April 2019- My Beloved Son
In the past two issues of Highlights we have considered expressions of the delight that God found in Christ, and thought about the Lord Jesus as the Servant and His dignity (Is 42.1), and the Son and His delight in the divine will (Mt 3.16). This month we turn to the third of these expressions and, in mind, go with the three favoured disciples, Peter, James and John, to the “holy mount” where they were “eyewitnesses of his majesty” (2 Pet 1.18).
The occasion is recorded for us in Matthew 17 v 1-8. In the previous chapter the Lord had taught the disciples something of what awaited Him at Jerusalem, and six days later He took these three disciples “up into a high mountain apart, and [was] transfigured before them”. There they saw a unique Demonstration of Divine Glory. This glory was divine – the Lord needed nothing of the paltry, transient glory of earth.
▪ This glory was pure - it was not, and never could be, tarnished.
▪ This glory was inherent – it was His – what men gave to Him was rejection, indignity and false accusation.
▪ This glory was matchless – Moses and Elijah appeared with Him, but a cloud covered them and “…behold a voice out of the cloud which said, this is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased”. Note the emphatic, distinguishing “This”. Then “they saw no man save Jesus only”. Note, too, that it was a man who was glorified, and here we have deity and humanity seen together in Christ.
▪ The glory was expressive. His face shone as the sun in majesty, and supremacy. But think of the One who came in servant form (Phil 2.7), and whose visage was marred more than any man’s (Is 52.14).
His raiment was “white as the light”, portraying the inherent holiness of Him “who is holy, harmless, undefiled” (Heb 7.6). But let us never forget that there was a day when His garments were laid aside (Jn 13.4); taken from Him (Jn 19.23); parted asunder (Mt 27.35); gambled for (Mt 27.35).
How blest were these disciples! They who witnessed His might in Jairus’ house, and were eye-witnesses of His majesty on the Mount, were the ones who were closest to Him in the Garden.
In our consideration we have seen the delight God found in His Son. Thus, as we have a deeper awareness of the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ and in particular His sufferings, may we have a greater appreciation of the value of the One whom God called “My beloved Son”.