LISTEN to HIM!



Matthew 17:1-13
1And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves.
2And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light.
3And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him.
4And Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.”
5He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.”
6When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces and were terrified.
7But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and have no fear.”
8And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.
9And as they were coming down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, “Tell no one the vision, until the Son of Man is raised from the dead.”

One of the ways that movie production companies create buzz about a movie is to rave about the cast they have assembled to be a part of their project. If you can tout a big name celebrity more people will want to see the movie, right? And let’s face it some names are “bigger” than others. When Jesus invites Peter, James, and John up onto the mountain top with Him all He would have had to do was mention that Moses and Elijah would be there and they would have run to the top to see them. These were “big” names in the history of God’s people.

It is quite a scene. Jesus takes Peter, James, and John to the top of “a high mountain” and there unfolds before them an amazing sight. First, Jesus is revealed as the glorious Son of God that He is. He is “transformed” from mere human to God and He shines like the sun. Then appears Moses and Elijah and they have a conversation with Jesus. Let’s examine the two guests invited to this event for a moment. Moses and Elijah – two big names from the Old Testament. Moses is the one to whom God handed the 10 Commandments. He represents the Law. Elijah was the prophet who defeated the idolatrous worshipers of Baal and pronounced the judgment of God upon the evil Queen Jezebel and King Ahab. He represents the Prophets. Together they comprise all of the Old Testament. They are also men who went to God at the end of their lives in miraculous ways. Moses goes up onto the mountain top and God is the one who buries him when he dies! No one else ever knows where Moses’ grave is located. Elijah never has to die. He is picked up by a fiery chariot and taken into heaven! Now these two stand with Jesus in casual conversation. Peter – being Peter – pronounces the whole thing to be “good” and impetuously offers to build three tents. Jesus has no response to Peter’s crazy idea and those words fall to the ground. Instead, the Father pronounces His great love for and pleasure in Jesus and commands all of them (including Moses and Elijah?) to “LISTEN to Him.”

When the Father speaks, of course Peter, James, and John fall to their faces in humble worship. When Jesus touches them and gathers their attention again, Elijah and Moses are no longer there; there remains only Jesus. He is the fulfillment of the Law and Prophets. He is all that we need. He is who we are to listen to and follow. This event brings Jesus into clear focus for the three disciples and for us as well. This is God. This is the One who was promised. This is the One who will save us.

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