17 After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2 There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. 3 Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus. 4 Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” 5 While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” 6 When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. 7 But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” 8 When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus. 9 As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them, “Don’t tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.” 10 The disciples asked him, “Why then do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?” 11 Jesus replied, “To be sure, Elijah comes and will restore all things. 12 But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but have done to him everything they wished. In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.” 13 Then the disciples understood that he was talking to them about John the Baptist.
I’m sure we’ve all tried looking directly into the sun … it’s something that we just can’t physically do, even for a second it overwhelms us & we have to look away. Here Matthew tells us that this is the kind of light & intensity Jesus’s whole being became, from the inside out. He revealed his true glory to Peter, James & John. Just a week prior Peter had declared that Jesus was the Son of God (Matt 16:16), here not only does Jesus confirm this as He transforms giving them a glimpse of his true nature, but also the Fathers voice from heaven confirms it (see Matt 3:17 also), with the added command ‘Listen to him!’.
Inevitably, if this had happened to me I’m sure I’d be like the disciples – on my face, overwhelmed & babbling – one day I will see him in his glory but for now, I can ‘listen to him’. Listen to the Holy Spirit, listen through reading the Word, listen as he speaks through others into my life, listen by being part of his body – as I attend church. Listening to Jesus is an action, it requires something from me, an action that I can practice, it becomes easier to hear His voice the more we listen for it and as we do this, our lives change as we walk in obedience. We may not see Jesus in his true glory yet, but we can ‘listen to him’.
Jesus, I know I don’t always listen as well as I should, but for now, until I see you face to face, I will continue to Listen to you as it’s the only way I’ll live my best life.
Written by Suzie Hodgson