They Saw Jesus Only!

Glorified Christ

And after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, and brought them up into a high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his clothing was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elijah talking with him. Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if you will, let us make here three tabernacles; one for you, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah. While he yet spoke, 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 you him. And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were much afraid. And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, except Jesus only. (Matthew 17:1-8 KJ2000)

Here we have a clash of the two covenants — the old one that was based on the works of men and their adherence to the law and the New Covenant based on the righteousness of Jesus Christ. God did a miracle in that He brought back the representative of the Law, Moses himself; a representative of the prophets, the mightiest prophet of all, Elijah; along with His Son, whose face was as bright as the sun and who was clothed in light.

This was also a clash of two mindsets. In Peter we see the mindset of the old law, a need for carnal man to do something, to add to what God is doing and “seize the moment” by the enthusiasm of the flesh and enshrine that moment in a building project. In Peter’s mind, God dwells in temples made with hands. Everything that was of the law was typified in that building down there in Jerusalem. The very temple dedicated to God would be torn down in a few short years to demonstrate one thing—that the works of the flesh can not please Him. Only what is accomplished by the working of His Son will survive and remain–the very Son who created the heavens and the earth and all that was in them at the foundation of the world.

In this passage we see another great contrast between the Old and New Covenants. At one time the glory of God was seen on the face of Moses, but no more (read 2 Cor. 3:12-18). Even the glory that once lived in the temple in Jerusalem was gone when they lost the ark hundreds of years earlier during Babylonian invasion. But here we see the glory of the Father resting not on Moses or Elijah, but on His own Son. It was not only seen on the face of Jesus, but His whole body, signifying that God is only pleased with the leading and the works of His Son.

So what is man’s part in the New Covenant? To listen to and obey the Spirit of His Son whom He sent to take His place on earth: “Hear you Him!” It is not to listen to your own flesh, even if that flesh is inspired to do something that you read in the Bible!

Austin-Sparks said it so well,

 We talk about our motives, and we say, “Our motive was right!” We talk about our conscientiousness, we talk about our intentions; but you and I do not know what lies behind what we call our good motives. There is a deceitfulness about this human heart that defies our greatest attempt at tracking it down, and we shall never do it…. Here is where the church has become such a confused thing, and such a tragedy; for the prevailing idea is that if you give yourself over to God He will take you up and use you: “Bring over your humanity and consecrate it to the Lord! Consecrate your old man to the Lord, and go out and serve the Lord, with a consecrated old man!” It is utterly contrary to the teaching of God’s Word. The result is that in the work of God all the world over you have people serving the Lord in the energy of the flesh, in the reasoning of the flesh, in the emotions of the flesh. Meet them, counter them, frustrate them, and you meet something evil; you meet with a fight, a division, a schism, a scattering, and wholesale resignations.

Do you see what a havoc the enemy can make in that which is called the church, because people with best intentions and purest motives have come to serve the Lord with all their own intelligence, their own strength, and their own emotion? They have not seen that God has closed the door to the old creation, and that God’s attitude is this: “The only thing that can satisfy Me, that can serve Me is My Son, and if you are going to come into My service, He has to be the energy of everything, the Life of everything, the Wisdom of everything!” He has to be the governing, ruling reality in everything. It is not to be a matter of your impulses, but of His urgings and leadings by the Holy Spirit; not your sitting down to reason out what it would be good to do for the Lord, what ought to be done, what needs to be done, but what He shows you, nothing more… You and I must not bring over our old creation and give it to God, expecting God to use it. God begins with birth. The church of the firstborn is something quite new, and it comes out of a death. That death is the death of an old creation, and the resurrection is of something that is not the resuscitation of an old creation, but the resurrection of something wholly of God. ~ By T. Austin-Sparks from: The Church of the Firstborn – Chapter 1 

Matthew’s account above continues, “And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were much afraid. And Jesus came and touched them, and said, ‘Arise, and be not afraid.’ And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, except Jesus only.” They heard the voice of God and it brought all their carnal thoughts and imaginations to a halt. If everybody who calls themselves Christian could hear the voice of the Spirit speaking to them, we would quit looking to men. “And… they saw Jesus only!” What a difference it would make in the church. We need a godly fear in the hearts of believers so they will not touch what God is doing as Uzzah did that fateful day (see 2 Chronicles ch. 13). Death is in the hand of carnal man. Everything he touches dies. But here Jesus touched the disciples and something miraculous happened. Where they saw Moses and Elijah and Jesus before, now they saw only Jesus.

Dear saints of God, let us be hungry for Christ and His works and as persistent as those Greeks who were not content with meeting the apostles of Christ. They did not want a mere representation of Him. They wanted the real thing!

And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast: The same came therefore to Philip, who was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired of him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus. Philip came and told Andrew: and again Andrew and Philip told Jesus. And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. (John 12:20-23 KJ2000- emphasis added)

May Christ be glorified in us as we seek Jesus and only do the works we see Him doing. Amen.

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11 comments on “They Saw Jesus Only!

  1. Pat Orr says:

    At least they saw Jesus only. My tendency is to see Jesus also. I cry out to see Him only. Thank you for the call to single vision.

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  2. Scarlett says:

    Great analogy Michael. It made me think of what you quoted at the end;

    “The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified”. (John 12:20

    Jesus said He would be glorified by His bloody death on the Cross. The carnal thinking mind views a death on a cross as a shameful, ignominious event. But the death of Jesus on that Cross was the pivitol point in all of human history.

    Jesus rebuked Peter for looking at the Cross with carnal thinking, “But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.

    I pray that the Lord will help me to look at things from the LORD’S viewpoint; at His eternal objectives in my life and that of my brethren in the Body. For I know that I have all too often been guilty of not being obedient to that call. More maturity needed and a whole bunch of flesh to be crucified in obedience to Him.

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    • Michael says:

      Dear Scarlett,

      Thanks for your heartfelt comment. Sister, for some reason, this is one of the hardest replies I have ever tried to compose. Maybe it is seeing you open up your heart on here the way you did… your vulnerability… and the feeling I have of being very responsible that I do not wound or crush you while you are so open.

      Looking at things from God’s viewpoint does not come natural for us. Peter got it right and Jesus commended him for it as he prophetically said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” But just two verses later Peter blew it and was rebuked by Jesus for speaking for Satan and desiring the things pertaining to men… “Lord save yourself” (see Job 2:4).

      How often in my immaturity I would speak as God’s prophet by inspiration and then turn around and be a mouth-peace for Satan, desiring the things of men? Like Peter, I would add my two-bits from my flesh to what God said and blow the whole thing! My sister, the problem is in our hearts… Do we know what spirit we are of (see Luke 9:52-56) or of what kingdom we belong to? So many Christians are busy preaching Americanism or Zionism, thinking themselves, like Peter, as desiring the things of God. But God’s kingdom comes without outward observation, but is found in our midst– within us– it is NOT of this world!

      Yes, Scarlett, we could all use more maturity. Lord, give us spiritual eyes and take out of us this double mind and give us a single eye fixed on you and YOUR kingdom. Crucify this flesh in us so that we can say with Jesus, “The prince of this world is come and found NOTHING in me.” Amen.

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  3. Another great post on the clear distinction between the Old and the New Covenant, Michael!! 🙂

    Quoting Mr. Sparks, “God begins with birth. The church of the firstborn is something quite new, and it comes out of a death. That death is the death of an old creation, and the resurrection is of something that is not the resuscitation of an old creation, but the resurrection of something wholly of God.”

    Or as Jesus said (and John Wesley often repeated 😉 ), “You MUST be born again – so that you can see and enter the kingdom of God” (cf. Jn 3:3, 5). The death of the old Adam and the new birth of Christ inside us, our way to the cross where we die to self and our resurrection to a completely new spiritual life in our mortal bodies – all of this is exclusively God’s doing.

    Also, we must be careful to not read the commandments in the Bible like requests from God we could ever fulfill on our own. We cannot love God and others as we should, thus we cannot forgive wholeheartedly, either [as long as our thoughts return to a painful past event – it is still in our hearts]; nor can we receive any of those blessings we read in the Sermon on the Mount – unless God enables us to receive them. Although we suffer until we die (to our old self), it is a passive process that is simply to be endured. But afterwards real life can begin – for all of us.

    What I find interesting is that Jesus TOUCHED them and said, “Arise, be not afraid.” That means, to me, “Arise from your deadly fear.” When they HEAR His voice and FEEL His touch, they are finally able to see only HIM. And then, as soon as He has fixed their eyes solely on Himself, fear is over.
    BTW, “Be not afraid,” could be read as another “commandment”. But who could ever free himself from fear? Instead, when Jesus speaks to our hearts, everything He says will doubtlessly happen, for it is written,

    “…so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. “For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress; instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle; and it shall make a name for the Lord, an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.”” (Is 55:11-13 ESV)

    Joy and peace is ours when we finally see Jesus – only…

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    • Michael says:

      Yes! It is not by might, nor by power, but by His Spirit says the Lord. Fallen Adam in man can not do the works of God nor please Him. All lasting works and all good gifts come down from the Father of lights. Apart from Christ we can do NOTHING for it is IN Him that we live and move and have our being. Our life is hidden IN Christ! Oh, what a peace we have as we rest IN the Son and HE does the work through us. Amen. Thank you my sister… another good comment filled with insight! God bless and keep you always,
      Michael

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  4. Amen brother, Jesus only. Thank you for the recent posts. They have spurned me on, into Christ. Bless you brother.

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  5. kenneth dawson says:

    I cant imagine it being said any better–ONLY

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  6. Pat Orr says:

    What does BTW stand for?

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    • Michael says:

      Sorry, Pat. BTW is short for “by the way.” FYI is short for, “for your information.” There are hundreds of these abbreviations on the net and I forgot you are not use to them.

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