There is an ancient proverb which says that the person who returns from a journey is not the same as the one who left. That is certainly true in the case of Peter, James and John when they trudged up that mountain with Jesus (Matthew 17:1-8). They saw and heard things that no one else ever has. A vision of the Lord opened their eyes and ears in a whole new way.
Jesus changed right before them. His face took on the radiance of the sun. His clothes matched it, bright as a hundred watt bulb. He was in conversation with Moses and Elijah. What a scene! It so impressed Peter that he wanted to do something to commemorate the moment. His idea? Tabernacles. How about three of them? God’s thoughts? Very different: listen and learn.
Do you have any idea who this is? Moses was a man of significance. How many other people has God conversed with from a flaming shrub? He had been the man to lead the Israelites out of slavery. He was entrusted with the Ten Commandments. Quite a guy was this Moses, but he was not in the category with this one. And Elijah’s resume ends with a journey to heaven in a whirlwind (2 Kings 2). Impressive, but nothing like the one beside him. “This is My beloved Son.”
Jesus knew no missteps. It was always His plan to please His Father (John 8:29). He surrendered His life for the greater good. He swapped His place in glory for the servant’s quarters. He washed feet and sweat blood. He lived and died so that we might die and live. Moses was admirable. Elijah was noteworthy. But this one, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased…” He is in a whole other class.
His words change destinies. They alter the course of human events. They raise the dead. No one has words that can compare. They came from the Father (John 12:49). Jesus spoke them and passed them on to the Holy Spirit (John 16:12-15) who in turn revealed them to humans who wrote them down. Now they are in our hands. God created and shaped the world by means of speaking (Genesis 1). Now His message has come to us. Every time we open the Bible it is a trip up that mountain. Don’t forget the voice from the cloud. “Listen to Him.”
Call to Praise scripture: Deuteronomy 6:4-9
His word on it: 1 John 5:3
Sermon: “A God-Centered Life”