And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light. And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. And Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces and were terrified. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and have no fear.” And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only. And as they were coming down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, “Tell no one the vision, until the Son of Man is raised from the dead.” And the disciples asked him, “Then why do the scribes say that first Elijah must come?” He answered, “Elijah does come, and he will restore all things. But I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they pleased. So also the Son of Man will certainly suffer at their hands.” Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist.
(Matthew 17:1-13 ESV)
I thought today’s verse was very interesting. It is one I can relate to. It actually began yesterday when Peter was speaking to Jesus during His transfiguration. Peter made a foolish suggestion but before He could finish his thought God interrupted Him (he was still speaking). This has often happened to me in prayer. I find myself just going on and on because I think I need to say something and finally God just cuts me off and tells me something I need to hear. This is what happened to Peter.
In the form of a bright cloud God spoke to Peter, James, and John. God often appeared to people as a cloud [Exodus 13:21, 16:10, 24:16]. God tells them “[Jesus] is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to Him”. As if the transfiguration of Jesus wasn’t awesome enough to see, now the disciples hear the very voice of God. These are very similar words to the ones God spoke at Jesus’ baptism [Matthew 3:17].
Jesus often called God His father and Himself the “Son of God”, thereby declaring Himself to be deity [John 5:17-20]. Offspring (e.g. sons and daughters) have the same nature as their parents (zebras create other zebras). So an offspring of deity is deity as well. In today’s passage God confirms this by calling Jesus His Son.
Jesus is God’s natural son. All human believers are children of God too, but we are adopted children. We are not deity and will never be deity.
God also states that everything Jesus did was approved by God. Jesus and His father were in perfect accord, one-hundred percent of the time [John 10:30 et. al]. If Jesus was doing and saying all the things God wanted Him to do and say, then it makes sense that the disciples (and we) should listen to Him.
The disciples, Peter in particular, didn’t want to believe that Jesus was going to be tortured and crucified in Jerusalem even though He had told them this would happen. They probably weren’t too fond of hearing that they, too, would have to suffer for Jesus’ sake.
But Jesus never misspeaks. He never lies. He never disguises the truth. Therefore we should listen to Him. If He tells us that something is sin then it is sin. If He tells us that we are cherished by God, then we are cherished by God. None of us should ever doubt anything He says.
Notice that God didn’t say “Listen to me”. He said “Listen to Jesus”. God has granted all authority on earth and in heaven to His son, Jesus [Matthew 28:18]. There is no on else on earth we should listen to.
Earth has its human leaders in government and business. We often must do as they say. But none of them have more authority than Jesus. Jesus is supreme. Any idea that contradicts Jesus’, such as Peter’s attempt to stop Jesus from being crucified or to equate Jesus with mere mortals, is wrong.
Comments? Questions? I’d love to hear from you. Please feel free to contact me about this post.