The Gospel of Luke, like each of the Gospels, gives us a little information the others do not. Look with me at two events recorded in Luke chapter 9. The first that I want us to look at is Luke 9:18.
“Now it happened that as he was praying alone, the disciples were with him. And he asked them, ‘Who do the crowds say that I am?’”
I can see why the other Gospels do not necessarily note that Peter's crucial confession took place in a prayer meeting. What did recognizing the Lord's identity have to do with prayer? But a couple of important things do come to mind.
First, I suspect Jesus was praying for His disciples. He clearly warned them not to tell anyone because He had to be rejected by the elders, the priests, and the scribes. It would not have happened, if those people did not find it easy to doubt who He was. What if they didn't really believe, but the mobs made it politically advantageous for them to say they were believers? It might have been worse if a multitude tried to stop the Romans from crucifying Him. Thousands of them would have been slaughtered. But there is no doubt that Jesus wanted His disciples to understand who He was. And He wanted them to have a strong enough conviction that they could declare it publicly. He also knew the Scriptures would come from these men. He would have been looking down the ages at us who need to declare to our generations who Jesus is.
I also think we need to see that the life of Jesus was punctuated and saturated with prayer. His disciples were there, but they were not praying. We need to pray like Jesus, if we desire to see God's will come about in our lives and in our day.
The next prayer meeting that I want to point out comes a few verses later.
“Now about eight days after these sayings he took with him Peter and John and James and went up on the mountain to pray. And as he was praying, the appearance of his face was altered, and his clothing became dazzling white.”
Jesus was transformed in the heavenly intensity of His prayer. We are promised to be transformed when we see Jesus face to face. Although until that day our appearance will not be changed as much as Jesus's on the mountain top, we are being transformed day by day as we commune with our Heavenly Father in His name. The more we pray and grow in prayer and in His word the more like Jesus we will become.
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