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Highlands and Lowlands

“And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him,

and saying, Lord, have mercy on my son.” (Matthew 17:1-20)

In his opinion, Sir Walter Scott wrote that the most beautiful scenery in Scotland is where the Highlands

and the Lowlands meet.

This suggests an essential principle of Christian life and experience. This truth is illustrated in the

account of our Lord’s Transfiguration on the mount, and of His subsequent healing of the demoniac boy in the

valley at the foot of the mountain. When the artist Raphael painted the picture of the Transfiguration, he

included on the same canvas this scene of the demoniac boy surrounded by the nine disciples at the foot of the

mountain. The artist showed rare spiritual insight in doing this.

The glory of Christ on the holy mount is incomparable.

The three disciples who witnessed His transfiguration were overwhelmed with the glory and majesty of

the scene. But they could not remain on the mountaintop with their glorified Lord. They had to go with Him

down into the valley where there was saving and healing work to be done. As Jesus came down from the mount

of glory, He healed the poor demoniac boy whom the nine faithless disciples had failed to cure. This ministry of

the Lord of Glory in the dark valley of human suffering combines the beauty of the “highlands” and the

“lowlands.” Jesus wants us to be with Him in the mount to behold His glory as the Messiah, but He also wants

us to go with Him into the valley of human need to share His ministry as the Son of Man. We are granted a

vision of Christ’s glory so that we might have faith for greater things yet to follow. Here we see a divine

demonstration of God’s provision meeting man’s needs.

Perhaps we ought to first bow upon our knees unto the living Christ, the Lord of Glory! We must lift our

eyes of faith and behold Him as God’s only offering as a sacrifice for sin, and as such, He is man’s only Saviour

and Lord. We would soon find the outflowing of the glory of God were we to look yet one more time at the

unfading vision of the glorified Christ in the mount. Did not the prophet declare, “They that wait upon the Lord

shall renew their strength…” It is in the valley of our human need that He offers His strength.

Then, “…They shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary, and they shall

walk, and not faint.” The closing stanza of the scripture, as it has been set to music, concludes: “Teach me,

Lord; Teach me, Lord, to wait.”

Francis Mason

Pastor Mason

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