“This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased–listen to HIM.”

J. C. Ryle with this insight into Matthew 17:5-

That voice was meant to teach Peter, that there was one there far greater than Moses or Elijah. Moses was a faithful servant of God. Elijah was a bold witness for the truth. But Christ was far above either one or the other. He was the Savior to whom law and prophets were continually pointing. He was the true Prophet, whom all were commanded to hear. (Deut. 18:15.) Moses and Elijah were great men in their day. But Peter and his companions were to remember, that in nature, dignity, and office, they were far below Christ. He was the true sun–they were the planets depending daily on His light. He was the root–they were the branches. He was the Master–they were the servants. Their goodness was all derived–His was original and His own. Let them honor Moses and the prophets, as holy men. But if they would be saved, they must take Christ alone for their Master, and glory only in Him. “Listen to Him.”

Let us see in these words a striking lesson to the whole Church of Christ. There is a constant tendency in human nature to “hear man.” Bishops, priests, deacons, popes, cardinals, councils, presbyterian preachers, and independent ministers, are continually exalted to a place which God never intended them to fill, and made practically to usurp the honor of Christ. Against this tendency let us all watch, and be on our guard. Let these solemn words of the vision ever ring in our ears, “Listen to Christ.”

The best of men are only men at their very best. Patriarchs, prophets, and apostles–martyrs, church fathers, reformers, puritans–all, all are sinners, who need a Savior. They may be holy, useful, honorable in their place–but sinners after all. They must never be allowed to stand between us and Christ. He alone is “the Son, in whom the Father is well pleased.” He alone is sealed and appointed to give the bread of life. He alone has the keys in His hands, “God over all, blessed for ever.” Let us take heed that we hear His voice, and follow Him. Let us value all religious teaching just in proportion as it leads us to Jesus. The sum and substance of saving religion is to “listen to Christ.”