Chapter 44


“Jesus Only”


“And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only.”

(Matthew 17:8)


Peter, James, and John were with the Lord Jesus on the mount of transfiguration. There they saw the Savior transfigured before them. We do not know what that vision was like. But we do know that it was a dazzling display of his divine glory and majesty (2 Pet. 1:16-18; John 1:14; 1 John 1:2). Suddenly, Moses and Elijah appeared on the mountain with them and talked to Christ about the death he must accomplish at Jerusalem (Luke 9:32). Needless to say, Peter, James, and John were awestruck! I would be too. Wouldn’t you? When Peter saw and heard Moses and Elijah, he blurted out, “Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles, one for thee, one for Moses, and one for Elijah!” The Lord Jesus said nothing. But while Peter was yet talking, “A cloud overshadowed them.” God simply snuffed out Moses and Elijah. He took them out of the picture. “And behold a voice spoke out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him


Moses and Elijah were removed from the scene for a reason. The Old covenant was vanishing away. The dawn of a new day and a new covenant had come. When the Lord God said, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him,” he was saying to Peter, James, and John, and to you and me, “Moses and Elijah have been fulfilled. Moses and Elijah have nothing more to say or do. All that they said and all that they did was in preparation for and pointed to the coming of my beloved Son. Here he is. ‘Hear ye him!’ Moses and Elijah, the Law and the Prophets have no other function.”


At Sinai the people were forbidden to make any approach to the presence of God. They were not allowed to even touch the mountain. In the tabernacle and in the temple a thick, thick veil stood before the most holy place, constantly separating the people from God. The law did nothing to bring sinners into God’s presence. It never could (Rom. 8:34; Heb. 10:1-4). In fact, it did just the opposite. The law forbade men from even trying to approach the holy Lord God! No one could ever approach the God of heaven and earth until the law was fulfilled, its curse removed, and sin was put away by the satisfaction of God’s justice. The Lord Jesus, so to speak, came down the mountain to the people, tore down the veil, and by the blood of his cross opened to fallen men a way of access to the Lord God (Heb. 10:19-23).


When the disciples saw Christ in his glory and heard God speak from heaven, they fell on their faces. They realized that they were in the awesome presence of the glory of God and were terrified by it. That is always what happens when a sinner realizes who he is before the holy Lord God (Job 40:3-5; 42:5-6; Isa. 6:1-8; Dan. 10:8).


Then, after they fell before him in utter terror, we read that “Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid” (v. 7). God the Son, having assumed our nature for the express purpose of redeeming us and, thereby, showing us how greatly he loves us, here reveals that his whole heart towards his own is love, and bids his chosen never to be afraid.


“And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only” (v. 8). When the law has been honored, fulfilled, and silenced and you look up to see the One by whose obedience it has been fully satisfied, you will see “Jesus only.” When you are made to understand that all the prophets have been fulfilled and you look up to see who fulfilled all those prophetic visions and promises given in the Old Testament, you will see “no man, save Jesus only.” The Lord Jesus Christ alone is our salvation, comfort, strength, and hope.


Our Savior


“Jesus only” is Our Savior (Matt. 1:21; Acts 4:12; 1 Cor. 1:30-31). In the matter of salvation Christ stands entirely alone. We put no trust in the flesh, in ourselves, or in anything we do or experience. We trust “Jesus only” (Phil. 3:3; Rom. 11:6; Gal. 5:2, 4). We trust Christ alone for righteousness (Rom. 3:24-26; 4:25-5:1; Jer. 23:6; 33:16). “Jesus only” is that Holiness we must have, without which none can see God (Heb. 12:14). We trust “Jesus only” for redemption (2 Cor. 5:21; Gal. 3:13; 1 Pet. 1:18-21; 3:15). We trust “Jesus only” for sanctification (1 Cor. 1:30; Heb. 10:10-14). We trust “Jesus only” for preservation in grace (2 Tim. 1:12). We trust “Jesus only” for our resurrection and glorification (Ps. 16:9-11).


Either Christ alone is my Savior, or I have no Savior! Either he completely saves, or he does not save at all. If so much as the will to be saved depends upon me, I cannot be saved (John 5:46). If, after having been saved for fifty years, I should be required to reach back and drag my foot across the threshold of heaven, I would sink at last into hell. “Salvation is of the Lord!” “By the grace of God I am what I am!”


Our Lord


“Jesus only” is our Lord and Master. — “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord” (2 Pet. 1:2). I know that the Lord Jesus Christ is the sovereign Monarch of the universe and the Ruler of all men, the wicked as well as the righteous. But he is the Lord of his people willingly, by our voluntary consent (1 Cor. 12:3). True faith voluntarily surrenders all things to the rule of Christ (Luke 14:24-33). True faith trusts Christ’s providential rule of all things, saying, “Thy will be done.” True faith is obedient to Christ the Lord.


The Church of God is a Kingdom under the rule of Christ by voluntary consent, willingly obedient to his Word, his ordinances, and his will. He is our Master, and we are happy and thankful that he is.


Our Rule


“Jesus only” is our rule of life. We are not slaves under the dominion of the law. We are children, walking in the path of our Elder Brother because we love him and seek the honor of his name (John 13:15). Our rule of life is not the ten commandments, but the whole revealed will of God given to us in Holy Scripture. It is summarized in two commandments, two motivating forces by which we are governed in all things: faith and love (1 John 3:23).


Our Hope


“Jesus only” is our hope before God (Col. 1:27; Lam. 3:24-26).


My hope is built on nothing less

Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.

I dare not trust the sweetest frame,

But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

When all around my soul gives way,

He then is all my hope and stay.

On Christ the Solid Rock I stand,

All other ground is sinking sand.


Our only assurance and peace is Christ (Rom. 5:1). All who know him gladly confess, “I am a poor sinner and nothing at all; but Jesus Christ is my all in all!” Christ alone is our plea before and advocate with the Father (1 John 2:1-2). Christ alone is able to present us faultless before the presence of God’s glory. And he will do it (Eph. 5:25-27;Jude 24-25).


“Bold shall I stand in that great day,

For who aught to my charge shall lay,

While through Christ’s blood absolved I am

From sins tremendous guilt and blame?”


Our Reward


“Jesus only” is our reward in heaven. “Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever” (Ps. 73:25-26). In heaven’s eternal glory we want nothing and hope for nothing but “Jesus only”. He is the Crown we seek and the beauty we desire (Isa. 28:5). “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up” (Ps. 27:10). Soon we shall be with Christ (John 14:1-3). Soon we shall see his face (Rev. 22:4). When we see him, we shall be like him (1 John 3:2). We shall be fully satisfied with him (Rev. 21:1-4). And the Son of God shall be fully satisfied with us! (Isa. 53:11). Imagine that!


Our All


“Jesus only” is our all. As the Spirit of God states it in Colossians 3:11, “Christ is all, and in all.” To him every knee shall bow. Christ is all in all in creation, redemption, providence, grace, glory. He is all in all in his church and in the hearts of all his people. Christ is all in the Book of God, the sum and substance of the whole Bible. He is the living Word of whom the written Word speaks. The Lord Jesus Christ is not one of many revelations. He is the revelation of the invisible God. Christ is not one of many words. He is the Word of God (John 1:1-3; 18). You and I cannot see God, know God, speak to God, be spoken to by God, or come to God except by Christ (John 14:6: Matt. 11:25-27). Christ is the Way. – Without him, there is no going to God. Christ is the Truth. – Without him, there is no knowing God. Christ is the Life. – Without him, there is no living before God. There is no prophet like Christ our Prophet. He is unrivalled in his excellence as the Revelation of the invisible God.


When we read the promises of God, we understand that Christ is the first promise in the sacred Word, and the whole of every promise that follows. In him all the promises of God are yea and amen. When we read the law of God, we rejoice to know that “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” When we read of the sacrifices, we rejoice to know that Christ has, by his one sacrifice fulfilled them all, for by that one sacrifice he has “perfected forever them that are sanctified.” When we read the prophets, our hearts leap with joy because “to him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins