On this Transfiguration Sunday, the Gospel passage is indeed about the Transfiguration, the disciples’ vision of Jesus’ shining form, and the Father’s words about Jesus. Peter, James, and John, after seeing Jesus’ stunning, luminous appearance, and seeing him speak with Moses and Elijah, hear these words: “This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!” The spare and economic use of the voice of the Father in the New Testament lends emphasis when we do hear it, and centers on Jesus’ belovedness. It is his belovedness that gives him authority, and it is his belovedness by the Father that he has come to share with all of humanity.
With dazzling changes in Jesus’ appearance and a cloud filled with light that can somehow overshadow everything, the voice of the Almighty God fills the air, speaking of Jesus’ divine authority: “Listen to him.” Immediately, Jesus gives Peter, James, and John an opportunity to heed the Father’s words; he gives a command: “Get up and do not be afraid.”
- How does God proclaim my belovedness?
- When have I heard Jesus say, “Get up and do not be afraid”?
(Sermons that Work, T.E.C.)