If God spoke to us this morning, if we heard the audible voice of God, what would he say?
There are three instances recorded in the New Testament of the audible voice of God.
All three take place during the earthly life of Jesus and all three have the same purposes – the exaltation of Jesus Christ.
This morning we are going to look at the 2nd of those three accounts, during the event we know as the transfiguration.
In Mark 9:1-13 we are going to see the true nature of Jesus revealed in glory and hear the voice of God, “This is my beloved son, listen to him.”
In this passage I see 4 qualities in this exchange.
Jesus is revealed in authority – he stands with Elijah and Moses, the representatives of the Law and the Prophets – the authoritative foundation of Jewish tradition. Jesus is the fulfilment of the Law and the Prophets.
Jesus is revealed in glory – the cloud descending on the mountain is representative of the presence of God, going back to the cloud of glory which appeared at the Exodus, the giving of the Ten Commandments, and the dedication of the tabernacle and temple. In all 4 instances, the cloud was a theophany, or manifestation of the glorious presence of God with his people.
Jesus is revealed in love – the voice of God speaks with tender affection. This is my son, the beloved. There is tremendous meaning in this fact. The transfiguration is a revelation of the divine glory of Jesus and it is a revelation of divine love. At the center of the universe is loving relationship.
Jesus is revealed in grace – this glorious moment of revelation unveils before the eyes of three fishermen from Galilee who have no idea what is happening. Terrified, Peter offers to build three tents so that Jesus, Moses and Elijah can stay for a while on the mountain. As soon as he finishes the statement the voice of God thunders. This moment is not something Peter is helping create, it is happening to him and around him and through him.
If God spoke to us audibly today, I think he might say this – “Jesus is my beloved son, listen to him.”
Are you listening?
Here are 5 stages of listening to Jesus:
- The first is to beginning to listen in general. Some people are “listening” to everything so that they don’t have to listen to anything. Their is always a song playing or a screen on – anything so that they don’t have to face life. Anything to keep the haunting questions of meaning and morality and mortality at bay. When God begins to speak to a person it may start with a crisis or a moment that stop us in our tracks, listening.
- The second step is to begin listening to Jesus. A person may have never considered Jesus as a relevant topic, but an interesting circumstance changes that. An invite to church, a spiritual conversation at work, a Bible verse shared by a friend and Jesus enters the picture. A person begins to attend church and read the Bible, listening to Jesus.
- The third step is to begin listening to Jesus, not simply as a voice, but as the voice. If Jesus was a good man, who did good deeds, his voice is simply a voice. But if he is the Son of God who radiates with inherent glory, he is not a voice, but the voice. There is a moment when the realization dawns, Jesus is more than another man, he is Savior and Lord.
- The fourth step in listening to Jesus is to go beyond listening to doing. Jesus pronounced blessings on those who hear his words and put them into practice. Listening to Jesus involves life transformation – it involves opening up the rooms of my life to His word.
- The fifth step of listening to is to keep on listening. It is wonderful to listen to Jesus as the voice and to apply his teaching in our lives. As we journey with Jesus we will face temptations to turn our ears from his voice. We must remember the words of Hebrews 2:1 – “We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.”
Tom Brown is the planting pastor of Vintage Faith Church in Wichita. Tom and his wife, Mandy, have worked together in ministry for 18 years and have four children. More about Pastor Tom Brown