“As the men were leaving Jesus, Peter said to him, “Master, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” (He did not know what he was saying.)“ (Luke 9:33, NIV)
You’ve probably read about the Transfiguration – Peter was with Jesus on top of a mountain when “…the appearance of his [Jesus’] face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning” and “Moses and Elijah appeared in glorious splendor.” It was an amazing moment and Peter didn’t want to leave. We get the phrase “mountain top experience” from this story.
We’ve all had mountain top experiences where we felt the presence and glory of God – and we didn’t want to leave. Like Peter we wanted to camp out there.
There’s another reason Peter wanted to stay, I think. “The next day, when they came down from the mountain, a large crowd met him.” (Luke 9:37) Then there was a man with demonized child…then Jesus prophesied his betrayal. Immediately after that the disciples got into an argument. Right after that their group was rejected by the Samaritans.
On the mountain top we feel close to God, but we instinctively know what’s awaiting us at our descent. Down in the real world it’s responsibility, needy people, disappointment, personality conflicts, and prejudice. Ugh!
Jesus was prepared…Moses and Elijah prepared him (see 9:31). I think that’s the key. The mountain top isn’t an escape, it’s the place God uses to prepare us for the real world. Your quiet time in the morning isn’t you hiding from the world, you’re getting ready to engage. Because it is the real world that needs Jesus. We climb down the mountain in order to take Him to them.