Luke 9:28-36 - Now about eight days after these sayings He [Jesus] took with Him Peter and John and James and went up on the mountain to pray. And as He was praying, the appearance of His face was altered, and His clothing became dazzling white. And behold, two men were talking with Him, Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of His departure, which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. Now Peter and those who were with him were heavy with sleep, but when they became fully awake they saw His glory and the two men who stood with Him. And as the men were parting from Him, Peter said to Jesus, "Master, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for You and one for Moses and one for Elijah"—not knowing what he said. As he was saying these things, a cloud came and overshadowed them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is My Son, my Chosen One; listen to Him!" And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and told no one in those days anything of what they had seen.
Why do you think Jesus took three of His disciples up the mountain with Him to pray? Certainly the disciples were not the most wonderful prayer partners Jesus could wish for. It looks like they fell asleep. They didn't see Moses and Elijah arrive. And then Peter shot his mouth off—just started talking, with no clear idea what he was saying, when he would have done better to stay silent.
They did much the same thing a bit later, in the Garden of Gethsemane. There they, too, fell asleep and heard only the smallest part of Jesus' agony. They were barely awake when Judas and the guards arrived. And there, too, Peter jumped the gun—pulled a sword and hurt someone when he would have done better to let Jesus handle it.
Jesus must have known that they would repeat their mistakes. Yet He took them with Him to Gethsemane anyway. Why?
In spite of their foolishness and weakness, they were there, with Jesus, when it counted. They saw Him glorified; they saw Him in agony. They saw Him dismiss the Old Testament leaders; they saw Him receive the men who would arrest Him. They were witnesses. And they told the church, all Christians for the rest of eternity, what they saw—that this is the Son of God, both in His glory and in His agony. This is the Son of God, our Savior.
Their failures didn't change the fact of His love. He wanted them, He called them, and He forgave them when they failed. They were still beloved, still wanted—just three of the many, many, many people Jesus would give Himself for, to die and to rise so that they might be saved.
And now that Jesus has risen from the dead, He invites us, too, to pray with Him. As the Holy Spirit tells us, Jesus "is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them" (Hebrews 7:25). We will certainly stumble, just as His first disciples did. But He still calls us, still wants us, still loves us. And He makes us His witnesses, so that more people will come to trust in Him.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, teach me how to pray. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
1. What is the easiest thing about prayer for you?
2. What is the most difficult?
3. Does it help to remember that Jesus is praying with you, alongside you?
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