Are we following God’s admonition to Peter, James and John to listen to Jesus?
At the transfiguration, Peter responded to seeing Jesus transfigured and the appearance of Elijah and Moses by offering to build three shelters for each of them. A cloud then enveloped them, and God said, “This is my Son whom I love. Listen to him!” (Mark 9:2-8) It was almost as if God was rebuking Peter to get serious. Quit thinking about building shelters. It is my son you are with. “Listen to him!”
Like Peter, it is easy for us to get caught up with the circumstances in front of us. We forget that Jesus is with us. We forget to listen to all that he has said about all of the important things of life. We forget to ask him for guidance in the daily choices of life. Yet he has so much to say:
- “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust in me.” John 14:1
- “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all you mind and with all you strength. Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:30-31
- “I am the way and the truth and the life.” John 14:6
- “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” John 14:23
- “Whatever you did for the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:40
- “For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged.” Matthew 7:2
- “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23
- “No one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” John 3:3
- “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. Apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:4, 5
- “Anyone who has faith in me, he will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these.” John 14:12
- “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good things to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Luke 11:13
- “Go and make disciples of all nations.” Matthew 28:19
- “In the world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
- “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:20
So much truth! So much wisdom in what Jesus has to say to us!
Over the last several decades we have seen the effects of people not listening to Jesus: the decline of one of God’s pillars in his plan for creation — the two parent family. We have seen the continuous erosion of sexual morality, an entertainment industry increasingly glorifying sex and violence, and the increasing lapses of integrity among people in authority. We have seen a crisis in opioid and other addictions, and increasing acts of violence and mass shootings in schools and public places.
Unlike Peter, James and John, we are not covered by a cloud from God, but the haze of a culture increasingly focused on self and moving away from its creator. But through the haze, God still says, “Here is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!”