Updated: Apr 28, 2022
“Get Up—Don’t Be Afraid!”
“…a voice from the cloud said, ‘This is my dearly loved Son…listen to him.’ The disciples were terrified and fell face down on the ground. Then Jesus came over and touched them. ‘Get up,’ he said. ‘Don’t be afraid.’ And when they looked up, Moses and Elijah were gone, and they saw only Jesus.”
Matthew 17:5-8 NLT
I have read the Transfiguration story dozens of times, but during this unexpected journey a particular phrase caught my attention—the disciples were terrified and fell face down on the ground. Perhaps it’s because I too had fallen on the ground. I hadn’t literally fallen like the disciples. I was down because I could no longer trust my leg to hold me up!
But look what Jesus did for those terrified guys—He went to them and touched them. I love that because I’ve faced some terrifying thoughts these past months. What if I must live with this pain the rest of my life? What if I can’t ever walk again? But Jesus saw the fears in my heart, so He often came to me, and He often touched me.
I’m thankful Jesus didn’t leave His disciples on the ground. I notice He spoke direction to them— “Get up!” and He spoke encouragement to them— “Don’t be afraid.” My Shepherd has also told me it’s time to “get up!” However, even after all the trust lessons He’s taught me, I’ve still questioned, “But, what if I fall again into my old habits? Wouldn’t You just want to leave me on the ground?” Of course not! If Jesus encouraged His other disciples, He’ll encourage this one as well. And I have a feeling that His first encouragement will always be, “Don’t be afraid—I will NEVER leave you!”
I love the last sentence of this story too—"And when they looked up, Moses and Elijah were gone, and they saw only Jesus.” Remember, Peter was so excited about seeing the two prophets that he wanted to build three tabernacles? However, after experiencing JESUS’ glorious touch, the others’ splendor paled in comparison. When the disciples turned their focus upward, they saw only Jesus.
This story didn’t end when the disciples fell down terrified. Peter, James, and John got up and lived the rest of their lives demonstrating the Jesus they had seen—to their world and to ours!
Neither will my story end while I’m down! I am getting up! I do not know if I will fall down again. I do not know if my Moses and Elijah will one day be gone. I do not know the unexpected turns up ahead on my journey. But this I KNOW:
JESUS came to me while I was down—HE will come to me again.
JESUS touched me while I was down—HE will touch me again.
JESUS spoke His Word to me while I was down—HE will speak to me again.
And then, I will not be afraid.
And then, I will get up again.
And then, I will see only Jesus!
I plan to live the rest of my life demonstrating to my world the JESUS I have seen!