This is My Son the Focus of My Delight

“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 tells the disciples about his death and Peter responds in typical Peter fashion by trying to correct Jesus. And in the middle of this 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. During his ministry, God tells the disciples Jesus is the focus of his delight. I love the timing of this experience for the disciples. Jesus has walked through 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 fed 4,000 people and Jesus was performing miracles which was drawing crowds everywhere they went. They had been traveling for six days when they paused for this moment of the Transfiguration. The disciples may have started wondering what exactly the end game for Jesus would look like. God reminds them that their job is to do one thing. Listen to Jesus, because he is the focus of God’s delight.

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Readers Note: As I explored this word in 2017, I participated in Write 31 Days. I’m slowly updating these posts. This post was updated in January 2022 to extend what I’ve learned about delight, what God is delighted by, and how delight connects us to our Savior.