Monday, December 29, 2014

Eyewitnesses of His Majesty

            Who is Jesus? It is the most important question you will answer in your lifetime. If Jesus is who Christians worldwide and the New Testament claim he is, then whether you choose to follow him will make, not just a temporary, but an eternal difference in your life and the lives of people around you.

            The first disciples of Jesus were amazed by his life, his teachings and especially by his resurrection. The apostle Peter summed up Jesus’ life nicely with this phrase: “Jesus went around doing good!” But for Peter there was more to Jesus than just goodness. The things Peter saw in Jesus made him realize that Jesus was more than just an ordinary man. This was confirmed for Peter in a remarkable event where he, along with James and John, saw Jesus speaking with Moses and Elijah. This had to be the most amazing thing Peter had ever seen and he tried to express his joy, saying: “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters – one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” Peter rightly realized that Jesus was a very significant figure in Israel! What happened next must have blown Peter’s mind – “While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him.’” Peter spent the rest of his life doing just that – listening to and following Jesus, the son of God.

            Here is Peter’s remembrance of this event from years later: For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.  (2 Peter 1:16-18) Eyewitnesses of His Majesty! That is a life changing event, for to see Jesus clearly also makes you see yourself and all those around you clearly. After the resurrection and ascension of Jesus, Peter and John were arrested and threatened to stop teaching in the name of Jesus. Peter’s response is what one would expect from someone who had seen the majesty of Jesus – “We cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard!” (Acts 4:20) Peter and John, along with the other disciples continued to speak about the majesty of Jesus and the whole world changed!

            We live in a world that is desperate for change, a world that is desperate for Jesus! Yet Jesus chooses to allow the saving message about him to be spread by witnesses who have experienced his life changing presence personally. When we have been eyewitnesses of his majesty, we will never stop telling anyone who will listen about the amazing things we have seen and heard. If enough witnesses are telling the story, the world will change again!  

- Kenny Payne

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