Sunday Devotional: ‘This is my chosen Son; listen to him’

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Luke 9:28B-36

Jesus took Peter, John, and James
and went up the mountain to pray.
While he was praying his face changed in appearance
and his clothing became dazzling white.
And behold, two men were conversing with him, Moses and Elijah,
who appeared in glory and spoke of his exodus
that he was going to accomplish in Jerusalem.
Peter and his companions had been overcome by sleep,
but becoming fully awake,
they saw his glory and the two men standing with him.
As they were about to part from him, Peter said to Jesus,
“Master, it is good that we are here;
let us make three tents,
one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
But he did not know what he was saying.
While he was still speaking,
a cloud came and cast a shadow over them,
and they became frightened when they entered the cloud.
Then from the cloud came a voice that said,
“This is my chosen Son; listen to him.”
After the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone.
They fell silent and did not at that time
tell anyone what they had seen.

Modern Christology, the systematic study (“ology”) of Jesus Christ, is a product of the Enlightenment, distinguished from the pre-modern variety in its purpose and intent. Instead of studying Christ as the object of religious devotion or faith, modern Christology means to study Jesus as a figure in history, i.e., Jesus the man instead of Jesus the Christ.

Modern Christology’s historical reconstructions of Jesus have regularly been put forward as challenges to faith. In a speech in 1996, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger said, “The identification of only one historical person, Jesus of Nazareth, with . . . the living God, is now relegated as a relapse into myth. Jesus is consciously relativized as one religious leader among others.” The result is an erosion of faith even among the clergy. As examples:

  • A survey in 2002 found that a third of the clergy in the Church of England doubted or outright disbelieved in the physical resurrection of Christ. No doubt the percentage is much higher today, 17 years later.
  • At the 2017 Christmas midnight Mass, Fr. Fredo Olivero of the Church of San Rocco di Torino in the Archdiocese of Turin, Italy, substituted the syrupy Italian pop-religious tune “Dolce sentire” for the Creed, explaining, “Do you know why I do not say the Creed? Because I do not believe it. . . . After many years I understood that it was something I did not understand and that I could not accept. So let’s sing something else that says the essential things of life.” (Source: George Weigel in First Things)
  • Not to be outdone, Fr. Paolo Farinella of Genoa, Italy, announced in the leftist Italian newspaper, La Repubblica, that Christmas is just “a fairy tale from the nativity scene with lullabies and bagpipes, the exclusive support of a capitalist and consumerist economy”. (First Things)

Having studied some of the writings of modern Christologists, what I find curious is that, in their search for the historical Jesus, these theologians and scholars pay scant attention to an important concept in law which is critical to the testimony and determination of truth.

That concept is “percipient witness.”

According to Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary, a percipient witness is “A witness who testifies about things he or she actually perceived. For example, an eyewitness.”

The apostles and disciples were the percipient witnesses of the historical Jesus. Their accounts are contained in the four canonical Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles. And it is their behaviors, lives, and deaths that provide the most compelling testimony of not just Jesus the man, but Jesus the Christ. The above passage from Luke 9 is exactly that — an account by sane, percipient witnesses of having seen Jesus with two long-dead men, Moses and Elijah, and hearing a voice from the cloud saying, “This is my chosen Son; listen to him.”

The Milky Way as seen from New Zealand

The world we live in, Earth, is part of a solar system, at the center of which is a star called the Sun. Our solar system is part of a galaxy called the Milky Way.

Astronomers say there are about 1 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy. Deep-field images from the Hubble Space Telescope suggest there are about 2 trillion galaxies in the observable universe, or about 10 times more galaxies than previously thought.  Christopher Conselice, a professor of astrophysics at the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom, said there are about 100 million stars in the average galaxy. (Space.com)

1 million = 1,000,000.
100 million = 100,000,000.
1 trillion = 1,000,000 millions or 1,000,000,000,000.
2 trillions × 100 millions = 20,000,000 millions or 20 trillions.

That means there are about 20 trillion stars in the Universe. Put another way, there are 5 to 10 times more stars than there are grains of sand on all the beaches of planet Earth. (Universe Today)

Then there is something even more mind-boggling: The above calculations are about the observable Universe. According to the theory of cosmic inflation, the size of the entire Universe is at least 3×1023 times the radius of the observable Universe.

So when the Creator of this unimaginably vast Universe says “This is my chosen Son; listen to him”, we’d be crazy not to listen.

May the peace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you,

~Eowyn

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6 responses to “Sunday Devotional: ‘This is my chosen Son; listen to him’

  1. Yes, precipient witnesses who testified to the life, ministry, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus Christ at the risk of their lives. Not something they would do lightly to perpetuate some silly apocalyptic cult. That appears to be lost on the Christologists (Bart Ehrman comes to mind) and cosmologists and biologists who begin with the a priori assumption that only naturalistic/materialistic explanations for origins of the universe and life are valid. And they exhibit increasingly frantic and absurd attempts to rationalize their spiritually moribund stance (the multiverse, quantum gravity, etc.). So it was in my case until I began investigating ID research and came to realize that the almost unimaginably exquisite complexity and precision of living systems cannot possibly, or even probabalistically, be explained by processes of blind, purposeless random chance. It logically followed that there was a creator. And that Jesus Christ, as attested in the inspired word of the creator, was God in human form, and suffered and died to atone for our sins, our shortcomings. God the creator knew that, having impossibly high standards, no one would achieve salvation otherwise. For all have sinned. So now I stand in absolute awe and am overwhelmed by the magnitude of His grace. This not a mental phenomenon, it must be experienced in its totality. I never imagined I would be where I am now, but as we used to say back in the day, everybody has got to be somewhere. So thank you for this piece

     
  2. And with Your Spirit, Amén. Although I’m experiencing problems submitting a reply, today’s message is special, God Master of the Universe, forever and Ever.

     
  3. Excellent Sabbath Day article!

    How very pitiful that some modern men have decided to renounce what the testimony of those who actually saw Jesus the Christ, and heard God the Father. The wise will set their beliefs on the testimony of those who were the actual companions of Christ.

     
  4. Excellent like! And it is faith in Jesus, not witness perception of Jesus, that is needed. Keep me from following any clergy without it.

     
  5. I appreciate your inspirational weekly post. Today was a very hard day for me. It helped a little. The one photo of space from New Zealand was so nice. Looking at the display of the Milky Way I placed my self there for a moment to pray. I saw a vision.The armies coming in from the sea to attack. The New Zealanders had all turned in their weapons. They could not defend themselves. They were slaughtered.

     
    • Sorry your day was bad. I’m glad to be of some help.

      Question: Why do you use a different alias each time you post a comment?

       

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