Things Yet to Come

by Greg Laurie on Jun 1, 2024
Six days later Jesus took Peter and the two brothers, James and John, and led them up a high mountain to be alone.
—Matthew 17:1

Jesus felt that it was time for Peter, James, and John to experience a glimpse of His glory, a moment when they would see Him for who He really is. And it all happened in what we call the Transfiguration.

The Lord was about to give them a sneak preview of what was yet to come. And what was yet to come? Jesus’ return to the earth.

It’s sort of like when we go to the movies and see the coming attractions. Have you ever noticed that the best bits of the film are often in the trailer? Then, when you go and see the movie, you end up liking the two-minute trailer better than the entire film.

The Transfiguration was a sneak preview, if you will, a glimpse of things still in the future. And Jesus’ Second Coming will be off the charts.

We might wonder why Jesus singled out Peter, James, and John for this special moment. It wasn’t the only time we read of Jesus doing this. Was it because they were more spiritual than the others, and He was rewarding them for their godliness? That could be.

But it also could be that Jesus was preparing them for what was ahead. Each of these apostles had a unique encounter with death. Two were martyred, and one survived an attempt on his life.

James was the first apostle whom King Herod put to death. Simon Peter was next on Herod’s list, but God spared him. Ultimately, Peter was martyred for the faith, dying by crucifixion. And church tradition indicates that Peter asked to be crucified upside down because he didn’t feel worthy to die in the same manner that his Lord did.

John, under the orders of the Roman emperor Domitian, was put into a pot of boiling oil. But for some reason, John didn’t die. As a result, they banished him to the island of Patmos, where they never thought they would hear from him again. But on that island, Jesus gave John the Book of Revelation, which means “the unveiling.”

John essentially caught a glimpse of the future and saw things yet to come. On the island of Patmos, Jesus came to John and said, “Don’t be afraid! I am the First and the Last. I am the living one. I died, but look—I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave” (Revelation 1:17–18 NLT).

Jesus was saying, “John, don’t fear death. I will be with you. Whether it comes sooner or later, you don’t have to be afraid.”

Sometimes there are trying circumstances in our lives or unique situations that don’t make sense to us. We wonder why is God letting us go through them. Yet He is preparing us for what is ahead. Everything we go through in life is preparation for what is to follow. God always will give us what we need, when we need it—not before, and never after.

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