CONSTANTLY LISTENING AND OBEYING
Date: December 27
Category: Follow God
"And a cloud threw a shadow upon them, and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is My Son, the [most dearworthy] Beloved One. Be constantly listening to and obeying Him!"
This is a very remarkable incident that happened in the life and ministry of Jesus. Shortly before this, Jesus had taken His three major disciples, Peter, James and John onto a high mountain where He was transfigured before them (verse 2). As He transfigured Himself, Elijah and Moses appeared and talked with him. There is a painting of this event by an artist named Raffaello Sanzio, who is better known as Raphael. He lived between 1483-1520 and was strongly influenced by Michelangelo and Leonardo. I remember being in the Vatican in Rome and standing in front of this painting. I spent quite a bit of time looking at that painting because it was magnificent to observe. The transfiguring of Jesus was truly a remarkable event.
As the disciples were on the mountain, they were so overpowered by the glory of God that they wanted to stay in that atmosphere. In verse 5 we read, "And Peter took up the conversation, saying, Master, it is good and suitable and beautiful for us to be here. Let us make three booths (tents) – one for You and one for Moses and one for Elijah." The disciples wanted to build tabernacles and stay on the mountain. But then in verse 6 we see that Peter really didn't know what he was saying. He didn't quite understand what was going on because as He spoke, a cloud overshadowed them and a voice came out of that cloud. The words that this voice spoke confirmed what the disciples saw. Those are words that we today should be heeding to as well.
In verse 7b God said, "This is My Son, the [most dearworthy] beloved One." In other words, God made a clear and confirming statement that Jesus was His beloved Son. We can see in this short statement that God treasured Jesus. He esteemed Him as greatly loved. Since God the Father loves Jesus with such a love, then we too should love Him in the same way. We too should esteem Him as our first love and priority. God is communicating to us that His Son should be someone that we hold dear to before everyone else.
That relationship of love with Jesus becomes evident through our obedience to Him. That's why in verse 7c God said, "Be constantly listening to and obeying Him!" So God, the Creator of the universe, wants us to love Jesus as our beloved and to listen to His words and obey them. In other words, the voice of Jesus should be the loudest voice we hear. In our lives, we are presented with many different voices of influence. But we are to listen to Jesus' voice before anyone else's. That's why God tells us to be constantly listening. That means to listen to Jesus on a continual basis and obeying Him in everything we do.
So when you wake up in the morning, ask yourself, "Do I make God's Word the priority of my life?" When you head out the door and go about your day, ask yourself, "Have I spent time listening to God's Word?" If you don't spend time listening to His Word, then you won't be able to obey His Word. So when other voices come your way, you may start to embrace them and accept them as truth. That's why it's so important to listen to the words of Jesus. But not only should you listen to His words, God wants you to obey Him as well.
The only way we can succeed in life is by heeding to the Word of God because according to John 6:63, those words are spirit and life. The Word of God directs our hearts and gives us clear understanding of what our goals should be. From the Word, we gain purpose and meaning for our lives. That's why God commands us to constantly listen to and obey Jesus. In James 1:22 we read, "But be doers of the Word [obey the message], and not merely listeners to it, betraying yourselves [into deception by reasoning contrary to the Truth]."When we become doers of the Word of God, then our obedience is evidence that we truly love the Lord as our beloved.