Matthew 17 1-9
Six days later, three of them saw that glory. Jesus took Peter and the brothers, James and John, and led them up a high mountain. His appearance changed from the inside out, right before their eyes. Sunlight poured from his face. His clothes were filled with light. Then they realised that Moses and Elijah were also there in deep conversation with him.
Peter broke in, “Master, this is a great moment! What would you think if I built three memorials here on the mountain—one for you, one for Moses, one for Elijah?”
While he was going on like this, babbling, a light-radiant cloud enveloped them, and sounding from deep in the cloud a voice: “This is my Son, marked by my love, focus of my delight. Listen to him.”
When the disciples heard it, they fell flat on their faces, scared to death. But Jesus came over and touched them. “Don’t be afraid.” When they opened their eyes and looked around all they saw was Jesus, only Jesus.
Coming down the mountain, Jesus swore them to secrecy. “Don’t breathe a word of what you’ve seen. After the Son of Man is raised from the dead, you are free to talk.”
We all need affirmation in order to continue to do what we do and this story has Jesus receiving affirmation from God, his Father, close to the end of his ministry in just the same words as were used at the beginning of his ministry; “This is my own dear Son with whom I am pleased.”
Jesus was shortly to knowingly endure the cross. In the preceding verses to this passage he tells his disciples: “I must go to Jerusalem and suffer much from the elders, the chief priests, and the teachers of the Law. I will be put to death, but three days later I will be raised to life.” So, we can well imagine that Jesus needed this affirmation from his Father, just as much as his disciples needed to hear it for their future understanding.
Are there people whose work you could affirm this week? Do you know of people facing particularly difficult challenges and circumstances that you could encourage? Perhaps there are some to whom you have given encouragement in the past, maybe even helped into their current direction, who would appreciate a call or a conversation to sustain them this week.
Finally, God also wishes to call you his child and affirm you in your ministry. Are you open to that prospect?
Lord Jesus, scripture speaks of you as the sustainer of all things and yet you, yourself, required affirmation in your ministry. Encourage us this week with your affirmation of our ministry in and through our work and enable us to share your affirmation with others.