5th October 2012

No One But Jesus

“When they looked up, they saw no one but Jesus.’
Matthew 17:8 (NIV UK)

The transfiguration is one of the most amazing accounts in the New Testament. You can read it in Matthew 17:1-9. 

At one point, probably during the summer before his death and resurrection, Jesus was preaching near Caesarea Philippi. He took Peter, James and John up a mountain, possibly Mount Hermon. While on the mountain the three disciples “were eye-witnesses of his majesty” (2 Peter 1:16). 

In a vision the disciples saw Moses and Elijah talking with Jesus, whose “face shone like the sun” (Matthew 17:2). They became very excited. To them Moses represented the Law and Elijah the Prophets. Peter in particular wanted the moment to last. He suggested that three tabernacles (tents) be erected, one for Elijah, one for Moses, and one for Jesus. In Peter’s mind these were the three greatest religious leaders of all time. Each had to be listened to, each had an impact on salvation. 

What happened next changed their whole perception of who Jesus is. A bright cloud, suggestive of the divine presence, “the Majestic Glory” (2 Peter 1:17), enveloped them, and from it God the Father proclaimed that Jesus is his Son. “Listen to him!” God said (Matthew 17:5). “When the disciples heard this, they fell face down on the ground, terrified” (17:6). Jesus went to them, touched them and told them not to be afraid. When they looked up Moses and Elijah had gone: they saw no one but Jesus. 

What did all this mean? Hebrews 1:1-2 comes to mind: “In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son…the Son is the radiance of God’s glory”. 

All religious leaders pale into insignificance compared to the glory of Jesus. They all disappear. Jesus is the only way to the Father. 

Who do we look to for salvation, comfort and guidance? There is no one but Jesus. 

Father, thank you for the glory of Jesus, and that we can trust him completely for everything and in every way: there is no one but Jesus.

Study by James Henderson

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