In this passage, the writer seems to be responding to those who have been critical of the apostles’ insistence on Jesus’ second coming. The apostles were being accused of using the idea of Jesus’ return as a way to scare people into behaving a certain way – in the same way many parents will tell a misbehaving child, “Santa is watching!”
The author, claiming twice to be an eyewitness to Jesus’ transfiguration, is saying that’s not what it’s about. God, speaking from the cloud, was pleased with Jesus, not because he hadn’t been caught doing bad things, but because he had been caught doing all the right things. He welcomed the stranger, made room for those were not welcomed, fed hungry people, loved the unlovable, stepped between the bully and the bullied, and called the religious folks to examine their own hearts before they concerned themselves with the sin of others.
When Jesus comes again, what do you hope he catches you doing? How might the idea of being caught living a life of faithful discipleship vs. not getting caught doing something bad shift the way you anticipate Christ’s second coming?
Offer a prayer of thanksgiving for Jesus’ example of a life that is pleasing to God and commit yourself to patterning your life after his.