And while He was praying...
Luke 9:28-50 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
Some eight days after these sayings, He took along Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. 29 And while He was praying, the appearance of His face became different, and His clothing became white and gleaming. 30 And behold, two men were talking with Him; and they were Moses and Elijah, 31 who, appearing in glory, were speaking of His departure which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. 32 Now Peter and his companions had been overcome with sleep; but when they were fully awake, they saw His glory and the two men standing with Him. 33 And as these were leaving Him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three tabernacles: one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah”—not realizing what he was saying. 34 While he was saying this, a cloud formed and began to overshadow them; and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. 35 Then a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My Son, My Chosen One; listen to Him!” 36 And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent, and reported to no one in those days any of the things which they had seen.
37 On the next day, when they came down from the mountain, a large crowd met Him. 38 And a man from the crowd shouted, saying, “Teacher, I beg You to look at my son, for he is my only boy, 39 and a spirit seizes him, and he suddenly screams, and it throws him into a convulsion with foaming at the mouth; and only with difficulty does it leave him, mauling him as it leaves. 40 I begged Your disciples to cast it out, and they could not.” 41 And Jesus answered and said, “You unbelieving and perverted generation, how long shall I be with you and put up with you? Bring your son here.” 42 While he was still approaching, the demon slammed him to the ground and threw him into a convulsion. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, and healed the boy and gave him back to his father. 43 And they were all amazed at the greatness of God.
But while everyone was marveling at all that He was doing, He said to His disciples, 44 “Let these words sink into your ears; for the Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men.” 45 But they did not understand this statement, and it was concealed from them so that they would not perceive it; and they were afraid to ask Him about this statement.
46 An argument started among them as to which of them might be the greatest. 47 But Jesus, knowing what they were thinking in their heart, took a child and stood him by His side, 48 and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in My name receives Me, and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me; for the one who is least among all of you, this is the one who is great.”
49 John answered and said, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name; and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow along with us.” 50 But Jesus said to him, “Do not hinder him; for he who is not against you is for you.”
In John 14:12 Jesus says: “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.” In today’s text it says: And while He was praying, the appearance of His face became different, and His clothing became white and gleaming. And behold, two men were talking with Him; and they were Moses and Elijah. Can we like Jesus, pray ourselves into the heavenly realm? Can we pray that the things of earth would be like the things of heaven? That is after all how Jesus taught us to pray: Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
There are accounts in scripture of times when people were given visions and even actual visitations into the heavenly realm. In Isaiah 6:1-4 it says: In the year of King Uzziah’s death I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple. Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called out to another and said, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts, The whole earth is full of His glory.” And the foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of him who called out, while the temple was filling with smoke. In 2 Corinthians 12:2, Paul describes and experience he himself had. I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago-- whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows-- such a man was caught up to the third heaven. In Revelation John recounts his experience. In Revelation 4:1 it says: After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven, and the first voice which I had heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me, said, "Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things." There are many other scriptural accounts. Additionally, Smith Wigglesworth, speaking of an account when he was ministering deliverance to a young woman said: “I will tell you, for I never saw a man get anything from God who prayed on the earth. If you get anything from God, you will have to pray into heaven; for it is all there. If you are living in the earth realm and expect things from heaven, they will never come.” Even today there are times that people experience being taken up into the heavenly realm. Hebrews 4:16 encourages us: Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. So surely we can pray into the heavenly realm.
What we need though, is to like Jesus, to pray the heavenly realm to earth. The things of earth our circumstances and situations will be changed if heaven touches earth. In Isaiah’s account the Seraphim said: “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts, The whole earth is full of His glory.” That is the view, the perspective from the heavenly realm, that the whole earth is filled with the glory of God. Habakkuk 2:14 says: "For the earth will be filled With the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, As the waters cover the sea.” When heaven touches earth, the glory of God fills the earth. The goodness of God deposes all evil. The light of God dispels all darkness. When the realities of heaven invade the earthly realm, everything that was accomplished on the cross, through the finished work of the cross, is complete here on earth also. The finished work of the cross provided the redemption from sins. In God’s eyes, in the heavenly realm we are redeemed, no longer sinners. Our redemption is also complete here on earth. We are free from sin. To be redeemed is more than to have our sins forgiven. It is to be empowered to live free from the bondage of sin. The finished work of the cross is reconciliation. Sin no longer separates us from God. We can come boldly into His presence. We can fellowship with Him. We can commune and communicate with Him and we can invite Him into our situations and circumstances. Jesus says: "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.” (John 14:23) We actually have within us the very indwelling presence of Jesus and the Father. Everywhere we go, we carry the glory of God to the circumstances and situations we encounter. We need to release the glory of God and the realities of heaven into the things of earth. Finally the finished work of the cross brings restoration. The restoration we have is much more than being healed and made whole, though it is that. It is much more than being delivered from oppression, though it is that. Restoration is more than being the best version of ourselves. We are not restored to what we were. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says: Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. We are restored not to what we were, but to what God created us to be. We are restored to His creation. Like Adam, we are created in the image and likeness of God. Like Adam we have been given dominion and authority here on earth. We are, through the cross, through the indwelling presence of God and Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit to bring heaven to earth.
Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ; precious Holy Spirit may Your kingdom come, may Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. In and through my life may the realities of heaven be fully manifested here on earth. Amen.