Why 3 Tents?

Hey, thanks again for sending in questions related to our recent sermons. This last week, we studied a passage of the transfiguration where Jesus takes Peter, James, and John up the mountain and they see him transfigured before them. He becomes gleaming, shining as bright as the sun, seeing him really in radiance of all his glory. And Peter wants to build three shelters, or three Tabernacles, because he sees Jesus, Moses, and Elijah. And so the question is, why three Tabernacles?

Isn’t Tabernacles where you’re supposed to have the presence of the Lord? So why would Moses and Elijah need one? What is Peter saying? It’s a great question. And, of course, people have thought about this for many years.

There’s all kind of conjecture. I think ultimately what’s most helpful is Mark records. Peter didn’t know what he was saying, that he was so terrified, and he might have been compelled to think that he needs to worship these men, similar to how people worship angels when they see them because they’re so bright and shining as the sun. And the angel has to say, wait, no, I’m a creature like you. You don’t worship me.

You worship God alone, because the Tabernacle is the place that would shelter the glory of God for the people. And so that’s, of course, total conjecture. We don’t really know exactly what was in Peter’s mind, but out of the different options, that seems to be the most likely to me. So thanks for sending in the question. Of course.

Worship God alone through Jesus Christ.