The Voice from the Cloud
May 25, 2021
While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, "This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!" When the disciples heard this, they fell face down to the ground and were terrified. And Jesus came to them and touched them and said, "Get up, and do not be afraid." And lifting up their eyes, they saw no one except Jesus Himself alone (Matthew 17:5-8).
In all 3 accounts of the transfiguration of Jesus (Matthew 17:1-9; Mark 9:2-10; Luke 9:28-36) the deity of Christ was attested to by (1) the glory of His essence shining through His flesh, (2) the presence and witness of Moses and Elijah, and (3) the voice of God speaking from the shekinah cloud. This is confirmation of truth according to Mosaic Law (Deuteronomy 19:15), . . . on the evidence of two or three witnesses a matter shall be confirmed. Jesus reaffirmed this principle (Matthew 18:16) as did the Apostle Paul (2 Corinthians 13:1; 1 Timothy 5:19; Hebrews 10:28).
Throughout Scripture the ‘bright cloud’ (shekinah cloud) is the sign of the presence of God. It was the ‘pillar of cloud by day’ that led Israel through the wilderness of Sinai (Exodus 13:21; Numbers 9:17; Deuteronomy 1:33). After Solomon had finished building the Temple and brought the Ark of the Covenant to its place in the Holy of Holies, the glory cloud of the Lord filled the Temple (1 Kings 8:10-11). Isaiah said, When the Lord has washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion and purged the bloodshed of Jerusalem from her midst, by the spirit of judgment and the spirit of burning, then the LORD will create over the whole area of Mount Zion and over her assemblies a cloud by day, even smoke, and the brightness of a flaming fire by night; for over all the glory will be a canopy (Isaiah 4:4-5).
On Mt. Tabor, when Jesus was transfigured, God the Father confirmed the relationship of Jesus Christ to the Godhead by affirming that Jesus was His beloved Son. This same voice and affirmation was given at Jesus’ baptism (Matthew 3:17).
The testimony of God the Father regarding Jesus Christ was a vital and necessary witness for these men. It would affirm in their mind and heart that Jesus’ determination to go to Jerusalem to be crucified and resurrected was indeed the will of God. Later they would become the leaders of the newly consecrated church after the ascension of Jesus into heaven. Their full conviction on the deity of Jesus Christ as confirmed by God the Father would be indispensable to their faithfulness to Jesus for the remaining 6 months of His life, in His death, resurrection, and ascension, and throughout their ministries until their own death.
“Father, thank You for this witness to Peter, James, and John, and for the many subsequent testimonies from You and Your Holy Spirit regarding Jesus Christ as the only Lord and Savior. Continue to confirm this truth in me that my faithfulness to Christ and His Kingdom will remain strong and undeterred until that time You call me home. To Your praise and glory I ask, Amen.”