Summary: Listening to God requires absolute, coourageous obedience to Christ.
“Renewable Energy: Listen Up!”
There are many ways to say “Listen!” For example: “Shh! Listen!” - a whispered command so as not to disturb someone. Or “LISTEN TO ME!” - a loud command to get attention in as noisy place. Or “OK. Listen up!” Like a coach rallying his players. Or even “You’d better listen to her!” - like a parent exhorting a child. How and when it’s said determines what it means. So consider the 9th chapter of Luke, verse 35: “A voice came from the cloud saying, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.””. What an experience it must have been! What would have been your response? What would you have done with this voice from God? What the disciples learned, and what we must understand, is that LISTENING TO GOD REQUIRES ABSOLUTE, COURAGEOUS OBEDIENCE TO CHRIST.
Luke wrote that eight days later Jesus and the three went up the mountain to pray. Eight days after what? What had been going on? Peter had confessed that Jesus is the Christ. Then Jesus shared the road of suffering and death which He would travel. Then Jesus taught the disciples the way of cross bearing: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Then eight days later Jesus took the three up the mountain. Jesus wanted his friends and disciples to think. It was like Moses waiting on the mountain for six days prior to receiving the 10 commandments - God was preparing Moses to hear.
So now, on the 8th day, Jesus wentup the mountain with Peter, James, and John. After Jesus is transfigured and accompanied by Elijah, the prophet, and Moses, the lawgiver, God speaks: “This is my Son, whom I have chosen.” God was saying JESUS IS THE CHOSEN, THE SON OF GOD. He was drawing from Deuteronomy 8:15-18: “The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him. For this is what you asked of the LORD your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly when you said, "Let us not hear the voice of the LORD our God nor see this great fire anymore, or we will die." The LORD said to me: "What they say is good. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him.” Jesus’ voice is the voice of God. Jesus’ words are the words of God.
And what did Jesus say? That He must suffer many things. The decisive moment in history was on its way. His first point and order of business was to make very clear that JESUS IS THE ONLY WAY TO SALVATION. He had come with the authority to first and foremost pay the price for our salvation. “Peter, do not try to find another way; it must be this way. Only the Son of God can do the job and pay the price. Listen to him! There is no other way. Listen to him!” Jesus went up to the mountain to assure his three most trusted friends and leaders that in choosing to follow Jesus Christ they had made the right choice.
And second, to be reminded that his words about suffering, hardship, and self-denial ARE TRUSTWORTHY AND NOT TO BE IGNORED. “So Peter, James, and John - walk with him, and learn from him! He is the Son of God; He is the Supreme authority. Listen to him! ”
ALL AUTHORITY BELONGS TO JESUS! THE authority is here! In this moment on the mountaintop, God gives us a glimpse of his holiness. God, through Jesus, is in charge; do things His way! The prophets were good, the law was good, but Jesus is the ultimate authority for life. Powerbrokers of the world, take note! And He invites us to listen, pay attention to, obey his words. And more than that, He invites us to be shaped by them instead of reshaping them to fit our lifestyle. We need to let the transfiguration and words of Jesus transfigure us. Can we stand with the late Francis Schaeffer when he wrote: “God willing, I will push and politic no more...the mountains are too high, history is too long and eternity is longer. God is too great, man is too small, there are many of God’s dear children, and all around are men and women going to Hell. And if one man and a small group of men do not approve of where I am and what I do, does it prove that I’ve missed success? No; only one thing will determine that -- whether this day I’m where the Lord of lords and King of kings wants me to be.” We simply cannot be a disciple without listening to the words of Jesus; they must transform us.