Revealing a Bit More
This week is Transfiguration Sunday, in which Jesus is dramatically changed in front of several apostles on top of the mountain, as well as appearing with Moses and Elijah. This year the text is Matthew 17: 1-9. It is a bit like a Scriptural “reveal party”, as a bit more of who Jesus really is comes forth. It is clear to Peter, James and John that this Jesus is no simple rabbi.
What occurs is so startling that the three of them fell to the ground and were “overcome by fear” (Verse 6). I can only imagine what coming face to face with such an awe-inspiring moment would feel like. Scary indeed to see the power of God manifest in this way. It must have been an amazing thing to realize the power of Jesus and His connection to God. It still is.
Hearing the Word
There are several points to draw out of this relatively short passage. The one I wish to focus on here is one that is often overlooked amidst the powerful imagery of this story. This is Verse 5, when the voice (God) from the cloud tells them that this is my Son, the beloved; with him I am well pleased. Many remember this part, because it is the reveal portion of this text, as the apostles are realizing. However, the next line is most salient, “listen to him!”. That’s listen with an exclamation point.
One of the key themes throughout Scripture, indeed the main point of Scripture, is that God has things to say to us. God desperately wants us to understand Him. The primary means of God communicating to us is the life, death and resurrection of His Son Jesus the Christ. This is revealed to us in the Scriptures. Here God could not be clearer about what we are to do. We are to listen! Scripture is not that difficult to understand if we but listen! True enough, it is as hard as a heart attack to act upon what God is telling us, but we know in our heart what God is telling us.
Listen to Jesus when He tells us to love God and love one another. Listen to Jesus when He tells us to forgive each other, as He did from the cross. Listen to Jesus tell us to cloth the naked, feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, visit the imprisoned, tend to the sick and bury the dead. Listen to Jesus when He tells us to give all of ourselves to God and to submit to the will of God.
Mostly God is telling us to listen to Him through His Son Jesus when He says to believe in Him as our risen savior. Listen to Jesus and trust that God’s word is true, the resurrection is real, and Jesus Christ is Lord. Once we have listened, we will know in our hearts how to respond, as imperfectly as that will look. So, as in so many other parts of Scripture the takeaway here is to listen, then act. Which is you know…just believing then obeying.
Praise Be to God