“Men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (
Philip Yancey told of an American musical team on a recent tour of the Middle East. The door opened for an engagement in Kabul, Afghanistan. Their leader strictly warned them not to stray from the prepared script. Dire consequences could follow. They sang folk tunes and songs about God’s love. All was uneventful until one member of the team put down his guitar and began to improvise.
“I’d like to tell you about my best friend, a man named Jesus, and the difference He has made in my life.” From the side of the stage, the team leader motioned wildly for him to stop. He gestured the cut-your-throat motions. The young man went on with his testimony.
Then the Minister of Cultural Affairs for Afghanistan stood and walked to the stage. “We have seen many American young people come through this country,” he said. “Most of them come for drugs, and most look like hippies. We have not seen or heard from people like you. God’s love is a message my country needs. How thrilled I am to hear you!”
Then he publicly invited the group to expand their tour to visit every college and faculty in the nation and to give this same message on Kabul Radio. The minister added, “I will make it happen.” The response to the tour has been amazing. Afghan young people crowd around: “Tell me more about this Jesus—we know of Him from the Qur’an.” Some asked to pray with the American teenagers. Many wanted to know how faith had changed them. (Philip Yancey, “A Living Stream in the Desert,” Christianity Today. Nov. 2010, 30-35.)
Who says Jesus is the Christ? On what authority can we expect a rich welcome into His eternal kingdom? (
The Voice of Eyewitnesses Say So (
In contrast to those telling cleverly invented myths, Peter, James and John were eyewitnesses on the Mount of Transfiguration. They saw the glory of the Lord, and Peter now tells what they saw. That is the duty of a witness: We tell what we have seen.
The Voice of God the Father Says So (
There are two occasions in the gospels when the voice of God the Father spoke from heaven to bear witness to the deity of the Son. These were at His baptism and transfiguration.
At His baptism, recorded in
Our text today provides the second incident. It happened at His transfiguration (
The Voice of Prophets in Scripture Say So (
In addition to the audible voice of God on the mountain, we have the written Word of God through His prophets. We do well to pay attention to their words. These men spoke about God and for God and “from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (v. 21).
Men still offer their chocolate-covered poison for doctrine. A family came to my door some time back with their propaganda. I saw them going door to door on our street and suspected their nefarious mission. I was not long at my door in bearing witness to Christ my Savior, God’s Son. Their spokesperson said. “We believe in Christ the Son of God.”
I responded: “Do you mean to tell me that you believe Jesus is the Son of God and God the Son? Their heads were all nodding affirmation until I reached that last term, “God, the Son.” There their heads suddenly stopped nodding and shook negatively and emphatically side to side, saying, “No, not ‘God, the Son!'” Either they are heretics or I am. I take my stand with those who witnessed His divine glory on the mountain.