a scene of glory, for it is said, "We all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." 2 Cor. 3:1818But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. (2 Corinthians 3:18)....
Peter forgot the pre-eminence of Christ as long as he saw Moses and Elias. He said, "Let us make here three tabernacles." He wanted to put the law and the prophets on a level with Christ by associating them with Him; and there are many Christians who unconsciously do the same. Poor Peter! How unworthy he showed himself of the vision! His language, his sleep, and his fear, betrayed the state of his soul; and the more the perfection of Jesus shone out, the more Peter's imperfections were evidenced. We find it so at every turn, until he has fully judged himself... The Spirit directs his gaze to the glory of the kingdom, the flesh lowers this glory to the level of failing man. The same thing comes out in the scene of the tribute money, at the supper, in Gethsemane, and in the court of the high priest, until Peter learns what the flesh is, and receives power from on high.
The excellent glory, far from repelling the disciples, attracted them to Christ, and set them at His feet as disciples, saying to them, "Hear Him." Thus Peter, with the rest, was brought to enjoy the thoughts of the Father toward the Son of His love... The disciples, as we have said, heard one word, the brief expression of what the presence of the Son called forth from the Father's lips, but it is a word which lets us into the secret of His heart: "This is My beloved Son... hear ye Him."
Such is our present blessing. We have been allowed to share the secret of the Father. He has brought us now into intimacy with Him which cannot be exceeded even in the eternal state, although, of course, it will be more perfectly enjoyed. We shall there see all the display of Christ's glory; but we shall be seen in this glory; but now we are the depositaries of the Father's thoughts revealing the Son, the Father revealed by the Son. "When the voice was past, Jesus was found alone." As we listen to this voice we shall learn more and more what the Father is to Him and to us.