“Listen to him!”
I imagine those words hung heavy in the air on the Mount of Transfiguration. To this point in the story, Peter, James, and John have been immersed in glory. They have seen Jesus transfigured before their eyes, and they have heard the very voice of God affirming Jesus as his beloved son. Then comes the stark command: “Listen to him!” As it turns out, this is a command the disciples sorely need to hear.
In Mark’s Gospel, the Transfiguration happens amidst several accounts of Jesus predicting his death. In each case, the disciples hear him but fail to really listen. Peter goes so far as to tell Jesus to stop talking crazy, while the whole lot of disciples argue about status and power. Here is Jesus speaking of the cross, the ultimate act of service, while his disciples, face the opposite direction. They hear Jesus’ words, but they fail to really hear him.
Jesus has a habit of speaking hard words into our lives, and we, like the disciples, run the risk of failing to truly hear him. If we’re not careful, we imagine Jesus in our own images rather than allowing the Spirit to transform us into his.
What word is Jesus speaking into your life right now? This Easter season, as we approach the cross, let us listen – truly listen – to the voice of our victorious Savior. He leads us in paths of righteousness, and he speaks forth the words of life.