Kingdom Inheritance Today - The Kingdom of God Today
"This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. 'Hear Him!'"
Jesus took Peter, James and John up "on a high mountain to pray," Luke said. Little did they know what was in store for them (Matthew 17'1-8, Mark 9'2-8, Luke 9'28-36).
As they travelled around Israel with Him, all the Lord's Disciples had heard Him say great things and saw Him do great things. But this occasion was to be very different.
First of all, as He prayed Jesus was transfigured and became dazzlingly radiant before them. And then Moses and Elijah appeared and spoke with Jesus. Then a bright cloud overshadowed them.
At that moment a voice, obviously the Father's voice, came out of the cloud declaring: "This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!" (Matthew 17'1-8).
For Believers this is the most significant mountain-top occasion in the Bible because it was all about the God, the Father, confirming Jesus as the foremost prophet and teacher of His Word.
And in saying "Hear Him" He was reminding the disciples that Jesus was the fulfillment of all of Israel's scriptures. There were Jews in that day who realised this, and scholarly others who should have. At Jesus pointed it out: “You search the Scriptures ... and these are they which testify of Me," John 5'39.
The major example of that is Moses' prophecy:
"The Lord said to me: ... ‘I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren and will put my words in His mouth and He shall speak to them all that I command Him.
And it shall be that whoever will not hear my words, which He speaks in my name, I will require it of him’”, Deuteronomy 18’17-19.
Following Pentecost Peter reminded them:
"For Moses truly said to the fathers, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear in all things, whatever He says to you.
And it shall be that every soul who will not hear that Prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people'.
To you first, God, having raised up His Servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities’," Acts 3'22-23.
And Stephen did the same. He declared it to the high council as he reminded them of Israel's history on the day they stoned him to death:
"This is that Moses who said to the children of Israel, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear',” Acts 7'37.
However, Jesus made His point plain in His parable when Abraham says: “If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead,” Luke 16'31.
DID GOD HAVE TO SPEAK?
Our heavenly Father spoke emphatically. But did He have to speak at all? Here's what happened.
Jesus "... was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him.
Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, let us make here three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!”
And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid. But Jesus came and touched them and said, “Arise, and do not be afraid.”
When they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only," Matthew 17'2-9.
Luke (9'33) points out that Peter, "Not knowing what he said", blurted out:
"Lord, it is good for us to be here; If you wish, let us make here three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”.
But: "While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, 'This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!'"
The Father interrupted because there were serious implications in what Peter said. Moses and Elijah were men of great reputation, not to mention the other prophets. But He ignored them. What He declared about His Son He had said before, when John immersed Jesus in water. But this time He added the two critical words: "Hear Him". Apparently He was saying, hear Him - not them.
The Father's message was then, and still is, that the primary person to go to regarding His will is Jesus. Taking notice of men with great reputations, even if they are prophets and miracle workers can be opposite to God's will. "Hear Him" instead. "... when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid," Matthew 17'5-6. The Word of Christ first.
Seemingly God had to intervene because what Peter unwittingly suggested was that Moses and Elijah be regarded as being on the same level as Jesus. That would mean that their words would carry the same weight of authority as His. And would be against God's will. The Father's interruption was absolute.
He was confirming the authority of His only begotten Son who He had sent, to do His will. Therefore, Christ's words are far above Moses' words, and His miracles far above Elijah's. But how might this affect the Saints' reading of the Old Testament? More on that later.
Interestingly, the Disciples, particularly Peter, had already heard Jesus declare that His word is above all others a number of times. He had said: “I say to you” nine times in Matthew 5 alone (18, 20, 22, 26, 28, 32, 34, 39, 44). And there are His other phrases like, "he who hears these sayings of mine and does them,” Matthew 7'24.
Also He says: "Heaven and earth will pass away but My words will by no means pass away,” Luke 21'33. And, "No one comes to the Father except through Me,” John 14’6.
So when He said, “I say to you”, He meant it. Now that the Holy Spirit has come Believers are alive to Jesus' words. Affectionately, He says: “My sheep hear my voice" (John 10’27).