Hear and Live!

        

This is a question that Jesus asked his disciples after He had been with them for some time. He had been demonstrating the love of His Father for mankind by showing all that He is more than a Rabbi,He is  more than a teacher, and He is more than a miracle worker, by doing  miracles that only God could perform. Those opposed to Him accused Him of doing His acts of kindness towards human souls by the power of demons. Huh?  Do demons work good or do they work bad? Of course, they exist only to do evil and destructive things. So after feeding a huge multitude with a few fishes and a few loaves of bread, he now wanted to see what people were understanding as to He was. So he asked the question then and he asks it yet today……

Luke 9:18 And it came to pass, as he was alone praying, his disciples were with him: and he asked them, saying, Whom say the people that I am?

 19 They answering said, John the Baptist; but some say, Elias; and others say, that one of the old prophets is risen again.

 20 He said unto them, But whom say ye that I am? Peter answering said, The Christ of God.

 21 And he straitly charged them, and commanded them to tell no man that thing;

Do you know who I Am and why My Father sent me here? I came here to die, not yet explaining as to why He was going to do so. 

 22 Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day.

And then, He told them who were with Him that to follow Him was going to mean their death also. Wow, this must have been hard for them to grasp. They knew that for Him to talk of the cross meant death,  for alongside the roads in that area were crosses with criminals hanging on them either dying or already dead. Listen to what He says to them and to us.  Jesus, are you saying that to follow you is going to cost us our life?  That is what He said to them and to us.

 23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

 24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.

 25 For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?

 26 For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father's, and of the holy angels.

 27 But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God.

 

And then taking three of his disciples up into the mountain to pray,  Jesus revealed His Godness in His Person and not just in His works of healing and of kindness.  For a moment the brightness of the glory of God shone out of the human body of Jesus Christ, not a reflection like Moses had after being with God.

Luke 9:28 And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray. {sayings: or, things}

 29 And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering.

Matthew 17:2 And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.

Mark 9:3 And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them.

John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

2 Peter 1:17 For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

 18 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.

 19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:

 

 

 

 30 And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias:

 31 Who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease (exodus) which he should accomplish at Jerusalem.

 32 But Peter and they that were with him were heavy with sleep: and when they were awake, they saw his glory, and the two men that stood with him.

 33 And it came to pass, as they departed from him, Peter said unto Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias: not knowing what he said.

 34 While he thus spake, there came a cloud, and overshadowed them: and they feared as they entered into the cloud.

 35 And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him.

 36 And when the voice was past, Jesus was found alone. And they kept it close, and told no man in those days any of those things which they had seen.

There would be much to say here, but we will try to keep it simple, clear and short. Going back to the question that Jesus asked/asks, Whom do you say that I am, we by the testimony of the Word of God can give answer just as Peter did when he said, You are Christ, the Son of God!  In other words, Jesus is God, evidenced not only by the miracles He did,  but now a great encouragement is given to the disciples and to us.  For now they/we see that Jesus is God in the flesh, and that He is the fulfillment of prophecy, which Moses and Elijah were speaking about with Him concerning his exodus to the cross. 

This must have been quite a scene for them to see, and how they knew who the two men were is not clear, but they knew for Peter mentioned them by name. After waking up and coming to full awakeness, Peter came up with a plan to build three tents, one for Jesus (Put him first), one for Moses and one for Elijah. Then a cloud appeared, and out of the cloud they heard the Voice from heaven, from God.

This is my beloved Son: hear him.

This is the climax of this text it seems like. Our heavenly Father wants nothing more than for us to hear His voice through Jesus, which is through the Word that we hear spoken today.  Hear my son, He has come to give life to the world through His life and death. Know that it is His life that is a ransom for your life. Hear and Live today!

May the Lord add His blessing to these words, Amen.

Pastor Orval Wirkkala