Are You Listening To God?

listenAre you ready to listen? And I am not talking about getting your children to be quiet or about improving your relationship with your spouse. That kind of listen is good and paramount. But there is an even more important listening that needs to take place. We need to listen to Christ.

When Jesus took his disciples up onto the mountain before his death, Peter, James and John were in a stupefied awe. And rightfully so. According to Mark 9:3, they had seen the glory of Christ. The text records that Jesus’ “ clothes become radiant, intensely white, as no one on earth could bleach them.” Something magnificent was going on. And that’s not all. Moses and Elijah show up with Jesus and begin talking about Jesus’ upcoming death. Talk about a wow moment. Although, the disciples did not know fully what was going on, the they knew that something amazing was occurring. As the miraculous event ended, Peter blurted out, “Rabbi it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”  Seemingly, Peter always has to say something. And so, he did.

And, he begins well enough. Peter recognized that experiencing Christ more fully is a good and gracious thing. Hearing the gospel preached is a blessing. All Christians should long to know Christ more. All should long to see the glory of Christ.

Unfortunately for Peter, he does not stop there. He goes on to offer to build three tabernacles. He essentially wants to do something for God. Peter wants to help establish the kingdom of God. And while building tabernacles and memorials that point to the glory of God is perhaps well intended, Peter’s thoughts miss an important truth. Christ does not need us.

Jesus does not need our programs, our large church buildings, and our schemes to validate his ministry. Jesus is not sitting on his throne of glory thinking, “If only they would feed 1000 people or if only they would build a new facility, then my name would be great.”  Christ does not measure his greatness by our actions.

Instead of speaking, instead of trying to work to moralize the grandeur of God on earth, we are told to do something else. We are told to listen. In verse 7, we read, “And a cloud came over them, and a voice came out of the cloud, ‘“This is my beloved Son, listen to him.”’ We need to listen to Christ.

We buck against this idea. Because we like Peter, want to push God forward with human hands. But God does not need our soup kitchens, our buildings, or our T.V. shows to reach the world. Christ is tabernacling with us. He has sent the Holy Spirit to bear witness to his son. Christ reveals himself daily in the Scriptures. Instead of us trying to vindicate God by showing the world how successfully our programs and ideas are, we need to listen to Christ.

We need to believe that salvation comes through the cross alone. We need to listen to God. We need to admit that God is the authority on God. We need to listen to the Son. And then we need to obey. There is no other way. God requires nothing more and nothing less. Jesus is speaking. Will we listen?

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