On the mountain of transfiguration, God chose to speak directly to the disciples. True, Jesus has been walking and talking with them for months by this time, but this was undoubtedly a distinct and powerful moment when the disciples heard the voice of God from heaven. So, what did God chose in that moment to tell them?
Jesus had just been transfigured before their very eyes. His flesh and blood had “fallen off” for a few moments while the disciples were allowed to see the glory of God in the person of Jesus Christ. What Jesus was trying to teach them through his words and deeds, they now literally saw face to face. And for the disciples, it was a transforming moment as well (2 Peter 1:16-19; John 1:14).
In this context God says, “This is my beloved Son; listen to him.”
God emphasized to the three followers of Jesus Christ the utmost importance of listening to Jesus Christ. Jesus is the embodiment of the truth of God. Through the life of Jesus Christ, God is communicating to us what he wants us to know about himself and about ourselves. If we listen to Jesus, we hear the words and heart of God.
Look at it like this. We sound like whom we listen to. Our vocabulary is formed and shaped by the people and things we pay attention to. The categories we use to understand the world are given to us by our daily influences. Whether we think about it or not, our minds, wills and souls are shaped on a daily basis by what we chose to listen to.
I still remember a friend in the Fourth Grade who cussed like a drunken sailor. Back then it was unlikely he was watching TV shows that sounded like that, but he was getting his vocabulary from somewhere. And I doubt he came out of the womb with a blue vocabulary. By the time he was 10 years old, his view on reality was already formed and shaped by his influences. He already had a view of women, teachers, authority, men, and life in general, and it was all deeply malformed and dysfunctional.
The Psalmist saw the dangers of our influences, and prayed powerfully for his attention to be drawn to other, more healthy sources. In Psalm 119:33-40 he prays things like, “Lead me in the path of your commandments…Incline my heart to your testimonies…Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things.” And why does the Psalmist want this? He knows God will give him, “life in your ways…for your rules are good…in your righteousness give me life.”
We can chose to let the corrupt and rebellious things of this world to shape us into who we will become, or we can allow the words and truth of God to make us like his Son, Jesus Christ. In this decision, there is goodness, righteousness and life. This is a powerful argument for reading and memorizing Scripture, praying, being an active part of the Body of Christ, and for engaging in the spiritual disciplines. As we do these kinds of things, we obey the voice from heaven.
Listen to Him.