“While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” (Matthew 17 v 5)
Peter loved to speak!
He has stepped forward again as a leader and a spokesmen for this smaller group of disciples to say something in this spectacular and extraordinary event. Speaking is often desiring to take control of the situation. “Someone say something!” is often what people are thinking. Peter will always respond to this, there doesn’t ever seem to be any silences with him. In fact no one could accuse Peter of not being bold. He even interrupted a conversation: “Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus. Peter said to Jesus …” (v3-4) That takes courage! Or stupidity! Moses and Elijah had both had visions of the glory of God on a mountain both had ascensions to heaven in some form (Jewish tradition says Moses was taken like Elijah directly to heaven). Their appearing demonstrates that Jesus is superior as the Son of God. I think if I was there I would have been saying, “Peter for goodness sake, shut up, we want to listen to what they are talking about!” or would I be like Peter? Who would you be? James and John? Or Peter?
Interestingly, James, John, Moses, Elijah and not even Jesus tells Peter to shut up. The Message makes us smile with its description, “While he was going on like this, babbling …” The voice of the Father steps in and using the same words as was said over His Son at His baptism, says ‘Listen to Him!’
Today maybe we should shut up. Maybe we should resist the pressure to fill the silence with our wisdom and ‘words from the Lord’ and our opinions. Perhaps we should just listen today.