Eyewitnesses to Majesty
By Benjamin H. Liles
For we did not follow cleverly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. ~ 2 Peter 1:16, Berean Study Bible
If I were to tell you of the power Jesus the Messiah held within His life, I would also have to tell you still of His power while He's in Heaven as well. Peter gives us a reminder of the fact that he was one of those men who beheld the majesty of Jesus while He lived among them. In Matthew, we're told Jesus said to him and his brother Andrew, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men" (Matthew 4:19, New King James). What immediately happens is that both Peter and Andrew "immediately left their nets and followed Him" (Matthew 4:20).
Then the same thing happens with James and John, the sons of Zebedee (Matthew 4:21-22). What is it about this man Jesus that simple men follow Him and do His will? Why did they follow a man who was to suffer and die at the hand of others? "For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, And like a root out of parched ground; He has no stately form or majesty that we should look upon Him, nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him" we're told in Isaiah 53:2.
I believe what Isaiah is talking about in that one simple verse is that Jesus grew up before God "like a tender root." Because of the laws, the so-called Pharisees held on to Jesus was going to come up as "a root out of parched ground." There's no beauty about Jesus initially. He didn't come advocating a worldview that agreed with those who sought after God conquering His enemies. No, rather Jesus came to die for the sins of many. It is why in the next verse in Isaiah we read "He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him" (Isaiah 53:3, New American Standard).
It comes to me that we behold a majestic power in Jesus as He came from the Father and He also returned to Him. He is sat on the throne once again, but this time He has conquered the grave, death, and Hell. Jesus has the keys to life. And as He told Peter, "Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means 'rock'), and upon this rock, I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it" (Matthew 16:18, New Living Translation).
The reason we believe what the gospel writers testified about, the reason we believe the words of Peter, is that they were from men who had firsthand knowledge of Jesus. They walked and talked with Him. They saw Him lifted up and crucified. Aside from Peter, John saw the stone rolled away from the tomb, which had once sealed Jesus within (see John 20:1-18). If we recall Jesus said to the disciples, "The Son of Man will be delivered into the hands of men. They will kill Him, and after three days He will rise" (Mark 9:31, Matthew 16:21).
Either Jesus, who eleven men followed and learned from him (remember Judas hung himself and thus died), was a liar and is to be discounted, or the power the disciples had after Jesus ascended into Heaven due to the Spirit having descended upon them (see Acts 2:4) is a testimony of the risen Messiah. I choose to believe the eyewitness testimony of men who beheld Jesus. Why would they lie? If they did then Christianity is a dead religion. And along with that Christ's Church would hold no power on this planet. But it does and we do because we belong to Him. So, I say validate the claim these men make within the confines of scripture. "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth" (2 Timothy 2:15, New American Standard).
Father, I ask that You keep using the words You give to me to put Your life into others who so desperately need You. They are tired of going without water. Cause the water of life to come streaming out of them, just as Jesus said, "To the one who believes in Me, it is just as the Scripture has said: 'Streams of living water will flow from within him" (John 7:38, Isaiah 44:3). We all need You, Lord. Allow us to behold You and Your majesty. Allow us the right to be light bearers of the truth that Your Son sets men free from sin and death. For we desire to be Yours and only Yours. Darkness and light have no fellowship with one another (see 2 Corinthians 6:14), so keep us from being bound together with this world. For those of us who love and want You, keep us from being tainted by this present age. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.