And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”
And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, “This is my beloved Son; listen to him.”
And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, my Chosen One; listen to him!”
Six days later Jesus took Peter and the two brothers, James and John, and led them up a high mountain to be alone. As the men watched, Jesus’ appearance was transformed so that his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as light. Suddenly, Moses and Elijah appeared and began talking with Jesus.
Peter exclaimed, “Lord, it’s wonderful for us to be here! If you want, I’ll make three shelters as memorials—one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
But even as he spoke, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy. Listen to him.” The disciples were terrified and fell face down on the ground.
Then Jesus came over and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” 8 And when they looked up, Moses and Elijah were gone, and they saw only Jesus.
It was called the transfiguration. It happened on a mountain, and there was a great truth pronounced, as well as it's repercussion. It was an overwhelming experience for the three apostles present. They were terrified of what they were seeing and hearing.
Following the pronouncement at the Transfiguration that Jesus was His beloved Son, God said, “Listen to Him!” Listening to Jesus is important because it is He through whom God speaks to the world today (Hebrews 1:1-3). In fact, our salvation and where we will spend eternity depends on us giving the appropriate attention and response to the word of Christ (John 12:47-48). We should listen carefully and diligently. To ignore His word, or pay only slight attention to it is a bad choice, let alone mocking or ridiculing it. Eternal salvation is to be found in no one else. There are no substitutes. (1 Timothy 6:20,21; Colossians 2:8).
“Listen to Him!” This is excellent advice that was given on the mountain by the voice of God.
God Is The Sole Provider of the Soul's Salvation
In Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection, God did what had to be done if we were to be saved from sin. This was also something that we could not have done for ourselves, and He did so without our deserving it. The problem was sin and death (Genesis 2:16,17; 3:15; Romans 6:23). God's answer was the giving of His sinless Son as an atonement for our sins (Romans 5:6-11).
God provided the apostles as witnesses of what He had done who would announce the deeds of the Son to the world (John 17:20; Acts 1:8,22; 2:32; 5:32). God also promised to confirm the preaching of the witnesses with miracles which would give additional credence to their words as being from God (2 Corinthians 12:12; 1 Thessalonians 1:5).
The apostles were guided into all truth (John 14:26; 15:26,27; 16:13). The preaching of the truth by the apostles was confirmed miraculously by God for the rest of their lives (Hebrews 2:1-4).
How Do We Respond To The Provider of Salvation
Today, we can hear, believe, and obey the message that was preached by the apostles (Acts 11:20,21). When we respond in this way, we are saved by what God did in Jesus Christ - (Colossians 2:12). For example, when the Ethiopian eunuch listened to Philip preaching Christ, he obeyed the gospel and was saved by what Jesus had done for him, and for us, on the cross (Acts 8:35-38). Likewise with Cornelius and his household (Acts 10:5,6,22,33; 11:13,14).
In both the above examples, and in every case of conversion we read about, men and women were saved by the listening to and responding to the gospel. We are saved as we respond in the same way to the same message as they!
Same Apostles; Same Miracles; Same Message; Same Salvation
It would not be correct to say that we do not need apostles and miracles today. We need their words and confirming miracles that their words are true. For that reason, both the words and the miracles have been recorded for us in the finished work of the apostles, the New Testament of Jesus Christ. That “perfect” revelation of God; the Covenant of Christ, is ours to listen to (1 Corinthians 13:8-10; Jude 3). The delivery of that message is now complete. When we build our lives on the teachings of Christ in the New Testament, we are building on the exact same foundation as the Eunuch and Cornelius and every other disciple in the New Testament! The “foundation” remains exactly where it has been since the first century (Ephesians 2:20).
The Word of Christ is God's Power to Save
The word of the gospel is God's power to save (Romans 1:16). Quite obviously, God's words are the most important words of all. They will save us, and save us forever (John 17:7,8; Ephesians 6:17).
It is the truth of Jesus' words, and the power of God in that truth, that gives us life (John 6:44,45,63,68). God's truth is the counterpoint to all of Satan's lies and deception. If it is Satan's lies that produce the problem of sin, it makes sense that it is God's truth that makes us free (John 8:30-32).
The Danger of Discontent With God's Word
Many seem to be less than satisfied with the simple beauty, wisdom, and power of God's plan (1 Corinthians 1:18-25). Is it too simple? Is it too difficult? Perhaps it is thought too confining and restricting? Or maybe there are just too few others that accept it. But none of these things change it from what it really is; our only hope and the hope of all who are in the world. So, whether others might be discontented with it or not, we must “preach” only Christ and Him crucified (1 Corinthians. 2:1,2).
From Expository Files 16.10; October 2009
For we were not making up clever stories when we told you about the powerful coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. We saw his majestic splendor with our own eyes when he received honor and glory from God the Father. The voice from the majestic glory of God said to him, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.” We ourselves heard that voice from heaven when we were with him on the holy mountain.
Because of that experience, we have even greater confidence in the message proclaimed by the prophets. You must pay close attention to what they wrote, for their words are like a lamp shining in a dark place—until the Day dawns, and Christ the Morning Star shines in your hearts. Above all, you must realize that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophet’s own understanding, or from human initiative. No, those prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit, and they spoke from God.
- Listen to Him - https://www.bible.ca/ef/expository-matthew-17-1-8.htm
Unless otherwise noted. Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.