Jesus Said, "Get up and do not be afraid" [Matthew 17]

  1Six days later Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up on a high mountain by themselves. 2And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light. 3And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. 4Peter said to Jesus, "Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, I will make three tabernacles here, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah." 5While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, "This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!" 6When the disciples heard this, they fell face down to the ground and were terrified. 7And Jesus came to them and touched them and said, "Get up, and do not be afraid." 8And lifting up their eyes, they saw no one except Jesus Himself alone.

Jesus chose three disciples to accompany Him up the mountain. They watched Jesus transfigure before them with "His face that shone like the sun and His garments as white as light." They marveled at this and even when Moses and Elijah showed up to talk with Jesus, Peter's response was excitement and a willingness to build places for them to hang out. Not one of the disciples seemed to be afraid when they saw these miraculous things. But when the voice of God spoke from heaven saying, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!" ... the three men fell face down to the ground and they were terrified. It wasn't until Jesus "touched them" and told them "not to be afraid" that they were even able to look up.

Being with Jesus and experiencing His miraculous life did not provoke fear in the disciples, but the voice of God melted all their strength. We serve a terrifying God who can send strong men shivering to the ground with just a few words... and words that were not even fearsome or threatening. But Jesus who is comfortable with the awesome God of the universe is also comfortable with us frail and broken humans, takes the fear out of standing before a holy God with His touch and words. What an awesome God we serve who provided a link between us and Him in the person of Jesus Christ, the God man who died to save us from our sins and made us able to boldly with great confidence able to enter into the presence of a holy God without fear.

May you often enter the throne room of God with confidence through Jesus Christ.
Beth Warlick, 1/20/2009