Hearing the entire message of Jesus

Recognising the truth in all its clarity? Even in the realm of faith this is only possible for a moment. Before we know it, we descend from these peaks into the valley of everyday life. We can nevertheless stay on course on our way to glory. Here is how.

The divine service in Buenos Aires on 18 March 2018 was about the events on the mount of transfiguration. The Chief Apostle read Mark 9: 7: “And a cloud came and overshadowed them; and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!” Nearly 1,800 participated in the divine service in our central church in Buenos Aires, and another 19,000 throughout Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay watched a video broadcast.

The peak of knowledge

Two men, both had encounters with God, both were precursors of the Messiah, and both had to suffer as servants of the Lord: Moses and Elijah professed Jesus in His divine nature and as the Messiah. Three disciples were there as well—and they would have liked nothing more than to stay on the mount of transfiguration.

Why were they there in the first place? Jesus wanted to comfort and strengthen them, the Chief Apostle explained. The disciples were sad because of His impending suffering, which He had announced to them. And because of the tribulations He had predicted for them. And here, on the mount of transfiguration, they were able to experience the glory of God.

Between clarity and doubt

“Sometimes we have an experience of faith, and then it is obvious: through His help we can see the glory of God.” But not every prayer is answered,” the Chief Apostle said. “Even if we serve the Lord we have to suffer and carry a cross.” Sometimes a hint of bitterness creeps into our hearts: “Is that the reward?”

“The Holy Spirit wants to comfort and strengthen us,” the Chief Apostle pointed out. In the divine service, the Holy Spirit wants us to see the glory of Christ: His love, grace, patience, His proximity in Holy Communion, and the future He has prepared. “Sometimes we can see Jesus in our brother and sister, when God sends them to us in the form of an angel.”

But such moments of glory do not last, and before long everything is back to normal and we again only see the visible side of the church: the Apostles and ministers, as well as the brothers and sisters with their flaws and weaknesses. Perhaps even Jesus appears weak, given all the evil in the world. What now?

Don’t miss the other half

“Listen to the whole message,” the Chief Apostle counselled. Because: “The whole message is a message of hope and joy.” The disciples already made the mistake of not listening properly and missing part of the message. They only heard Jesus announce His suffering, “They missed the last part about the resurrection.” The Chief Apostle said, “Don’t be surprised if you have to suffer or go through tribulations.” The Lord predicted it, the Chief Apostle continued. But He also promised that those who follow Jesus Christ to the end will enter into His kingdom and share His glory.

However, we have to do more than just listen: “We have not yet been transfigured into the resurrection body. But the life of Jesus lives within us, and we want this life to develop. We want it to become more and more visible.”

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Andreas Rother
Argentina, Chief Apostle, Divine service