Who are you listening to?
THIS MORNING I WANT TO SHARE A MESSAGE AROUND THE THEME OF WHO OR WHAT WE LISTEN TO IN OUR LIVES. WE KNOW THE WORDS WE SPEAK HAVE POWER. THAT’S WHY THE BIBLE TELLS US WE SHOULD PUT A WATCH OVER OUR MOUTHS. WELL I THINK WE SHOULD ALSO PUT A WATCH OVER OUR EARS. WORDS HAVE POWER. IN LIGHT OF THAT WE NEED TO BE CAREFUL WHAT, AND MORE IMPORTANTLY WHO WE LISTEN TO!!
A couple had been married for 50 years and a party was thrown for their golden anniversary. The husband was very moved by the occasion and wanted to tell his wife how much he thought of her. She was hard of hearing, however, and often misunderstood what he said. With family and friends gathered around, he toasted her and said, “My dear wife, after 50 years I’ve found you tried and true!” Everyone clapped for them, but his wife was a little irritated and asked, “What did you say?” He spoke louder, “After 50 years, I’ve found you tried and true!”
The wife was now visibly upset and shouted back, “Well, after 50 years I’m tired of you, too!”
IF WE DON’T HEAR RIGHT, THERE’S A DANGER WE MISINTERPRET AND GET IT WRONG.
ESPECIALLY TRUE ABOUT GOD. I WANT TO HELP US ALL HEAR FROM GOD THIS MORNING!!
AS I LOOK TO HELP US ALL HEAR FROM GOD AND WHAT HE WOULD SAY TO US TODAY WE’RE GOING TO CONSIDER THE VERSES WE READ FROM MATTHEW 17 AND THE DIFFERENT VOICES THAT WERE HEARD AND THE WORDS SPOKEN ON THE MOUNT OF TRANSFIGURATION.
THE FIRST VOICE AND WORDS I WANT US TO CONSIDER WERE THE ONES JESUS USED TO INVITE PETER, JAMES, AND JOHN TO HAVE SOME ALONE TIME WITH JESUS. HE SPOKE TO THEM SPECIFICALLY AND INVITED HIM TO GO WITH THEM UP MOUNT HERMON.
JESUS HAD JUST BEEN SPEAKING OF HIS IMPENDING DEATH AS HE WAS LOOKING TO PREPARE THE HEARTS OF HIS DISCIPLES FOR WHEN HE WOULD LEAVE THEM. TRUTH IS THEY WERE STRUGGLIGN TO GET THEIR HEAD ROUNDS IT ALL. IT WAS UNTHINKABLE.
AS JESUS IS AWARE IT IS NEARLY TIME FOR HIM TO DEPART V1 TELLS US THAT HE CHOSE PETER, JAMES , AND JOHN TO GO WITH HIM, AND HE LED THEM UP A MOUNTAIN.
WE SEE IN THIS THE INVITATION OFFERED AND THE FAVOUR SHOWN TO THESE DISCIPLES.
JESUS HAND PICKED THESE THREE MEN TO GO WITH HIM. HE KNEW WHAT IT WAS THAT WAS ABOUT TO HAPPEN AND SO HE TOOK HIS CLOSEST FRIENDS UP A MOUNTAIN WITH HIM SO THEY WOULD GET A REVELATION OF HS GLORY. WE MAY ASK WHY PETER, JAMES, AND JOHN?
WE KNOW THAT GOD DOES NOT SHOW FAVOURITISM. THE BIBLE TELLS US THAT. SO IN CHOOSING THESE THREE MEN, JESUS WAS NOT CHOOSING HIS FAVOURITES. WHAT HE WAS
DOING WAS CHOOSING THE THREE WHO HAD BEEN MOSST SUPPORTIVE AND WERE MOST PASSIONATE ABOUT HIM. PETER, JAMES, AND JOHN MADE UP JESUS’ INNER CIRCLE OF FRIENDS. THEY WERE HIS CLOSEST FRIENDS. JESUS KNEW HE COULD TRUST THEM MORE THAN ANY OF HIS OTHER DISCIPLES. THEIR LIVES WERE A BLESSING TO HIM.
THESE THREE WERE WITH HIM AS JESUS RAISED JAIRUS’S DAUGHTER FROM THE DEAD, AND THEY WERE ALSO WITH HIM IN GETHSEMANE WHEN HE STRUGGLED BEFORE HIS FATHER WITH THE SUFFERING THAT LAY AHEAD OF HIM.
AS THEY HEAR AND RECEIVE THE INVITATION FROM JESUS, THERE’S A CHALLENGE INVOLVED. IN ORDER FOR THESE THREE MEN TO HAVE AN ENCOUNTER WITH THE GLORY OF CHRIST, THERE WAS THE NEED FOR HARD WORK AND COMMITMENT FROM THEM. IN ORDER TO ENCOUNTER CHRIST THEY HAD TO FOLLOW HIM AND GO THE EXTRA MILE.
AS THEY REACH THE PLACE ON THE MOUNTAIN WHERE THEY WERE GOING, WE ARE TOLD JESUS WAS TRANSFIGURED BEFORE THEM. READ V2.HIS FACE SHONE LIKE THE SUN, AND HIS CLOTHES BECAME AS WHITE AS THE LIGHT.
WE CAN ONLY IMAGINE WHAT THIS LOOKED LIKE. FOR A FEW MOMENTS, THE CURTAIN OF ETERNITY IS PULLED BACK, AND JESUS IS NOT JUST SEEN IN HIS HUMANITY, HE IS SEEN IN HIS DIVINITY. HIS FULL GLORY IS REVEALED. THIS IS WHY HE SHINES WITH DAZZLING LIGHT.
ONE OF THE THINGS I LOVE ABOUT THE BIBLE IS HOW THE GOSPELS GIVE US DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES ON THE SAME THING.MATTHEW TELLS US THAT JESUS FACE BECAME AS THE SUN AND HIS CLOTHES WHITE AS THE LIGHT. THIS WAS A BRILLIANT LIGHT.
IN TRYING TO DESCRIBE WHAT MARK HEARD ABOUT THE EXPERIENCE THIS IS WHAT HE SAYS. MARK 9V3 3 His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them. CAN YOU IMAGINE MARK DOING AN ADVERT FOR DAZ WASHING POWDER?
THE ORIGINAL GREEK WORD FOR THE WORK TRANSFIGURED IS THE WORD EXASTRAPTO, WHICH MEANS TO FLASH LIKE LIGHTNING AND TO BE RADIANT AS BRILLIANT WHITE.
JESUS WAS CLOTHED IN A BRILLIANT WHITE BEFORE THEM, AND IT WOULD HAVE BEEN SUCH THAT THEY WOULD PROBABLY HAVE HAD TO SHIELD THEIR EYES. THEY WOULD NEVER HAVE SEEN SUCH PURE WHITE AND SUCH BRILLIANT LIGHT BEFORE. WHAT A VISION TO SEE. WHAT AN EXPERIENCE TO HAVE. THIS WAS AN AWESOME SIGHT FOR THEM TO SEE.
THEY WERE SEEING JESUS IN ALL HIS RADIANC, IN ALL HIS BEAUTY. THEY WERE SEEING JESUS IN ALL HIS GLORY. THE FAVOUR OF GOD GIVEN TO THESE DISCIPLES WAS AMAZING.
THE DISCIPLES WERE JUST BEGINNING TO TAKE IN THIS AMAZING SIGHT THEY WERE SEEING WHEN MOSES AND ELIJAH APPEARED, AND THEY WERE TALKING WITH JESUS. READ V3.
NOW THERE IS MANY A CONVERSATION AT WHICH I WISH I HAD BEEN A FLY ON THE WALL SO. PETER AND JOHN WOULD BE STANDING THERE, MOUTHS WIDE OPEN. THEY SEE TWO OLD
MEN SPEAKING TO JESUS AND THE HOLY SPIRIT REVEALS THAT IT’S MOSES AND ELIJAH.
WOULDN’T IT HAVE BEEN AMAZING TO BE THERE? WHAT WERE THEY TALKING ABOUT.
WELL WE DON’T NEED TO WANDER OR IMAGINE. WE KNOW EXACTLY WHAT THEY WERE TALKING ABOUT. LUKE 9V30 Two men, Moses and Elijah, 31 appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment.
HOW AMAZING IS THAT? MOSES AND ELIJAH HAVE COME FROM ETERNITY, AND THE FATHER HAS SENT THEM TO TALK TO THE SON AND MAYBE ENCOURAGE THEM. AS WE THINK OF THE PICTURE GIVEN TO US HERE AND THE CONVERSATION I CAN IMAGINE SOMETHING LIKE THIS.
WE CAN IMAGINE MOSES AND ELIJAH ASKING JESUS SOME PRETTY AMAZING QUESTIONS.
DO YOU REALLY HAVE TO DIE? DO YOU HAVE TO GO TO THE CROSS? AS JESUS WOULD SAY YES, THEY WOULD THEN LOOK TO EXPRESS THEIR LOVE AND WORSHIP TO JESUS.
WELL WE’VE ASKED WHY THESE DISCIPLES WERE CHOSEN BY JESUS? SURELY NOW WE MAY ASK WHY MOSES AND ELIJAH? WHY WERE THEY CHOSEN TO SPEAK TO JESUS?
I BELIEVE THE REASON WHY WE HAVE MOSES AND ELIJAH WITH JESUS IS THAT THE TWO OF THEM REPRESENTED AND SUMMED UP THE OLD COVENANT. THE OLD TESTAMENT.
IN MOSES AND ELIJAH WE HAVE THE LAW AND THE PROPHETS REPRESENTED.
WE HAVE THE PAST AND THE FUTURE REPRESENTED. DIFFERING VOICES.
SO MANY PEOPLE STRUGGLE IN THE PRESENT BECAUSE OF VOICES FROM THEIR PAST.
WELL HERE ARE THESE THREE DISCIPLES HAVING AN INCREDIBLE TIME IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD. JESUS IS BEING GLORIFIED IN THEIR MIDST, AND MOSES AND ELIJAH HAVE COME FROM ETERNITY. THERE WOULD BE A SENSE OF AWE AND EVEN GODLY FEAR. WHAT WOULD PETER, JAMES, AND JOHN MAKE OF THIS? THEY SHOULD HAVE WATCHED AND LISTENED. PETER WAS THE KIND OF GUY WHO SPOKE BEFORE HE THOUGHT WHAT HE WAS DOING OR SAYING.
READ V4. PETER SAYS TO JESUS, LORD THIS IS SO GOOD, IF YOU WANT I’LL PUT UP THREE SHELTERS, ONE EACH FOR YOURSELF, MOSES, AND ELIJAH.
BY MAKING THIS SUGGESTION PETER MADE TWO MAIN MISTAKES.
BY SUGGESTING THREE SHELTERS BE BUILT FOR MOSES, ELIJAH, AND JESUS,
HE WAS EQUATING JESUS AS THE SON OF GOD WITH THE SERVANTS OF GOD.
PETER MADE THE MISTAKE OF NOT SETTING JESUS APART AND PRIORITISING HIS VOICE.
THERE’S ALWAYS THE DANGER WE MAKE A SIMILAR MISTAKE TO PETER. WE DEVALUE JESUS BY BRINGING HIM DOWN TO OUR LEVEL. WE MAY SPEAK OF HIM AS BEING A GREAT MAN. A GREAT EXAMPLE. A GREAT TEACHER. ONE WHO WE SHOULD ASPIRE TO BE LIKE.
I LIKE WHAT CS LEWIS SAID IN RESPONSE TO SUCH THINKING. VOICE FROM HISTORY.
“A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic – on the level with a man who says he is a poached egg – or he would be the devil of hell. You must take your choice. Either this was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse.
You can shut Him up for a fool or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us.”
SECOND MAJOR MISTAKE PETER MADE WAS THAT HE WAS CLEARLY KEEN TO PROLONG THIS EXPERIENCE AND MAKE THE MOST OF IT FOR HIM AND HIS TWO MATES. ONE OF THE MISTAKES WE’RE ALL IN DANGER OF MAKING AS BELIEVERS IS THAT WHEN WE HAVE OUR MOUNTAIN TOP EXPERIENCES OF GOD, WE WANT TO STAY THERE SO THEY LAST. ON A HUMAN LEVEL THAT IS UNDERSTANDABLE, BUT IT IS NOT GODLY. WHEN WE HAVE EXPER-IENCES OF GOD’S GLORY THEY’RE BECAUSE HE LOVES US AND WANTS TO PREPARE US TO SERVE HIM IN THE WORLD.
GOD THE FATHER WAS WATCHING AND HEARING ALL THAT WAS GOING ON AND HE WOULD QUICKLY INTERVENE IN THE SITUATION TO CONFIRM EXACTLY WHO JESUS WAS, AND THE PLACE THE DISCIPLES WERE TO GIVE HIM.
I THINK IT’S POWERFUL TO NOTE THAT V5 CLEARLY STATES THAT WHILE PETER WAS STILL SPEAKING. GOD KNOWS THE WORDS WE SPEAK EVEN BEFORE THEY COME OUT OF OUR MOUTHS. GOD THE FATHER SAW THAT PETER WAS MAKING SOME BIG MISTAKES SO HE LOOKED TO INTERVENE BEFORE HE SAID OR DID ANYTHING ELSE THAT WOULD DISHONOUR CHRIST. I’M SURE THERE ARE TIMES FOR US ALL WHERE WHAT GOD WAS DOING FOR PETER, WE WISH HE WOULD DO FOR US. BE CAREFUL WITH WHAT WE SAY AND HOW WE SAY IT.
PETER IS INTERUPTED AS HE FINDS HIM AND HIS TWO FRIENDS ENVOLOPED IN A BRIGHT CLOUD, AND THEY HEAR A VOICE FROM THE CLOUD. GOD’S GLORY WAS SEEN OVER THERE, THEY ARE NOW IN THE MIDST OF IT, AND PETER, JAMES, AND JOHN ARE IN IT AS GOD LOOKS TO PROTECT THEM. NO MAN CAN SEE GOD AND LIVE. WITH THAT GOD SPEAKS WORDS THAT WOULD BE A BEAUTIFUL REMINDED TO PETER, JAMES, AND JOHN TO GIVE JESUS THE PRE-INCENCE. GOD WOULD SPEAK FROM HEAVEN, AND WE SEE IN V5 THE FATHER’S WORDS ABOUT HIS SON‘THIS IS MY SON, WHOM I LOVE, WITH HIM I AM WELL PLEASED’.
BY SPEAKING THESE WORDS THE FATHER WAS SETTING HIS SON JESUS APART. HE WAS ENCOURAGING PETER, JAMES, AND JOHN, AND HE IS DIRECTING US THAT WHILST
WE HAVE MANY VOICES SEEKING OUR ATTENTION. WE SHOULD GIVE GOD’S VOICE PRIORITY.
WHAT WOULD GOD SAY TO YOU TODAY? BELOVED SON, BELOVED DAUGHTER.
In an article in Moody Monthly, Craig Massey told about being in a restaurant when he heard an angry father say to his 7 year old son, “What good are you?” The boy, who had just spilled his milk, put his head down and said, “Nothing.” Years later, Massey said he was disgusted with his own son for a minor infraction. He heard himself ask what he called “the cruelest question a father can ask.” He said, “What are you good for anyway?” His son replied, “Nothing.” Immediately he regretted the question. As he thought about this, he realized that the question was all right but the answer was wrong. A few days later when his son committed another minor offense, he asked, “What are you good for?” But before his son could reply, he hugged him and kissed him and said, “I’ll tell you what you’re good for. You’re good for loving!” Before long, whenever he asked the question, his son would say, “I’m good for loving.” AS A CHILD OF GOD, GOD WOULD SAY TO YOU, YOU’RE GOOD FOR LOVING!!!