Eyewitnesses of Jesus' Majesty
For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honor and glory when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with I’m in the holy mount. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts.
2 Peter 1.16-19
The “majesty” is here defined as “honor and glory.” Jesus received this as a result of what he did, which pleased his Father (more on this later). All the apostles saw this. Notice, “…and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1.14).
The majesty was not just the lone episode at the transfiguration (only three apostles were present then). The majesty was not only the dove descending upon him. This was to merely inform those present that Jesus was well pleasing to God. It is important that we understand why God was pleased with Jesus.
Jesus came to do the will of his Father, but this involved more than submitting to John’s baptism. John 4.34 states, “For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God.” The apostles received of this “fullness” from Jesus: “And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace” (John 1.16). This “fullness” was made known in their preaching: “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; for the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested to us” (1 John 1.1-3).
What was this “fullness” that all of the apostles received, wrote of, and spoke of in their preaching? For what purpose did they write and preach about it? We find the answers to these questions in Ephesians 3.1-7,14-19; 4.13-16.
That which the apostles received of Jesus was a mystery until Jesus gave it to them. What was it and how did Jesus give it to them? John 17.6-8 has the answer for us. It was in Jesus’ words; in that which he taught. Grace and truth came by Jesus (John 1.17). It was this that the apostles witnessed. Jesus made known to them the things of God (not the purpose of Moses) and Jesus came to provide the sacrifice which the penalty of sin required. He did so for us. He did all of that which his heavenly Father commanded of him (John 17.4).
The majesty associated with Jesus, of which the apostles were eyewitnesses, from which they had received, and of which they preached was in regard to the the things he taught. Jesus came to show man the necessity of submission and obedience to the will of God. He came to reveal who had a love for God and who didn’t. This he did by teaching those men given to him from the Father, sending them into the world as he had been sent (John 17.6,18). They preached that we might know the things of God: "For what we proclaim is not of ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4.5-6).