By Allen Rea
In Matthew 17, Jesus takes Peter, James, and John up to the top of a mountain. Jesus was transfigured before them, and Moses and Elijah appeared with Him. They were talking together. However, Luke lets us know that they were speaking about His departure (Luke 9:31).
Peter, never one to keep silent, says,
“Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, let us make here three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah” (17:4).
Jesus does not have to answer, because His Father does so for Him in v 5:
“This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!” (emphasis added).
Peter and company shortly see what we should all see: Jesus only (17:8).
What Peter was asking was to set up three different places of worship and thus share Jesus’ glory with Moses and Elijah.
It is easy to condemn Peter for this until we take an honest look at ourselves. Have you built, or are you building, places of worship and admiration for anyone or anything but the Lord Jesus Christ?
Let me share with you three tabernacles that many are building that rob Jesus of His glory.
First, I see many pastors build a tabernacle to a denomination (and I have done this in the past myself).
Many get so busy climbing the denominational ladder that they have little time for Jesus Christ. They hold offices in the denomination, and their sheep suffer under their absence. I’ve learned that many can lead a denomination, but God called a specific man to lead a specific church.
Also, I am sorry to report that denominational politics is no better than the politics in Washington. If denominations crumble, then the kingdom of God will stand. The NT’s emphasis is on the local church.
Second, I see many Christian families build a tabernacle to the television. I know this is a little old fashioned, but hear me out.
How is the television not an idol? The main room in the house is built around it. All chairs face the idol. American families spend countless hours watching it and doing its bidding. If it has to be on, and if you can not stand to miss a show…then, friend, you are addicted.
Do yourself a favor and cut it out completely or at least set a strict time limit on it daily. Every moment spent watching television is a moment not spent in the Word of God.
Redeeming the time, for the days are evil (Eph 5:16).
Third, I see many Christians build a tabernacle to sports.
In America, ball has become Baal.
Beloved, if the children can throw a ball straight, but cannot name the books of the Bible, have we not failed them as parents?
The sad reality is that most kids have little to no chance of going professional, but they all have a hundred percent chance of standing before the Lord Jesus Christ. We must not allow America’s
pastime to be more important than God’s time.
Tear Them Down
Remember the strong and convicting words of our Heavenly Father—we must hear Jesus. There are many tempting tabernacles. Which are you building in your life? Let us endeavor to take the Word of God and tear down these tabernacles. We need to see Jesus only.
Allen Rea is pastor of Higgston Baptist Church in Ailey, GA.