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Luke 9:28-35 "AN INNER CIRCLE OF THREE"
Day 112 – Luke 9
Text: Luke 9:28-35
AN INNER CIRCLE OF THREE
If we were to draw concentric circles, with reference to the people who related to the Lord Jesus we would see this pattern.
1. There would be the multitudes. Luke 5:1; 8:40; 9:11
2. Then there would be a general group of “disciples”. Luke 6:13
3. There was a special group of 12 Disciples/Apostles. Luke 6:13-16
4. There was also an inner circle of three, consisting, Peter, John and James (Luke 9:28; Cf, Luke 8:51, Only these three were with the Lord Jesus when He resurrected the daughter of Jairus).
TWO SETS OF REASONS FOR THIS PATTERN OF RELATIONSHIPS
What are some possible reasons that would help us understand how and why this pattern of relationships occurred. We may speak of two closely related sets of reasons:-
1. NATURAL REASONS FOR THIS PATTERN OF RELATIONSHIPS
There are “natural reasons” for this pattern of relationships to exist as it did:-
a) How people relate to the Lord depends on them.
b) If they are not interested, or indifferent, they will never get closer to the Lord.
c) If they have not taken the trouble to grow well, how can they be entrusted with more responsibilities? (And Disciples are given increasing responsibilities)!
2. SPECIAL REASONS FOR THIS PATTERN OF RELATIONSHIPS
We must not forget that there are special reasons too. These are not always revealed immediately, or clearly. However, a deep theological perception enables us to note the following:-
a) To be drawn closer to the Lord is to be seen as a great honour and privilege.
b) To be drawn close to the Lord is often a step taken by the Lord to prepare these individuals for greater service.
c) To be drawn closer to the Lord involves good, discernible growth in faith and life. The Lord seeks to impart even deeper spiritual lessons to His inner circle.
“WENT UP ON THE MOUNTAIN TO PRAY” Luke 9:28
Invariably, Luke made mention of the Prayer-Life of the Lord Jesus Christ (Cf.Luke 4:42; 5:16; 6:12; 9:28-29). Thus far, Luke noted that Jesus was always found praying alone. This is the first mention of the fact that Jesus brought some people along with Him, presumably to “watch and pray” with Him.
The three special disciples did not fare very well, in their induction of being included in the inner circle of three. Instead of praying, they were “heavy with sleep” (Luke 9:32). However, initial failure does not mean that they would never succeed. The humble, the observant and the determined disciples will learn from their failures. Lessons learned from failure may be humbling, but can be life-transforming in value!
PREPARATION FOR ANTICIPATED SUFFERING
Peter, John and James were specially chosen to be with the Lord Jesus. One special reason why Jesus once again sought special solitude to commune with His Father in prayer, was probably because He had begun to specially prepare Himself, and His Disciples for what lay ahead.
Great suffering lay ahead. This suffering was necessary, for it was part and parcel of God’s plan of redemption for the world. Wisdom taught Jesus that the best preparation for difficult times was to be found in deep prayer.
Unfortunately, the three Disciples had fallen asleep on this special trip. They were overcome by fatigue, and besides they were just not used to the kind of intensity of prayer that was a natural part of the way Jesus communed with His Father.
Graciously, the Lord Jesus did not rebuke them. He was their Master-Teacher who knew His pupils very well. Prayer cannot be taught by rebuke. Prayer can only be learned through close proximity with the Lord Jesus. A deep prayer life can only be obtained through observing and personal practice.
THE CHRIST OF GOD – TRANSFIGURED
When the Disciples finally opened their eyes, they were amazed to see the Lord Jesus transfigured…
“As He prayed, the appearance of His face was altered,
And His robe became white and glistening.”
This was the special privilege that the Inner Circle of Three was brought to the mountain to witness and experience. It was Peter who confessed his faith that Jesus was “The Christ of God”(Luke 9:20). Peter, John and James were now given the opportunity of a lifetime to behold the true and glorious identity of the Lord Jesus Christ. He was indeed more than man! He was “The Christ of God” as Peter declared!
“MOSES AND ELIJAH” Luke 9:30
The Disciples were in for another bit of astonishing disclosure! They saw that their Master was not alone! Two men, and they were identified as Moses and Elijah, stood with their Teacher, and they appeared to be in conference with each other.
By now, the Disciples were “fully awake” (Luke 9:32), and they could not help but see “His glory and the two men who stood with Him” (Luke 9:32).
Dumbfounded they watched this scene with bated breath. What did this scene mean? What lessons were they supposed to learn from this experience?
Suddenly, they realized that Moses and Elijah were going to depart from their Teacher. Peter, without thinking, blurted out,
“Master, it is good for us to be here;
And let us make three tabernacles:
One for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah…”
Luke had to add this comment, that Peter spoke, “not knowing what he said” (Luke 9:33). Are we really that much wiser than Peter and his two other friends?