“While he was going on like this, babbling, a light-radiant cloud enveloped them, and sounding from deep in the cloud a voice: “This is my Son, marked by my love, focus of my delight. Listen to him.” Matthew 17:5 (MSG)
In Matthew 17 Jesus has been in full-blown ministry for a while. He’s told the disciples once about his death and Peter has responded in typical Peter fashion. And in the midst of that Jesus brings Peter, James, and John up to a mountain away from the other disciples.
In this holy moment, Jesus transfigures before the disciples’ eyes. If this isn’t amazing enough the men hear God speak! You are probably more familiar with the phrase from the NIV version. “This is my son in whom I am well-pleased.” But I love The Message version for this study on delight.
God says four things to the disciples:
- This is my son
- Marked by my love
- Focus of my delight
- Listen to him
Jesus didn’t earn God’s love, he is marked by it because he is God’s son. In the midst of ministry, God tells the disciples Jesus is the focus on his delight. And I love the timing of this experience for the disciples. Jesus has experienced 40-days in the wilderness where he was tempted by Satan and remained sinless. He has confronted Pharisees and Sadducees and healed sick people.
I am sure the disciples were getting worn out. They had been traveling for an extended time. They may have begun wondering what exactly the end game was. And in the midst of all of this God reminds them that their job is to do one thing. Listen to Jesus, because he is the focus of God’s delight.