Matthew 17 … Consider the Voice Out of the Cloud

“While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, ‘This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!'” (17:5).

The three disciples are led up on a high mountain, with no one but Jesus, and before their eyes He is transfigured. It’s impossible to even begin to imagine the sight; His face shining like the sun, His clothing like light. And there, talking with Him, two of the most revered prophets in all of Israel’s history.

And in the midst of this majestic, indescribable scene, Peter seems so self-assertive with his grand ideas. But then it happens, the Voice Out of the Cloud speaks, and the confidence and ideas vanish. And now the three disciples are on their faces, terrified.

Why didn’t the mere sight of the transfigured Lord have this same effect? Scripture doesn’t offer any explanation. But something was communicated by the Voice Out of the Cloud the disciples somehow missed as they watched the phenomenon known as the Transfiguration. Perhaps, they watched through their eyes of flesh. Flesh fails to distinguish the matchless wonder of our Holy Savior, and fixes eyes on others and self.

But the Voice Out of the Cloud realigns their vision, placing them in the position to be touched by Jesus, to clearly see through eyes of faith. “And Jesus came to them and touched them and said, ‘Get up, and do not be afraid.’ And lifting up their eyes, they saw no one except Jesus Himself alone,” (17:7-8)

Consider the Voice Out of the Cloud

The Voice Out of the Cloud interrupted misplaced adoration:‘…if You wish, I will make three tabernacles here, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.’ While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said,…”

The Voice Out of the Cloud communicated His love for Jesus”My Beloved”

The Voice Out of the Cloud communicated His relationship to Jesus:Son”

The Voice Out of the Cloud communicated His pleasure in Jesus:with whom I am well-pleased”

The Voice Out of the Cloud communicated His high esteem for Jesus:listen to Him!”

The Voice Out of the Cloud removed every distraction: they saw no one except Jesus Himself alone.”

The Voice Out of the Cloud called their attention solely to Jesus, commanding them to listen to Him; and the disciples were terrified.

Later, Jesus would speak to rebuke and cast out a demon; admonish His disciples for lack of faith; foretell His coming death; explain the immense possibilities of faith; and teach on His true relation to the temple through the temple tax.

But before all that, the first thing the disciples would hear were His compassionate words, accompanied by His tender touch, “And Jesus came to them and touched them and said, ‘Get up, and do not be afraid.'”

How do we respond to The Voice Out of the Cloud?

  • We must heed His Voice when He interrupts our own misplaced adoration and preconceived ideas. He increases our spiritual understanding and faith when we listen to Him!
    • “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ,” (Romans 10:17).
  • As His beloved children, may our one desire be to please Him. What could possibly compare to hearing His Voice of approval and pleasure?
    • “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him,” (Hebrews 11:6).
  • We need never fear hearing the Words of Christ. His rebukes and admonishments are compassionate words accompanied by His tender touch.
    • “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love,” (1 John 4:18).
  • Our growing faith strengthens our assurance in His perfect love. We are spared eternal punishment, but He will discipline His children, as a father disciplines his sons.
    • “God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?” (Hebrews 12:7).
  • Let us ask God to discipline us as His children, so we too would see “no one except Jesus Himself alone;” that we may grow to fix our eyes solely on Him, lay aside the sin that removes our gaze to get us off course, and run with endurance until the day we truly see Him as He is.
    • “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God,” (Hebrews 12:1-2).
    • Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure,” (1 John 3:2-3)

Let’s Listen to Him and Grow Together!

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