Mark 9:7 “This is My beloved Son, listen to Him!”

Observation: Peter, James, and John had gone with Jesus to a high mountain where Jesus was transfigured into a heavenly being whose garments radiated such whiteness as to be otherworldly. Elijah and Moses then appeared for a private conversation with Jesus which was apparently going fine until Peter began foolishly blathering about building three dwellings to shelter them. His inane remarks, borne of the awe-filled sight of Jesus chatting with Moses and Elijah, completely unhinged his tongue. Fortunately, God intervened by speaking out of a cloud, “This is My beloved Son; listen to Him!”

Application: Can you imagine some of the stupid things Peter might have said had God not intervened? Jesus and the disciples were making their way to Caesarea Philippi. Wherever they had gone, massive crowds had followed, with Jesus performing the miraculous at every turn. A number of times He had taken the Twelve aside to deepen their understanding of what they were seeing and hearing. He taught at every turn, but still they continued largely in ignorance of the profound drama unfolding around them. Finally, God thundered from heaven, “Pay attention! This is My Son! Listen to Him.”

I can see myself reflected in both sides of this story. How often as a father have I done my level best to convey truth to my children even as I know they aren’t “getting it”? Either figuratively or physically, I grab their shoulders, tell them to look into my eyes and say, “Listen to me! I’m talking to You! This is important!” But I can also relate to Peter, James, and John, who find it so much easier to focus on outward things rather than to hear and see at a deeper level. “We only have  two fish, and this huge crowd is hungry” (see Mark 6:38). “No Lord, don’t wash my feet!”  (see John 13:6). “Can I have the seat next to You in heaven?” (see Mark 10:37). “When can a man remarry?” (see Matt. 19:9-10). On and on it goes, with understanding attuned to the physical, not the spiritual. But He says, “Listen! Pay attention! Hear Me at a deeper level. Don’t be satisfied with your current, shallow understanding!”

Prayer: O Lord, Your word says that deep calls to deep (Ps. 42:7). I want to hear and understand what You say to me moment by moment. Stir the deepest places of my being to be attuned to Your voice, Lord. Give me ears that understand, and a heart to pursue You. Thank You, Lord.