(Should have been) Speechless

Posted: December 19, 2016 in Luke, Uncategorized

Luke 9:28-36, “(Should have been) Speechless”

Some things leave you speechless.  Sometimes it’s in response to rudeness, when you’ve done the right thing but the other person totally flips out.  Sometimes it’s in response to seeing how people dress in public – the infamous “people of WalMart” photos.  Sometimes it’s when someone (maybe yourself) has done something so boneheaded, there’s nothing left to do but a facepalm.  Other times, it’s because something so incredible has happened that you simply don’t know what to say.  Such was the case with the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ.  It was amazing, and literally left the disciples dumbfounded.  Only one disciple attempted words, and it quickly became obvious that he had nothing to say.  For everything Peter, John, and James had seen by this point (which was a lot!), they hadn’t seen anything like this!

And that raises an interesting question, in regards to the Biblical text itself.  For amazing as a miracle as this is, why is it included in only three out of the four gospels?  After all, the significance of the feeding of the 5000 was that it demonstrated Jesus as the Son of God.  He is God of true God, fully endued even with the power of creation.  Why wouldn’t the Transfiguration receive the same treatment?  It demonstrates the deity of Christ just as clearly.  In fact, demonstration of Jesus’ deity is arguable the primary reason the disciples were allowed to see it in the first place.  In addition, the one gospel writer who does not include the account (John) was the one of the few first-hand witnesses of it.  Out of all the gospel authors, we would think John most likely to include it, yet he says nothing…at least, not directly.  Some scholars argue that John was so impacted by the Transfiguration that the idea of it leaps off of every page of his gospel.  As John writes in in his prologue, “And we beheld His glory, full of grace and truth.” (Jn 1:14)  And so they did!

Even so, that doesn’t answer the question why the Transfiguration is not afforded the same treatment as the feeding of the 5000 – much less Jesus’ resurrection from the dead (the only two miracles included in all four gospels).  There are several possibilities: (1) It was witnessed by only a few, compared with the multitude with the bread and fish as well as the eventual 500 with the resurrection (1 Cor 15). (2) The Transfiguration was intended by Jesus for the apostles to share after the resurrection, and is somewhat a preview of it.  Thus it would be easily absorbed in the shadow of the greater miracle.  (3) In the end, this is the choice of the Holy Spirit, as He inspired each one of the gospel writings.  We can trust that He knows best what to include in Scripture. J

At the end of the day, we know this much: it is included in Scripture!  An event in the life of Jesus does not need to be mentioned four times to be true…once is enough.  That it is mentioned three times in an indication that we need to pay it careful attention, allowing God to speak to us through His word.

So what does God the Spirit say to the church about God the Son in regards to the Transfiguration?  The same thing declared by God the Father to Peter, James, and John: “This is My beloved Son!  Hear Him!”  Pay attention to this man, for He is the man of glory – He is the Son of God!

With all of that said, we might ask why look at this at Christmastime?  (1) Because it’s not Christmas yet.  (2) Because Christmas is about the Incarnation of the Son of God.  Likewise, that’s the whole point of the Transfiguration.  In it, Jesus is shown to be none other than the glorified God Himself.  (3) Christmas is about the arrival of Jesus (via the Incarnation).  He has come!  The Transfiguration gives us a preview of His 2nd Coming.  He has indeed come, and He is coming again!

Luke’s telling of the event is pretty straightforward, and the shortest of the three gospels.  He leaves out a few details included by Matthew & Mark, and totally omits the conversation that took place afterwards between Jesus and the disciples.  Then again (as is so often the case), Luke also fills in a few details the others did not include.  Luke brings his own perspective to this example of Jesus as the Son of God, which is a good reminder to us as Bible students to be careful to read each of the gospels on their own terms.  It’s good to see the parallel accounts of Jesus to get a full picture of what happened, but we don’t want to miss the individual emphases of the various authors.

As to this text, Luke keeps things simple.  There is the miracle itself, and the response.  As he begins, he gives us the setting in vs. 8…

Luke 9:28–36

  • The Miracle (28-31)

28 Now it came to pass, about eight days after these sayings, that He took Peter, John, and James and went up on the mountain to pray.

  • Right from the start, there is a bit of a difference between Luke and the other two Synoptic gospels.  There is a very definite chronology given, but while both Matthew & Mark state that the Transfiguration took place “after six days” from the previous event, Luke writes that it was “about eight days after.”  Is this a contradiction?  Did Luke attempt to correct Matthew & Mark?  No.  It’s just two different ways of saying the same thing.  What is “after six” days?  Day seven.  How many days are in “about eight” days?  Seven.  If the gospel writers had used modern English, they all probably would have written “about a week later.”  Instead they communicated in their language the best way they knew how to say the same thing to their various Jewish, Roman, and Gentile (Asia Minor) audiences (Matthew, Mark, and Luke, respectively).
    • We’ve said it before, and it needs to be said again: always give the Bible the benefit of the doubt.  There are many people who try to point out supposed contradictions in the Bible in an attempt to undermine its credibility.  Don’t listen to the skeptics.  When questioned, the Bible has proven itself right so many times that it always deserves the benefit of the doubt.  Believe it, then go do your own research and see it with your own eyes.
  • Of course, all of this begs the question: eight days after what?  After Jesus had finished the previous “sayings.”  All three Synoptic gospels agree on the previous events.  Peter had given his marvelous confession believing Jesus to be the Christ.  He knew Jesus to be far greater than any of the prophets who had come in the past.  Jesus is Christ the King, the authoritative Son of God.  After that, Jesus told His disciples of His coming rejection, death, and resurrection.  Not only would Jesus as the Christ suffer, so would His apostles.  He told them that those who chose to follow Jesus as Lord would have to pick up their own crosses, being unashamed to surrender everything to Jesus – knowing that Jesus would one day come in glory.  Finally, Jesus gave one more specific prophecy: some of the disciples in their midst would see the kingdom of God for themselves.  IOW, some would not have to wait very long to see Jesus in His glory.  Apparently it wasn’t long at all…only a week!
  • So this is when Jesus took a small group up on the mountain with Him to pray.  Peter, James, and John (why Luke lists John first is unknown – it seems to be the only instance in the Scripture where this occurs) were the three apostles closest with Jesus, and occasionally He let them see things the others did not.  Why He chose Peter, James, and John as His inner circle is never told us in Scripture.  Certainly it wasn’t anything they had earned for themselves – this was simply the grace of God.
    • What we do know is that each of them was profoundly changed by the experience.  How could they not?  They were in the presence of Jesus!
    • Have you been profoundly changed by God?  Can people see the difference between the person you are now, versus the person you used to be?  If not, perhaps you need to spend more time in the presence of Jesus.  Time spent alone with Him will be evident among others.
  • The disciples weren’t the only ones changed.  Vs. 29…

29 As He prayed, the appearance of His face was altered, and His robe became white and glistening.

  • Jesus was praying, but that’s not the emphasis at the present (although Luke is the only writer to note it).  Jesus’ appearance is the issue.  Peter, James, and John had all seen Jesus pray before, but the never say Him look like this!  We call this “the Transfiguration,” but Luke never uses the term.  Matthew & Mark each do, both saying how Jesus was transfigured / transformed / underwent metamorphosis right before the eyes of the three apostles.  Luke does not.  Instead, he writes that the “appearance of [Jesus’] face was altered.”  Literally, this could be translated (as does the NASB) that His face “was different.”  Typical understatement!  Yes, Jesus’ face was different…really different!  It was obviously Jesus, but this wasn’t like the same Jesus the disciples had lived with for the past 2½ years.  This was a glorified Jesus – this was Jesus as He truly is.  At Christmas, we celebrate the Incarnation – how Jesus came in humility among humans.  On a certain day in time, the baby Jesus was born in a manger – but God the Son has always existed.  In eternity past, the Son did not have an appearance of humility, but of glory.  In eternity future, it is the same.  He will forever be incarnate human, but He never again has the need for an appearance of humility.  He is today, and will always be, glorious!
    • With due respect for nativity scenes (which are entirely appropriate for Christmas), Jesus never needs to be continually presented in a manger, or as a wee child in the arms of His mother.  That is who He was, but that is not who He is.  In the same manner, Jesus does not need to be continually represented as crucified, bleeding, and hanging dead on the cross.  Why?  He is no longer dead!  He is alive – He is glorious – and we ought to know Him as such.  The apostle John gives us a description of the current appearance of Jesus: Revelation 1:14–16, "(14) His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; (15) His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; (16) He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength."  This is no Babe in a manger!  This is no dead Jesus!  He is risen, and He is glorious!  We almost have to wonder if the sight of Jesus on Patmos was not already familiar to John.  After all, he had seen Jesus somewhat like this once before: at the Transfiguration.
  • So changed was Jesus that it even affected His clothes.  Luke describes His robe as being “white and glistening.”  We hear the word “glistening,” and think something like glitter, or perhaps of a freshly waxed sportscar.  In Jesus’ case, it was far more.  This word means “to flash like lightning.”  Have you ever seen a lightning storm at night?  It illuminates the whole sky.  That’s the way Jesus was.  His clothes radiated the glory of God so much that it was like staring into lightning.
    • That’s glory!  We tend to water down the word.  A beautiful sunrise is “glorious.”  An emotional high is “glorious.”  Those things don’t hold a candle to Jesus!  God alone is glorious in the truest sense of the word.  He alone has the glory by which all other things are judged.  Even the sun (i.e. the star) pales in comparison to God.  Nothing physical in our solar system shines brighter than the sun, but what do we know about the sun?  It’s completely optional!  In the new heavens and new earth, there will no longer be a need for a sun, because the glorious of the Lord Jesus will light up the entire planet.  He truly is glorious!
    • Do you treat Him as such?  Do you respond to Him with the full ongoing knowledge of His infinite glory?  As wonderful as it is to be granted the freedom we have in Christ, to be granted the right to come to God as sons & daughters, there is also an inherent danger: that we will begin to take Him for granted.  We come to God so often that we forget that it is a privilege to be invited to come.  By all means, don’t stop going to God (heaven forbid!), but be sure to keep a right attitude of reverence – of holy fear – of grateful humility.  After all, you are speaking with the God of all glory.  That’s not something to take lightly.
  • BTW – the fact that this glory was temporarily hidden from us is exactly why we celebrate Christmas.  If Jesus had never put aside His glory, He would never have come as a sacrifice for us.  No sacrifice, no resurrection.  No resurrection, no forgiveness.  The whole of our salvation – the gospel message itself hangs on the fact that Jesus willingly set His glory aside to come among us.  (Just remember that this was temporary.  Today, He has all the glory He ever had.  He’s even been given the name that is above every name!)
  • Jesus may have had the most glory, but He wasn’t the only Person glorified that day.  Vs. 30-31…

30 And behold, two men talked with Him, who were Moses and Elijah, 31 who appeared in glory and spoke of His decease which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.

  • Luke alone out of the gospel writers notes that “Moses and Elijah” were also in glorified bodies, though they are not described with the same overwhelming appearance as Jesus.  As great as these two men of the past may be, they are still less than Jesus, even while all three are standing on the mountain together having a conversation.
  • Why Moses & Elijah?  Scholars have suggested quite a few theories.  It could be that they represent the Law and the Prophets.  It could be that they represent the past covenant of the Jews and the future Judgment Day (as Elijah is expected to come).  It could be because that God took both of them for Himself: Moses, after he died & Elijah in the chariot of fire.  And of course it’s possible that the two witnesses of Revelation 11 are none other than Moses and Elijah themselves.
  • Personally speaking, the biggest question I have concerning Moses and Elijah isn’t so much why they were chosen to be there with Jesus, but how the apostles instantly recognized them for who they were.  None of the three Synoptic writers tell us how the Peter, James, and John knew them – apparently, they instantly recognized two men from their cultural history, separated from them by centuries.  It’s not as if photos of Moses & Elijah could be quickly googled & researched.  It’s doubtful that any paintings even existed.  How did the disciples recognize them?  They simply knew.  It’s an unanswerable question, but it does seem to indicate something wonderful about heaven: we’ll recognize people.  All the born-again believers we always wanted to meet, we’ll know.  All of our saved loved ones will be instantly recognizable to us.  People often wonder what we’ll look like when we get to heaven – and we simply don’t know.  Being that we will have glorified bodies, there’s no doubt there will be some difference.  But as to babies being grown, or elderly looking young, there’s no way for us to say anything definitive from the Scripture.  However, no matter what we look like, we’ll be able to recognize one another, seemingly instantly.
    • With that in mind, the most important question about heaven that needs answering is whether or not you have the assurance that you’ll be there.  Many people just make the assumption that when they die, they’ll go to heaven – but what’s your basis for that assumption?  On what grounds will God let you into His heaven?  It is only through Jesus.  He is the way, the truth, and the life, and no one goes to the Father except through Him.  (Jn 14:6)  If you believe upon Jesus, receiving Him as your Lord, that is the very (and only) assurance you need.
  • In regards to Moses & Elijah, they had a conversation with Jesus there on the mountain.  How long they spoke, we don’t know, though we do know the conversation topic (which Luke alone provides): Jesus’ soon “decease which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.”  Some translations speak of Jesus’ “departure,” and that’s a good translation of the actual word used (ἔξοδος = exodus).  Euphemistically, the word is sometimes used to refer to death, as in one’s departure from life – and that seems to be the case here.  Jesus was about to embark on His final journey to Jerusalem – the one that would lead directly to the cross.  The three disciples may not have understood everything that was about to come to pass (even though Jesus directly prophesied it), but the two elder prophets did.  Being in the presence of God, they knew the plan of God concerning Jesus, and they spoke freely with Him about it.
    • Wouldn’t you love to have been a fly on the wall of that conversation?  We wouldn’t know even this much without Luke, but how great it would be to know what it was they spoke!  Were Moses & Elijah encouraging Jesus for what He was about to face?  Was Jesus clearing up some misunderstanding held by the previous prophets?  Were they just shooting the breeze having casual conversation about it?  That’s one of the things we have to wait until heaven to find out.
  • With all of this activity taking place, it’s no wonder that it attracted the attention of the apostles.  That’s when the response comes…
  • The Response (32-36)

32 But Peter and those with him were heavy with sleep; and when they were fully awake, they saw His glory and the two men who stood with Him.

  • This is another detail provided by Luke alone, which provides some important context to what Peter said to Jesus.  The three disciples were with Christ, but they were falling asleep.  As what seems to have so often been the case (i.e. the Garden of Gethsemane), Jesus wanted His three closest friends with Him to pray, but Jesus was really the only Person praying.  Peter, James, and John were groggy and nodding off during prayer time.  (Many of us can probably relate!)  We don’t want to get too critical of the apostles – after all, we don’t know how long Jesus had been praying at the time.  It’s quite possible that Peter, James, and John prayed right alongside Jesus for a while – they just couldn’t go the distance & they began to doze.
  • That said, a little lightning would wake them up pretty quick!  Remember that Jesus’ clothing was so bright that it was like staring into lighting.  That would shock the apostles into alertness, and once they were, they were shocked at the things they saw: Jesus, Moses, Elijah – all glorified right before their eyes!
  • That would be the cue for Peter to remain silent.  He wasn’t.  Vs. 33…

33 Then it happened, as they were parting from Him, that Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”—not knowing what he said.

  • Before we give Peter too much grief, we need to remember that he was just waking up from a nap.  As Luke notes, Peter did not know what he said.  How many of us have been suddenly shocked out of sleep, unable to think clearly?  We’ve said enough boneheaded things being fully awake – certainly we can cut Peter a bit of slack for saying something while he was still groggy!  That said, this was a moment that demanded silence; not speech.  This was sight to leave people awestruck, and no words were really appropriate.  Peter was speechless in his mind…he just had the unfortunate experience to open his mouth and let everyone else know it as well.  
  • Peter did get one thing right in all of this: it was good to be there!  He at least understood the privilege it was to be on the mountain with Jesus, Moses, and Elijah.  He was in the presence of all the hope of Israel (past, present, and future), and even if Peter didn’t fully grasp all of the theology involved, he knew he was right where he wanted to be & he didn’t want to leave.  In his mind, it would be better to stay right in that place forever.  And who among us can blame him?  Have you ever had a mountaintop experience with the Lord?  Have you ever had a time of worship so wonderful that you never wanted to leave?  Sure, there are other things that need to be done – but that feeling of being in the presence of God, or that knowledge of the work of God while on a mission trip, or whatever experience you might be having at the moment is so incredible that you never want it to stop.  That’s where Peter was.  He was caught up in an understandably awesome moment, and he never wanted it to end.
  • The problem was that Peter ignored the fact that it had to end.  The very subject of conversion was Jesus’ soon death in Jerusalem, and Jesus had already prophesied directly to the disciples about His death & resurrection.  If Jesus stayed on the mountain, then He wouldn’t go to the cross.  If Jesus didn’t go to the cross & rise again, then neither Peter, James, John, Moses, Elijah, or anyone else would have access to the forgiveness of God, and all of them would be lost.  Staying on the mountain might sound good in the moment, but it would tragic in regards to eternity.
    • To a lesser extent, it’s a similar thing to our own mountaintop experiences with God.  As great as they are, they cannot last.  It is wonderful to gather with other believers & to wholeheartedly worship the Lord God – but at some point, we still need to go out into the world and tell others of Jesus.  It is awesome to be so caught up in prayer and in the Spirit that you can’t even tell how much time is passing – but eventually we need to leave our prayer closet & go serve the Lord.  There’s still work to be done, and God has called us to do it.  We love the mountaintop experiences, but they cannot last – all they can do is motivate us to keep moving.
    • BTW – there’s a danger with always seeking the mountaintop experience: it has a tendency to make our faith man-centered.  It becomes about us, and our emotions, and our experiences.  We start to judge worship by the way we feel, rather than by the way God is glorified.  Be careful!  It is a good thing to have our emotions involved in worship (it’d be weird if they weren’t!), but it’s not a good thing to have our worship tied to our emotions.
  • The other mistake Peter made was more subtle.  He put Jesus, Moses, and Elijah all on the same level.  He made them equals.  In humility, Peter never suggested making a tabernacle (tent) for himself, James, or John (and perhaps they would have something to say about that!), but Peter did suggest equal housing arrangements for Jesus, Moses, and Elijah.  Again, we need to be careful not to criticize Peter too much on this point.  (1) He was groggy, and (2) he didn’t really know what to do.  But his suggestion (though surely well-intentioned) had some terrible implications.  Moses & Elijah are wonderful prophets of the past & they were truly giants among the Biblical figures.  But Jesus is head & shoulders above them.  There is none like Jesus.  Remember that Peter had confessed Jesus to be the Christ of God – Peter knew that Jesus was supreme over John the Baptist, Elijah, Moses, or any of the other prophets of the past.  He simply forgot about it in the moment & didn’t treat Jesus as supreme.  Carelessness led to a loss of reverence, and that’s a dangerous place to be.
  • Thankfully, God is gracious.  Peter wasn’t struck dead – but he was chastised just a bit as God interrupted him and refocused his attention.  Vs. 34…

34 While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were fearful as they entered the cloud. 35 And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!”

  • When someone is rambling, it’s sometimes better to interrupt them than to allow them to say something they’re going to wind up regretting later, and God was merciful to Peter to do exactly that that.  While Peter was having his moment of stumbling and stammering at the mouth, “a cloud came and overshadowed them” – and this was not just any ordinary cloud.  More often than not, when clouds appear in Scripture, it is a symbol of God’s glory.  Sometimes His glory is depicted as radiant light (as it was with Jesus at the moment) – other times it is shown as smoke or clouds.  God led the Hebrews though the wilderness with a pillar of cloud – God descended on Mount Sinai with a cloud – when the tabernacle was dedicated, it was covered with a cloud, etc.  For a cloud to suddenly come over the six of them (Jesus, Moses, Elijah, Peter, James, John) was for the glory of God to come over them.  It’s no wonder that the disciples “were fearful as they entered the cloud”…they well understood something serious was happening.  This wasn’t a sudden mist or fog; this was the glory of God!
  • And if it wasn’t plain enough by the visual, God quickly confirmed it with something audible as He reiterated His approval of His Son, with the same language He used at Jesus’ baptism.  This was the “beloved Son” – as Matthew also records God saying, “in whom I am well pleased.”  Depending on your Bible translation, this may read “This is My Son, My Chosen One.”  There’s a textual variant here, with perhaps “My Chosen One” having the better support, but the basic idea is the same.  Jesus was not like Moses or Elijah – He is set apart from the rest, being Chosen and Beloved by God.  Jesus is a prophet, but He’s more than a prophet – He is the Son of God.   
  • This is what Peter got wrong in his rambling.  No doubt he was trying to do the right thing, and show respect to all three of the men in front of him.  It’s just that one Man deserved far more than the rest.  Neither Moses nor Elijah would have put themselves on the same level as Jesus – they would have stayed alongside the other disciples.  Everything Moses & Elijah did was meant to point the way to Jesus.  Moses prophesied of Him – he & Elijah both demonstrated His power, deferring to Him.  Jesus is so much greater than the other two.  Moses parted the Red Sea, but he did not die on behalf of Israel.  Elijah called fire down from heaven defeating the prophets of Baal, but he did not defeat death and the devil.  Only Jesus does that – only Jesus deserves our worship and ultimate attention.
  • And that’s was the rest of God’s point: “Hear Him!”  Pay attention to Jesus – hear the things He has to say.  Especially in regards to His coming death & resurrection…Peter, James, and John ought to pay careful attention to what Jesus had to say about that, and to believe Him.  They needed to hear Him.  Not just hear the words coming out of His mouth, but to truly listen & believe.  In addition, this command from God has special significance, considering the presence of Moses on the mountain.  Moses prophesied this very thing: Deuteronomy 18:15, "The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear,"  God is telling the three disciples that Jesus is the fulfillment of this promise.  This is the Prophet whom God told Israel to expect – the future Messiah, the fulfillment of all of the promise of God.  So hear Him – heed Him – listen!
    • Do you listen to Jesus?  Do you hear Him and heed His words?  As born-again Christians, it can be easy to believe what the Scripture says about Jesus, and believe that Jesus spoke the words that the Bible records Him saying – but not actually put it into practice.  At that point, we might know His words, but we’re certainly not listening to Him.  We need to hear.  Listen up, and follow through.  When He tells us to forgive, don’t give lip-service to that, do it.  When He tells us to love someone, do it.  When He tells you to give to someone, give, etc.  That’s all part of being His disciples and followers.  If He truly is our Lord, then we’re going to listen to the things He has to say, and we’re going to do them.  To hear Jesus is to heed Jesus – so heed Him.
    • Beyond this, we need to hear Jesus above all others.  For God to tell Peter to “hear Him,” was for God to say “hear Him above all of the rest.”  Give Jesus the preeminent place, because that is who He is.  Don’t just allow Jesus to be one voice among many in your life – just one more counselor alongside your family, friends, co-workers, etc.  Have Jesus as THE voice in your life, with Him having the final word.  For some, that means finally coming to faith in Jesus as God.  It means surrendering your own life to Him with Jesus being your Lord & King.  Hear Him – believe!

36 When the voice had ceased, Jesus was found alone. But they kept quiet, and told no one in those days any of the things they had seen.

  • The visit from Moses & Elijah was wonderful, but it didn’t last long.  As soon as God finished speaking to the disciples, the other two prophets were gone.  Things were back to normal (relatively speaking), and Jesus was alone with the three disciples.  Luke does not write of how Jesus specifically commanded Peter, James, and John not to say anything about this until after His resurrection (Mt 17:9, Mk 9:9), but that was the reason that the three of them “kept quiet” and didn’t say anything.  In retrospect, it makes perfect sense.  After all, not even Peter, James, or John fully understood what it was they had just witnessed – the true import of it wouldn’t really become clear until after the resurrection.  But when it did, then the three apostles would be able to tell the others & explain what it was they witnessed on the mountain.  At the present, all they would be able to do would be ramble & misinterpret the event – they needed the final perspective of Jesus as the Son of God in order to see this rightly, and for the apostles, that would only come after His resurrection from the dead.

It was an amazing miracle, and it was one that should have (and almost did) leave everyone speechless!  Peter opened his mouth, but quickly realized he didn’t really have anything to say.  How could he?  How could anyone?  When a person sees Jesus in all of His glory, there’s not really much we can do or say, other than to fall on our faces and worship.  He is the amazing God – He is the preeminent Being – He is the One we are to hear & to heed.

Do we have ears to hear?  Again, many of us might believe the truths about Jesus, but we have a difficult time acting upon them.  But where is faith without action?  If we don’t act upon a truth, can we say that we’ve really believed it?  If I really believed that a plane would take me to my destination, I’d board it.  If I really believed that a surgery would cure me of a disease, I’d undergo it.  Real faith requires a response.  If we really hear Jesus, then we’re going to heed His voice.

Also, if we really hear Jesus for who He is, then we’re going to give Him the preeminent place in our lives.  We’re not going to make Jesus compete for our attention, as if He’s just one more option among our sports teams, our Facebook time, our friends, or whatever.  He cannot simply be one voice among many and still be our Lord.  If He is Lord, then He is supreme.  He has priority – He has authority.  As well He should.  After all, He is the glorious Son of God – preexistent from eternity past, temporarily humble on earth, returned to infinite glory for eternity future.  Hear Him for who He is: the everlasting God.


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