Have you ever heard God speak in audible words? Peter James and John did, one day on a mountain, when Jesus was glorified and God His Father spoke about Jesus. We find the account in Matthew 17:1-13.

Peter refers to this event in his second epistle: “For we were not making up clever stories when we told you about the powerful coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. We saw his majestic splendor with our own eyes when he received honor and glory from God the Father. The voice from the majestic glory of God said to him, ‘This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.’ We ourselves heard that voice from heaven when we were with him on the holy mountain” (2 Peter 1:16-18).

Do the stories about Jesus sound like made up stories to you? Stories about Jesus healing blind people, raising dead people, walking on water, and knowing where to catch fish? These are not made-up stories; they are told by those who saw them.

Peter was there. He heard the words God the Father spoke. It was startling to those who heard it, and they fell to the ground. Jesus came and touched them and said, “Do not be afraid.”

The words of God are powerful; the presence of God is frightening. Jesus came to earth to take away our sin and open the door to God’s presence. Jesus said many times, “Do not fear,” and with Jesus in your life, He can speak that into every situation.

The words that God the Father spoke to Jesus His Son are so potent. “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy” – some translations say “in whom I am well pleased.”

Mark and Luke write, “This is my beloved Son, listen to Him.” God the Father wanted the disciples to know that Jesus was speaking on His Father’s authority. We need to know that too.

Peter goes on to say this experience gave him greater confidence in the messages of God’s prophets. “Because of that experience, we have even greater confidence in the message proclaimed by the prophets. You must pay close attention to what they wrote, for their words are like a lamp shining in a dark place – until the Day dawns, and Christ the Morning Star shines in your hearts” (2 Peter 1:19).

Jesus said it would be His words that will be our judge in the final judgement. “If anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him – the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day. For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak” (John 12:47-49).

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me’” (John 14:6).

There are consequences to what we believe and what we do. God has given us His Word, and we need to receive it, believe it and obey it. You may argue with it. You may not like it. But it will be what decides our eternal state.

Rev. Paul McKibben is pastor of Grace Community Church in Osage.