21 OCTOBER (PREACHED 1770)
The pre-eminence and dignity of Jesus
‘While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.’ Matthew 17:5
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: Matthew 17:1–13
This is my beloved Son. The Greek is emphatic with a double article—This is that Son, that beloved Son of mine—to distinguish him from all others and to show his pre-eminence and dignity. Believers are the sons of God, not by nature but by adoption. Jesus is his own, his only beloved Son. He is the brightness of the Father’s glory, the express image of his person and the temple of his glory. If we speak of his divine nature, he is of the same essence with the Father, equal in power and glory. If we speak of his human nature, this is assumed into such an immediate and indissoluble union with the Divine, that in his whole person as Mediator and Head of his church reside all the characters and perfections of the Godhead. He is the true God and eternal life. There are mysteries in this subject which cannot be truly understood by any who are not taught of God, and cannot be fully comprehended by the most exalted creatures, for none knoweth the Son but the Father [Matthew 11:27]. Enough, however, is revealed for faith to build and feed upon—enough to point him out to sinners as the ground of their hope and the object of their supreme love, trust and adoration. If you would know this great mystery of godliness aright, you must pray the Father to reveal the Son to you and in you. According to the views you have of Jesus, in the glory of this character, the beloved Son of God, such will be your knowledge of the other great truths of the gospel which are derived from this and depend upon it.
FOR MEDITATION: The disciples not only saw the cloud, but they heard a voice directing them to Christ. This is a sure mark: whatever seems extraordinary in our experience, any manifestation or comfort that does not lead us to Jesus and tend to make him glorious in our eyes and precious to hearts, may be justly suspected. The Word of God, the ordinances, the teachings of the Spirit, all concur with this voice to glorify Jesus. Let us now attend to this voice from the excellent glory, which still speaketh to us also. May the Holy Spirit impress it powerfully upon all our hearts.
SERMON SERIES: ON THE TRANSFIGURATION, NO. 9 [1/4]