Luke 9:35

ESV And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, my Chosen One; listen to him!”
NIV A voice came from the cloud, saying, 'This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.'
NASB And then a voice came from the cloud, saying, 'This is My Son, My Chosen One; listen to Him!'
CSB Then a voice came from the cloud, saying, "This is my Son, the Chosen One; listen to him! "
NLT Then a voice from the cloud said, 'This is my Son, my Chosen One. Listen to him.'
KJV And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him.

What does Luke 9:35 mean?

Jesus brought Peter, John, and James to the top of a mountain. Jesus prayed while the disciples slept. When they awakened, the three disciples saw Jesus standing with Moses and Elijah, all shining with God's glory. Peter rashly offered to make them tents. God responded by enveloping the entire party in a cloud of His glory (Luke 9:28–34). Now, God speaks, identifying Jesus.

First, God identifies Jesus as His "Son." In the Bible, "son" can mean a biological descendant of one or more generations; Jesus is the "son of David" even though David lived several hundred years before. "Son" can also refer to someone who resembles the father figure. The angels are described as "sons of God" because they are spirit (Job 1:6). Jesus tells Jewish religious leaders that their father is the Devil because they desired to follow Satan's example (John 8:39–47). Jesus' sonship is deeper than His representation of God the Father's character. God the Son is a position in the economic Trinity: the way the three Persons of the Trinity interact with each other. Although all three Persons are perfectly God and co-equal in person and worth, they voluntarily interact in specific ways that show their love for and unity with each other.

Luke also records God as identifying Jesus as "my Chosen One." He is saying Jesus is the "begotten" one of Psalm 2:7, the Messiah or "Christ of God" (Luke 9:20). Matthew and Mark use "beloved Son," highlighting the relationship God the Father has with God the Son (Matthew 17:5; Mark 9:7).

Finally, God says, "listen to him!" Until this point, Luke has focused primarily on Jesus' active ministry in Galilee. Soon (Luke 9:51), the focus will shift. Jesus will still teach and perform miracles, but as He nears the cross, He will concentrate more heavily on preparing the disciples for their future, both in Jerusalem and in the church. The immediate effect is discouraging: Jesus tells them, again, that He is going to die, "But they did not understand this saying, and it was concealed from them, so that they might not perceive it. And they were afraid to ask him about this saying" (Luke 9:45). They still don't know how to listen.

Bible scholars propose another reason for God's message. Some think that when Peter offers to build tents for Jesus, Moses, and Elijah, he is equating the three (Luke 9:33). This would be a great honor for Jesus if He were just a human teacher, but it's a grave offense if Jesus is, in fact, God. God the Father wants the disciples to understand who Jesus is.

This is the second of three times in which the Gospel writers record God the Father speaking. The first is at Jesus' baptism when He says, "You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased" (Luke 3:22). The third is in Jerusalem, the week of the crucifixion. Jesus is teaching the crowds but takes a moment to express how His coming death troubles His soul:

"Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name." Then a voice came from heaven: "I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again." (John 12:27–28)
What is the Gospel?
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