Sunday, February 07, 2016

"Listen to Him"

This Sunday's Gospel reading from Luke 9:28-36,(37-43a) contains the story of the Transfiguration of Jesus and in this we hear a voice from the clouds,
Now about eight days after these sayings Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly they saw two men, Moses and Elijah, talking to him. They appeared in glory and were speaking of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. Now Peter and his companions were weighed down with sleep; but since they had stayed awake, they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. Just as they were leaving him, Peter said to Jesus, ‘Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah’—not knowing what he said. While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were terrified as they entered the cloud. Then from the cloud came a voice that said, ‘This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!’ When the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and in those days told no one any of the things they had seen.
The voice of God coming from a cloud is also found in Mark and Matthew,
Mark 9:7 And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, “This is my beloved Son; listen to him.”
Matthew 17:5 He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.”
The voice parallels what the voice heard at the time of Jesus' baptism (which is another event repeated in all of the synoptic Gospels),
Mark 1:11  And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”
Matthew 3:17 and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
Luke 3:22  and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”
The Gospel of John does not include these, but instead recalls a voice from heaven near the end of Jesus' life,
John 12:27-28 “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.”
How many times do we pray to hear God's voice?

Why do we feel disappointed when we do not get an answer when the answer is staring us in the face?
"Listen to Him"
And how can we listen to him?

By opening up those dusty Bibles and reading what he has to say!


  1. "But Peter and they that were with him were heavy with sleep: and when they were awake, they saw his glory, and the two men that stood with him." I preached on this from the KJV and it was obvious they were "asleep" at one point. I suggested that Luke was being kind because they had probably fainted from fear.

  2. Mark and Matthew do not mention sleepy Peter and other sleepy followers. If Thomas had been there, I wonder what proof he would have asked for?

  3. He would have seen for himself.