To See Christ

Matthew 17:5, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!”

Many implications come to mind from this account on the Transfiguration—all of which I’ve heard sermons on and have done my own studies. But there is something else I haven’t yet considered until I read a pericope from Luther’s Works. He wrote, “In spiritual matters we should not regard the angels as necessary, because God’s promise has been amply displayed and made manifest in Christ” (from Lectures on Genesis, Luther’s Works 4:126-127). Peter, fascinated with Moses and Elijah who were standing before him with Jesus, wanted to make tents for them so they’d stay. But why would they stay? It must’ve been an amazing thing to witness, no doubt, but he was so preoccupied with Moses and Elijah that he was missing Jesus. Thus, God proclaimed, “This is My Son… Listen to Him!” So, Peter shut up.

So then, what is up with our fascination with angels? We are constantly looking for angels in captured hospital cameras and the clouds. The appearance of angels served a purpose for a time. Notice that in the biblical record, angels only appear before the incarnation of Christ, right up to before His conception. For what use are angels when God has been revealed in Jesus Christ? “But we do not see Him today!” Yes we do. We see Him in His Word, for He is the Word (John 1:1, 14); and we see His body and blood in the elements of the Lord’s Supper. Let us, therefore, look only to the Word and Sacraments, in which Christ comes to us.

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