And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him.
Three things are clear to us, preliminarily.
1. Jesus Christ is addressing us. From his home and throne on high our Saviour stoops to call us, to instruct us, to bless us. He is saying to us, "Come unto me;" "Abide in me;" "Follow me.
2. We need not hear him if we choose not to do so. As in a room where many groups of people are conversing, we only hear the voice of treat company to which we join ourselves and listen, so in the large room of this world there are many voices speaking and it rests with each of us to determine which we will regard. Shall it be the voice of ambition? or that of appetite? or that of human learning? or that of Christ?
3. Our heavenly Father urges us to give our best attention to Jesus Christ. This is my beloved Son: hear him. We shall see, if we consider, how and why God presses on us this act of hearing.
I. BECAUSE OF OUR URGENT NEED OF A VOICE THAT IS DIVINE. There are two things we urgently require, but which, apart from Jesus Christ, we cannot have.
1. One is a knowledge of what is true. We are strangers on the earth," and know but very little. Like the little bird (of the ancient story) that flew from the darkness into the dimly lighted room and out into the darkness on the other side, so from the darkness of the past we enter and stay for a brief time in the dimly lighted present, and forth we pass into the darkness of the future.
2. The other is the power to do what we know to be right. Truly pathetic is the Roman's confession, "I see the better course, and approve; 1 follow the worse." What men everywhere have wanted is the inspiration and the power to be and to do that which they perceive to be good and right. Whence shall we gain this? Only from a Divine Saviour, from One who has lived and died for us, to whom we offer our hearts and our lives, the love of whom will constrain us toward all that is good and pure, and restrain us from all that is bad and wrong.
II. BECAUSE OF HIS INTIMATE RELATION TO HIS DIVINE FATHER. "This is my beloved Son," therefore should we "hear him." For one of the deepest and most practical questions we can ask is - What is God's thought, feeling, purpose, toward us? If there were any human being who sustained toward us a relation which at all approached in intimacy and importance that which God sustains to us, we should be eager indeed to know what was his feeling and intention concerning us. How eagerly, then, should we inquire of him "in whom we live, and move, and have our being," "with whom we have everything to do," on whose will we are absolutely dependent for our future here and hereafter! What does God think about us? On what conditions will he receive and bless us? Christ, "the beloved Son," who came forth from God, and who knows his mind as none other can (Matthew 11:27), can answer this supreme question for us.
III. BECAUSE OF HIS CLOSE AND INTIMATE RELATION TO OURSELVES. We want some one to speak to us who knows us well, who understands us altogether; one about whom we can feel that this is true. To whom, then, should we listen, if not to the Son of God, our Maker; to the Son of man, our Brother? "He knew what was in man," as the evangelist testified, and again and again he showed that he knew his disciples far better than they knew themselves. Such is his knowledge of us. We may think that we know ourselves and what is best for ourselves. But we may be utterly mistaken. We find that our neighbours display lamentable and ruinous ignorance on these great matters. Who are we that we should be full of wisdom where others err? Let us distrust ourselves: "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." Ignorant presumption is a foe that "hath slain its ten thousands." The truly wise will seek the great Teacher's feet, and say, "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" - C.
Parallel VersesKJV: And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him.