Peter, James, and John had just witnessed the miraculous transformation of Jesus’s normal human appearance into His heavenly, glorified splendor as the bright Shekinah of Jehovah.
This extraordinary Man was revealing Himself to them as divine. Paul wrote, “But [He] made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross” (Phil 2:7–-8).
This revelation of His divinity set the stage for the purpose of the moment, the only audible message from God the Father to us: “This is my one dear Son, in whom I take great delight. Listen to him!” The purpose was to make sure His disciples persistently took seriously everything He said and later would say through the Spirit’s inspiration of the apostles and prophets.
Peter later described this moment as secondary to possessing the record of the words of God: “And we ourselves heard this utterance made from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain. And so we have the prophetic Word made more sure [i.e., more certain than witnessing Jesus transformed in His glory], to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place” (2 Pet 1:18–-19). To Peter, it was more important for him to have the record of God’s message to man in the written Scripture than it was to have seen Jesus transformed. Would you prefer this experience or the word of God?
Everyone becomes like the one(s) to whom he listens! The most repeated command in the book of Revelation is this: “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Rev 2:7). Nine times “hear” is a command in Revelation (2:7, 11, 17, 29; 3:6, 13, 20, 22; 13:9). The aorist form of these verbs demands an immediate response to what is commanded. Are we searching, as we read, for a command to obey today? Do we really want God’s word to tell us what to do?
When a cohort asks for something, we can debate it or ignore it with few consequences. When a policeman asks us to do something, we had better do it, especially when we think he is watching! When a president or a king asks us to do something, men will die to do it without question or hesitation. When the King of kings asks us to do anything, which of these three responses do you practice?
“When I read Your Words, I want to understand the same delight the Father has in You. I want to take everything You have sent to us in Your word as my guide.”