How many times does God the Father speak directly to His people in Scripture? Only a couple of times. At Jesus’ baptism, we hear a voice from heaven declaring “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased,” (Mark 1:11, Luke 3:22 ESV).
Later on in the Gospels, Jesus takes Peter, James, and John up to a high mountain, and is transfigured. His face shines with glory, and His clothes become a radiant white. Moses and Elijah appear next to Him.
Why Moses and Elijah? Some have said that the two represent the Law and the Prophets. Others have argued that Moses represents the wilderness wanderings while Elijah represents Israel settled in the Promised Land. I think both are true, but I would argue that there is a further connection between the two. Both Moses (in Exodus 24:9-11 and Exodus 33:12-23) and Elijah (in 1 Kings 19:4-13) stood on Sinai and beheld God.
Here Jesus is, God incarnate, on a high mountain, foretelling in glory the glory that He will be given at His resurrection, standing with the two men that beheld God in the flesh on Mount Sinai.
Peter, overexcited, figures that it’s his job to set up tents for the three. While he’s speaking, a bright cloud surrounds and overshadows them, and Peter hears the voice of the Father:
“This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to Him.” (Matthew 17:5 ESV).
After the Triumphal Entry as Jesus prepares for His betrayal and death, we have this exchange:
“[And Jesus said] ‘Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.’ Then a voice came from heaven: ‘I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again’” (John 12:27-28, ESV).
Three proclamations from the Father:
- “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”
- “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to Him.”
- And before Jesus’ death and resurrection into glory, “I have glorified [my name], and I will glorify it again.”
In the beginning of John’s Gospel, we hear: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God […] And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:1, 14 ESV).
How many times does God the Father speak directly to His people in Scripture? Only a couple of times.
And what does He tend to say? “This is my Son, listen to Him.” Jesus is the Word. He is the voice of the Father. When the Father speaks, He speaks through Jesus.
And what does Jesus say?
- “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16 ESV)
- “Your sins are forgiven.” (Luke 7:48 ESV)
- “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.” (John 11:25-26 ESV)
As we go about our lives in Christ, let us ever remember the words of our Father to us: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to Him.” It is in Jesus that we hear our Father’s voice, and it is in Jesus that we see our Father’s love for us.