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Leading rightly

I was recently  pondering Mark 9:2-9, the story of the transfiguration of Jesus…

And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became radiant, intensely white, as no one on earth could bleach them.

Must have been quite a sight. And add to that the voice from heaven saying,

“This is my beloved Son; listen to him.”

I would have been speechless. How about you?

In all honesty, I might have been speechless, but I probably would have been just like Peter, who wanted to do something! Peter wanted to capture the moment. Maybe he thought he could somehow capture Jesus’ glory in that tent he wanted to make. In today’s context, I would have been frantically digging out my camera to catch all this on video, the moment immortalized forever.

But here’s the problem…as soon as that moment came, it was gone. No time to build a tent or turn on the video camera. No chance to capture that glimpse of glory.

And as they were coming down the mountain, [Jesus] charged them to tell no one what they had seen, until the Son of Man had risen from the dead.

Why? Because His glory was not yet complete. Even if the radiant glory had lasted long enough for Peter to make a tent–even if that glory could have been captured by a camera–it would have been incomplete. Christ’s full glory had not yet been attained. Only a moment of the story would have been captured, and not the most important moment. Patient waiting is required. There is more yet to come.

As I read the gospels, Peter’s leadership style always stands out. Like a little child, it cries loudly for attention. Later on in his epistles, I can see that his style has evolved into something more powerful, but in the gospels it is most often immature.

The world today frantically searches for the loudest voice, the quick fix, the puffed-up leader who exudes charisma. That leader is often immature.  Not at all like Jesus who chose to write in the dirt rather than speak, who waited for Lazarus to die rather than rushing to heal him, and whose only charisma was the glory of God glimpsed by barely a few and in the oddest of ways.

But the one who waits in the quiet for the glory of God to shine on the right answer at the right time–the perfect action in God’s perfect timing–this is the one who leads rightly, whose work is blessed and whose light shines.

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.                                  -2 Corinthians 4:6

*Scripture quotations are from the ESV Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version), copyright 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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