” This is my beloved Son listen to him.”v.7
Do you ever wonder what you’d say to the Lord if suddenly he was standing in front of you? We’ve all imagined this to some degree. Even those who don’t believe have had thoughts about what they’d say to God if they saw him. I have to chuckle when I hear people boast about giving God and earful when they get to heaven some day. But what if you didn’t have to wait to get to heaven to see him in his glory? How do you think you’d react? Peter, James, and John had that opportunity one day. Jesus led them on a hike up to the top of a mountain where they saw him literally transfigured before their eyes. For one glorious moment Jesus face and clothing shone with dazzling heavenly brightness, and suddenly there appeared with him Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus. Talk about a high level summit! This was the power meeting of all time. The awe of this moment so gripped the three disciples that all they could do was stand there. Peter was the only one who managed to get a word out of his mouth. He said, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here (understatement of the century) Let us make three tents, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah. (misstatement of the century)” But who can blame Peter for stumbling over himself? Seeing the curtain of eternity pulled back like that would knock the sense right out of anyone. Verse 6 explains, “For he did not know what to say, for they were terrified.” Again what do you say when you find yourself in the visible presence of God himself? What would you say? What will you say? While Peter is kicking himself for saying something dumb, and the other two were too terrified even to do that, God the father spoke from heaven. What a day ! First you see Christ in his glory, standing beside two saints who left earth centuries ago, then you hear the audible voice of God! (Would you even dare to take a selfie?) The voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, listen to him.” Then everything stopped and Jesus was standing there all alone. That’s it? Meeting adjourned? Not to sound disrespectful, but it sounds kind of anti climactic to me. Brilliant light, appearances of great saints, cloud overhead, and the voice of God thundering above, and all we here is, “Listen to my Son?” What’s up with that? Surely in a moment like this they would get some commands, a commission or at least something inspirational. Even a rebuke would be nice! But all he said, was “Listen to him.”
It kinda makes me think of prayer. You know I may not see him in dazzling brilliance, alongside the saints of old like they did. But every day I have opportunity to stand in his real presence, and at least read the words of the saints. In those high level summits I find myself trying to figure out what I should say to the Lord. I rattle off all the things I think the Lord should do. Like Peter I want to erect a few memorial tents and just hang out on the mountain and watch the show. I have all sorts of ideas for the Lord. But what I need to be doing is following the father’s instructions. “Listen to my Son” he says. In the middle of my fears and failures, the message comes, “Listen to my son.” When I am terrified with all that is happening around me and I want to scream out my instructions to God, he says simply, “Listen to my Son”. The father loves it when you climb the mountain each day and spend time meeting with him. In fact he wants you to do it more often. But when you come to God, don’t be so anxious to give him your building plans and great ideas. Just listen to the Son. Really listen. In fact right now, why don’t you put this devotion aside and take some time, with your Bible and your heart wide open, and listen.
You know at the end of your life you will finally be able to see him face to face. You will see what Peter, James and John saw, and even more. In that day, as you stand on the edge of eternity, it won’t matter what you have to say to God. All that will matter is what he says to you. Either he will say “depart from me, I never knew you.” or he will say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Which will it be?