Read 2 Peter 1:16-21
Children are kind of amusing, aren’t they? Watching them observe and take in seemingly simple truths is one of the great God-given joys of life.
I recall a seminary classmate retelling the account of his toddler– maybe 1-year at the time — in one of these joyful observing moments. The young boy was in the bathtub observing the faucet fill the tub with water. He was mesmerized by the flow of water — not so much the pool gathering around him, but the water pouring out. He had to have it. He had to hold it – capture it somehow. And so he tried… and tried… and tried… with his hand to grab hold of that amazing moment, that beautiful flow pouring forth from the wall. But empty hand after empty hand revealed to this young one that he couldn’t. That flowing water was for him. But it wasn’t for his momentary amazement. This water was going to hold him. It was going to warm him. It was going to cleanse him.
Peter, in the gospel record of the Transfiguration, sort of reenacts the role of little 1-year-old. Peter sees something wonderful, something mesmerizing: Jesus gleaming with the glory of God on the mountain together with a headlining cast: Moses – the great Law-bearer and Elijah, the preeminent prophet. Peter, like the young toddler, means to “bottle the moment” for his own purposes.
God abruptly interrupted Peter’s plans to package up the mountain-top moment into the idol of His own design. He interrupted with His Word: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” God rescued Peter from any sort of producing role at all. This Script is not cunningly devised by Peter. It’s not a private interpretation of yours or mine. It is God’s Script.
“This is my beloved Son…Hear Him” says the Father.
Ears are unique appendages of the body. They look a little funny. But more than that, their function is very unique. You can observe a foot or a hand at work. You can see an eye blink or shift its focus. If you listen carefully you can hear a nose inhale or exhale. But ears… ears are utterly passive in their function. They don’t move at all. Their just like odd little funnels made by our Creator to gather and collect sound.
The Father’s declarative, “Hear Him” doesn’t make us co-writers with the Father. Neither does it enlist us as supporting actors of salvation together with His Son. It just makes us Ears – odd little funnels that gather and collect the sound of Salvation – the Good news of Jesus as witnessed by the disciples and testified to in the holy writings. Not only did the Father speak this sound so that Peter, James and John could hear it on that mountain. God the Spirit set apart men, eye-witnesses to Christ – His suffering and his glory – to record this gracious audio of the Gospel so that that you and I might become EAR-WITNESSES.
“In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” – that is the gracious audio of Christian baptism – the words with which God claims us, as His own children. “I forgive you all of your sins” – this is the sound-bite from the cross; Jesus announcing that with His own blood our sins and their death is lifted from us! “Take and eat, My body… Drink of it… the new testament in My blood” – with this glorious annunciation, God makes odd little funnels of beleaguered sinners like you and me and He pools up in us the gifts donated to us in His beloved Son: Forgiveness, life and salvation.
With His gracious Word God makes and keeps us as ears — as collection pools for Jesus: His life, His death, His life from the dead – filled with Jesus unto the salvation of our souls. Hear Him indeed.
Rev. Kyle Madson