Season 2, Episode 1
For Friday, August 7, 2015
“Lord, It Is Good For Us To Be Here”
HOST: Wade Webster
- On the Mount of Transfiguration, Peter declared, “Lord, it is good for us to be here” (Mat. 17:4). Although Peter was not specifically speaking of worship, his words apply well to that subject. In the context under consideration (Mat. 17), we see eight reasons why it was good for Peter, James, and John to be on the Mount of Transfiguration and why it is good for us to be in worship.
“Lord, it is good for us to be here.” Those were the words that Peter spoke on the Mount of Transfiguration (Mt. 17). Some might say that Peter was stating the obvious. Perhaps, he was. However, the obvious sometimes needs to be stated. After all, it is easy for us to forget just how good it is for us to be at worship. In this study, we want to consider eight reasons why it was good for Peter, James, and John to be on the Mount of Transfiguration. As we do this, we will discover some reasons why it is good for us to assemble in worship to God.
First, it was good for them to be there because the Lord was there. Matthew records, “And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart” (Mt. 17:1).
Please notice that Peter, James, and John got to be with the Lord in the mount. The mount on that day was more than a scenic overlook for weary travelers. It was a place where hearts could commune with God.
Each and every Lord’s day, we get the same privilege. We get to be with the Lord in worship. One chapter later in the gospel of Matthew, Jesus declared, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Mt. 18:20). It is always good for us to be in worship because we get to be with the Lord there.
Second, it was good for them to be there because faithful brethren were there.
Peter, James, and John not only got to be with the Lord, they got to be with one another (Mt. 17:1). Those who were the closest to the Lord, those who shared the same convictions, and those who were committed to the same work got to be together there on that mount.
Today, it is good for us to be at all of the services of the church because faithful brethren are there. In the book of Hebrews, we read, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together,as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching” (Heb. 10:25). It is always good for us to be with those of like, precious faith.
Third, it was good for them to be there because there were fewer distractions there.
Matthew records that Jesus brought them up into an “high mountain apart“ (Mt. 17:1). The mountain was apart from the crowds and the clamor of the city. As you likely know, Jesus often withdrew to solitary places so that he could commune with His Father (Mt. 14:13, 23).
It is good for us to be at all of the worship services of the church because there are fewer distractions there. While there can be distractions at worship services like a cute baby, a crying child, or an un-silenced cellphone, there are usually fewer distractions at worship than at home or at other places. Worship gives us the opportunity to come up into a mountain apart from the world below. It gives us an opportunity to get out of the distracting and destructive winds of the world for a little while. There is an interesting detail found in the twenty-seventh chapter of Acts. As Paul and his companions were sailing to Rome, they sailed “under” certain islands whenever they could (Acts 27:4, 7). Sailing under or behind islands gave them rest from the winds and allowed them the opportunity to shore up the ship before going back out into the winds again. Worship allows us to do the same.
Fourth, it was good for them to be there because the Lord was magnified there.
Peter, James, and John were privileged to see Jesus “transfigured” before them. They saw Jesus magnified on the mount. They saw His face shine as the sun and his raiment as the light (Mt. 17:2). It was good for them to be reminded of the majesty of Jesus. He was more than the carpenter’s son. He was the Son of God.
Today, it is good for us to enter into the mount of worship because the Lord is magnified there. As you know, Christ is often blasphemed and trodden under foot in the world. However, in the assembly of the saints, He is exalted. In his preaching on Pentecost, Peter pictured Jesus “by the right hand of God exalted” (Acts 2:33).
Fifth, it was good for them to be there because Bible heroes came to life there.
In the Mount of Transfiguration, Peter, James, and John saw Moses and Elijah transfigured with Christ (Mt. 17:3). Moses and Elijah were their heroes. They had heard about these great men all of their lives.
It is also good for us to be at worship because Bible heroes come to life there. Just think of the heroes that Paul brought to life in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews – Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Joseph, Moses, Rahab, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and the prophets. Just think of the heroes that James told his brethren about in the book that bears his name – Abraham, the friend of God; Rahab, the harlot who hid the spies; Job, the man known for his patience; and, Elijah, the man who stopped the rain with his prayers. It is in the mount of worship and in Bible classes that we learn about these and other great heroes.
Sixth, it was good for them to be there because God’s will was declared there.
In the Mount of Transfiguration, Peter learned God’s will. When Peter saw Moses, Elijah, and Christ, he proposed building three tabernacles (Mt. 17:4). I believe that Peter’s intentions were good. After all, he prefaced his suggestion with the conditional phrase, “If thou wilt” (Mt. 17:4). God made clear immediately that it was not his will for three tabernacles to be built. It was God’s will for them to hear His beloved Son (Mt. 17:5-6).
Today, it is good for us to attend worship services because God’s will is revealed there. In the long ago, Solomon declared, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Prov. 14:12). Like Peter, our thinking is often very different from God’s. Bible classes and worship services help us to understand God’s will. To the saints at Ephesus, Paul wrote, “Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is” (Eph. 5:17).
Seventh, it was good for them to be there because hearts were comforted there.
When the bright cloud overshadowed them and the voice spoke from the cloud, the disciples “fell on their faces, and were sore afraid” (Mt. 17:6). No doubt, we can understand their fear. However, the context continues by declaring that “Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid” (Mt. 17:7).
Today, it is good for us to be at worship because we also find comfort there. In the world, we find tribulation; but, in worship, we find consolation and comfort. We find rest for our souls when we come to Jesus and learn of Him (Mt. 11:28-30). We also find comfort through being with our brothers and sisters in Christ (2 Cor. 1:3-4).
Eighth, it was good for them to be there because they focused on Jesus there.
By the end of the inspired account, the disciples didn’t see anyone in the mount except for Jesus (Mt. 17:8). Moses and Elijah left as quickly as they came. The eyes of the disciples were focused solely on Jesus at the end.
It is good for us to be at worship because we focus on Jesus there. Like the Greeks who came to Philip, we should come to worship asking to see Jesus (John 12:20-22). Like Zacheus, we should climb the sycamore tree of worship to get above the crowds so that nothing can block our view of Jesus (Lk. 19:2-4).
The next time that we have the privilege to worship, let’s declare like Peter how good it is for us to be there.
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