Stop Chasing Mountaintop Experiences – Read Your Bible Instead

Really appreciated listening to this message from Mark Driscoll, reminding us that we have access to something greater than chasing mountaintop experiences: Our Bible.

The transcript follows:

It doesn’t matter what anyone else says about Jesus. What does God the Father say about Jesus Christ, the Son of God? He says, “This is my Son in whom I am well pleased,” at the baptism. He says, “This is my Son, My Chosen. Listen to him,” on the Mount of Transfiguration. There can be no higher authority than the Creator God. There can be no higher authority than God the Father. There can be no more authoritative testimony of who Jesus is than God the Father. It doesn’t matter what the leaders say, what religious people say, what books are written, how people speculate, what the polls would indicate. God the Father says Jesus is God become man, and he, alone, possesses the glory of God because he is the God of glory.

Now, some of you in hearing this say, “This is astonishing.” It is. It’s absolutely astonishing. See, here Jesus is revealed as the God of the Bible, but it’s nothing he’s done. He doesn’t make himself radiate glory. That’s done as a gift in a revelation from the Father, and Jesus is declared to be the Son of God, but it’s not something that he says. It’s what the Father says so that the deity, the divinity of Jesus Christ is made seen, known through God the Father. There can be no higher authority. There can be no more authoritative witnesses.

And some of you in hearing this would say, “I wish I would have been there. I wish God would do that for me. I wish I had that kind of certainty and clarity.” But we do have the testimony of Peter, some years later. So in 2 Peter 1:16–18 some years later, Peter, who was there on the Mount of Transfiguration, says this: “For we do did not follow cleverly devised myths.” God is telling us here, people didn’t make this up like other religions.

“When we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.” Peter says, “I saw him in glory. My report is accurate.” “For when he received honor and—” what? What’s the word, Mars Hill? “Glory from God the Father.” The glory was the radiating of Jesus, and the honor was the declaration: “This is my Son, listen to him.”

“And the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory.” The Father in glory said something. What did he say? “‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.’” He’s going here back to the baptism, and also forward to the transfiguration. On both occasions, the Father says, “This Jesus is my Son.”

He goes on to say, “We ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven for we were with him,” where? “On the holy mountain.” On the holy mountain, the mountain that was made holy because Jesus was on it. Peter says, “We were there. If you wonder who Jesus is, trust us. He’s the God of glory.” And some of you, again, would say, “I wish I had that experience. I wish I had been there on the Mount of Transfiguration. I wish I could have shaken hands with Moses and Elijah, and asked my theological questions, and watched Jesus radiate in glory, and hear God the Father speak, then I would trust in Christ, then my doubts would go away, then my fears would fade.”

Read, read with me what Peter, who was there and had that experience has to say. He says in the very next section of verses, 2 Peter 1:19–21, “And we have something more sure.” More sure than what? More sure than Jesus radiating the glory of God, more sure than Moses and Elijah returning after having died, more sure than God the Father speaking from heaven. We have something more sure than that. What is it? What is this sure thing that we have?

“The prophetic word,” the Scriptures, the Bible. The very words of God are more sure than seeing Jesus in glory, meeting Moses and Elijah, and hearing the voice of the Father. Read your Bible, Mars Hill. Read your Bible.

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  • Connie Mace

    Ah! Tears and Amen…why do people want more?

  • Amber

    I was feeling slightly bummed I wasn’t going to Willow Creek. Thanks for the reminder, I already have the real thing. :)

    • Aaron Armstrong

      Glad to be of service :)

  • Dan

    Yes, the question is posited in bible study groups from time to time…. would it have been easier to have been a firsthand witness or a Christian today with the fully inspired, God-breathed word? The answer is not an easy one and appears as if the former is the obvious choice, but I have to agree, having the FULL work, Old and New together really gives us perspective and the needed relief in the advanced form of entropy we are experiencing 2000 years after our Lord and Savior, Jesus.

    It really is amazing when you can sit down and read the Bible, 66 books, and find all the absolutely mind numbing connections b/w the Old and New, the absolute beauty and intricate design of it all, authenticated by Jesus, outside of our 4-D Spacetime domain.