13 February 2024

2 Peter 1:16-21

For he received honour and glory from God the Father when that voice was conveyed to him by the Majestic Glory, saying, 'This is my Son, my Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.' We ourselves heard this voice come from heaven, while we were with him on the holy mountain. (vs 17-18)

Psalm 81


On Sunday, we were with Peter, James and John on the mountain of transfiguration. We noticed that the disciples were slow to understand what was happening, and who can blame them? Peter made a fool of himself suggesting building some sheds for Moses, Elijah and Jesus to stay in. Which of us hasn’t been embarrassed to be reminded of things we did when we were younger?

Today Peter places himself back on that mountain, but with the benefit of a lifetime of reflection. He reflects on what happened then, what happened later, and what it means now. Interestingly, he doesn’t dismiss the whole event as an example of youthful madness – he is adamant that he was there, he did hear that voice from heaven, and he’s prepared to stand by his account. And the voice, which Peter has no doubt was God’s, really did proclaim that Jesus was God’s beloved son and that God was pleased.

But now Peter can see a much deeper significance in those words. By the time he wrote this, the Christian community had come to recognise that Jesus Christ really is the Messiah. Jesus had fulfilled the expectation of prophets throughout the Hebrew Bible (our Old Testament). He really is the one who has come to save God’s people and his death and resurrection proved it. Everything hangs together: the witness of the prophets, the extraordinary life of Jesus, and God's words that still ring in Peter’s ears: "This is my son, my beloved, with whom I am well pleased." (v. 17)

This is too good, too complete, too perfect to be made up. God’s Spirit has spoken, and Peter and all his readers sit up, pay attention, and work out what this might mean for them, and for the whole world we call home. Because God’s Spirit has spoken, and the message is for all: this is Jesus, he is God’s son, the Messiah, and he has come to save all who will respond to his call.


To Ponder:

  • Think of a time when you felt close to God, or had a spiritual experience that made an impression on you. Do you remember it vividly, or does it seem like a dream? And what significance does that experience have for you now? Reflect on this, and bring your thoughts to God. Is God offering you any new insights for the future?
  • Today is Shrove Tuesday, when Christians traditionally have been reminded to repent of sins before starting the period of Lent. Are there things holding you back from a fuller relationship with God?  Why not bring these things before God now in honesty and faith, and accept the forgiveness God offers?


Ever-present God, you are with us throughout our lives, although sometimes we don’t know it. We thank you for the moments when you feel particularly close and pray we will learn from them and continue to seek you, wherever we find ourselves – on mountaintops or in deep valleys. In the name of Jesus Christ, our companion on the journey, Amen.

Bible notes author

Bob Bartindale

Bob Bartindale is a local preacher in the Bramhall and Wythenshawe Circuit near Manchester. He currently serves as the Officer for Local Preachers and Worship Leaders in the Methodist Connexional Team.

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