Listen to Jesus (7)
Its important to listen to Jesus!
28 Now about eight days after these sayings he took with him Peter and John and James and went up on the mountain to pray. 29 And as he was praying, the appearance of his face was altered, and his clothing became dazzling white. 30 And behold, two men were talking with him, Moses and Elijah, 31 who appeared in glory and spoke of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. 32 Now Peter and those who were with him were heavy with sleep, but when they became fully awake they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. 33 And as the men were parting from him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah”—not knowing what he said. 34 As he was saying these things, a cloud came and overshadowed them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. 35 And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, my Chosen One; listen to him!”
God speaks to Peter, James and John and once again confirms Jesus identity but this time he says listen to him!
Yes during this conformation we are reminded that listening to Jesus is vitally important.
Jesus said if you love me you will keep my commandments. We are required to obey him.
The setting is clear. Jesus shows his inner circle his glory. What an awesome privilege to see Jesus transfigured! Not only transfigured but to see to Old testament icons such as Moses and Elijah.
Moses the deliver chosen by God to lead the Children of Israel out of Egypt.
Elijah the prophet who God allowed to command for the heavens to shut and it did not rain for 3 years and then command that the rain return and it did. Elijah who had the show down at Mt Carmel with the prophets of Baal.
Peter who makes the bold statement Master its good that we are here. He could not really appreciate how good it was that they were there. Even though they are told according to Mark not to mention this until after his has risen.
Yes obedience to Jesus will be needed in your future.
In our Sunday School lesson we see how listening to Jesus can turn your bleak situation into a great haul.
Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 5 Jesus said to them, “Children, do you have any fish?” They answered him, “No.” 6 He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, because of the quantity of fish.
In order to listen to Jesus you must have some time with him
Being with Jesus helps us recognize when he is talking. John who was there would say to Peter at the sea side it is the The Lord. John describes himself as the one who Jesus loved. He had a special relationship with Jesus. He spent time with him.
Secondly we must be willing to go a little further to experience his presence.
Even when we fear we must go ahead in spite of it. Why because being in his presence is worth it.When the cloud overshadowed them the word said they entered in. How many of you can be overshadowed by the presence of God and say I going in further? When we witness God’s glory it will cause of to have a variety of emotions. FEAR being one of them.
Isaiah said Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips.
Scripture makes clear that it's possible for every true follower of Jesus to see and understand the glory of God. Indeed, our Lord reveals his glory to all who ask and seek for it diligently. Moreover, I believe the revelation of God's glory will equip his people for the perilous days ahead. Paul states that this revelation "...is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified" ().
Contrary to some Christians' thinking, the glory of God is not a physical manifestation of some kind. It's not an ecstatic feeling that overcomes you. Nor is it a kind of supernatural aura or angelic light that bursts forth. Simply put, God's glory is a revelation of his nature and attributes!
The Lord himself defines his glory this way in scripture. Therefore, when we pray, "Lord, show me your glory," we're actually praying, "Father, reveal to me who you are." And if the Lord does give us a revelation of his glory, it's a revelation of how he wants to be known by us.
Moses' experience with the glory of God demonstrates this truth. The Lord sent Moses to deliver Israel without giving him a full revelation of who the God of Israel was. The Lord merely told him, "Go, and say I AM sent you." But he gave no explanation of who "I AM" was.
I believe this is why Moses cried, "[Lord]...I beseech thee, shew me thy glory" (). Moses had a gnawing hunger and thirst to know who the great I AM was -- to know what his nature and character were all about.
And the Lord answered Moses' prayer. First, he instructed Moses to hide himself in the cleft of a rock. Yet, as Moses waited for the glory of God to appear, he saw no thunder, no lightning, no shaking of the earth. Rather, God's glory came to him in a simple revelation:
"The Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression..." ().
Now, God only reveals his power or glory with a purpose in mind. So, what was his purpose here? It certainly wasn't to give Moses a moment of ecstasy. And it wasn't to give him a legacy, something he could tell his children and grandchildren about.
No -- God allowed Moses to see his glory so that he might be changed by the sight of it! And the same is true for us today. God reveals his glory to us so that, by seeing it, we might be changed into his very own image!
Today, Jesus Christ is the express image of who God is. When our Lord became flesh, it was as a full revelation of the heavenly father's mercy, grace, goodness and readiness to forgive. God wrapped up everything of his nature and character in Jesus. And any revelation of his glory to us now is meant to change us into an expression of Christ!
The apostle Paul understood well the purpose and effect of seeing the glory of God. He saw it as power to change the beholder -- to revolutionize the life of every follower of Christ. "But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass [mirror] the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord" ().
Paul is telling us, "Once you get this revelation of God's glory -- of his love, mercy, grace, long-suffering and readiness to forgive -- the Holy Spirit will continually open your eyes to more of these aspects of his nature and character. You'll have an ever-increasing revelation of God, in the way he wants to be known to you!"
Paul then says in an even stronger tone: "That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints" ().
Beloved, God wants to tell us, "Moses understood my glory, and now I want you to understand it. I want to open your eyes by my Spirit to show you who I am. I'm not just a God of wrath and judgment. My nature is love!"
"That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God" (3:17-19).
Paul is telling us, "Let this revelation of God's glory become so real to you that you become rooted and grounded in it. Keep seeking it, studying it, claiming it, appropriating it in your life -- until the vision of Christ's glory bursts forth in you! As you remain in the word, seeking the revelation of his glory, you'll be changed. And you'll keep changing, from glory to glory!"
Thirdly we must appreciate when we feel his presence
Thirdly we must appreciate when we feel his presence
Peter said Lord its good for us to be here. He clearly appreciates being in the presence and glory of Jesus. When we experience the Lord’s presence it should cause us to say Its good for us to be here. So much so he wanted to build a tabernacle for Elijah, Moses and Jesus. God Is Worshiped
The revelation of God's glory should be the wellspring of all our worship. We ought to regularly lay claim to his glory, testifying, "Lord, I know you're holy and just, and you won't wink at sin. But I've also seen your glory. And I know you're not out to destroy me.
"You don't condemn me in my struggles. On the contrary, you show me how loving and long-suffering you are toward me. I know I deserve rejection. I've failed so often, I should be cast aside completely. But you reveal to me that you're merciful, gracious, tenderhearted!"
At times during my years in ministry, I've been overwhelmed by enemies who have risen up against me. In those times, I felt the discipline of the Lord like a rod on my back. I remember one period in particular, when I was being slandered on all sides. Other ministers asked me, "David, I'm hearing questionable things about you. Are they true? Is all this stuff about you coming from the devil, or is God trying to speak to you?"
Even that question offended me! After a while I became totally overwhelmed by the emotional pain of it all. I grew physically exhausted from the ongoing battle. At one point, I could barely face going to church to preach.
One morning my wife literally had to lift me up from my chair in my study. About halfway to church, I told her I couldn't go on. I couldn't face another person in our services wondering if I was a phony. Finally I cried out, "Lord, what have I done to deserve this? Where is my sin?"
Then, one day, God directed me to this prayer of Jeremiah: "O Lord, correct me, but with judgment; not in thine anger, lest thou bring me to nothing" ().
These words from Jeremiah became my daily prayer throughout that severe time of testing: "Lord, chasten me and judge me if you must. But please -- don't do it in anger! If I hear one more wrathful word, it'll destroy me. I'll be brought to nothing. Please don't reduce me to dust, Lord. I'm low enough!"
Whenever I uttered this prayer, the Lord answered me, "David, if I choose to correct you, it's because I love you. This test is not about my judgment at all. I am merciful, gracious, loving, long-suffering toward you. Now, stand still and see my glory!" This knowledge of his glory carried me through to a place of total rest. God vindicated me on all sides.
Beloved, once you have this revelation of God's glory, you need never again fear he'll correct you in anger. He carries his rod in a tender, loving hand. He will discipline us, but only in gracious compassion. He'll never hurt us or cast us aside. Shouldn't this cause our hearts to melt before him in worship, as Moses' did?
Moreover, God reveals his glory in Christ so that we'll claim it! It is our assigned right, and it is meant to be claimed. When Paul says, "I do not frustrate the grace of God..." (), he means, "I won't nullify God's offer of mercy by rejecting it!"
Those who truly worship God claim the blessing of his promises. They see the glory of his love in Christ -- and they lay hold of that glory, to heal and settle their troubled souls!