Aloha Friday Message – March 10, 2017 – Second Friday of Lent 2017

1710AFC031017 – Belovéd – Second Friday of Lent

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Matthew 17:5 While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, “This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!”

Me kealoha pumehana! You are aware by now that I always address you as Belovéd. You are precisely that! Today we will take a look at this extra-special word. You probably remember that we saw it earlier in the Gospel of Matthew.

Matthew 3:17 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.”

TransfigurationHere, the word “Belovéd” in Greek is ἀγαπητός (agapētos) {ag-ap-ay-tos’} is a verbal adjective, derived from agápē, “love” – properly, divinely-loved; beloved (“loved by God”), i.e. personally experiencing God’sagapē-love.” Loved, beloved, with two distinctly special meanings: [1] the Belovéd, a title of the Messiah (Christ), as so greatly loved beyond all others by the God the Father who sent him. It is also used when speaking to or of Christians, who certainly also are beloved by God, by Christ, and by one another. Recall the recently-studied passage in John 13:34-35 – 34 I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. That is how you have become Belovéd by God and by me and by each other. You are Belovéd in all these ways.

Another place we see this word Belovéd is in Matthew 12:17-18 17 This was to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet Isaiah:

18 “Here is my servant, whom I have chosen*,
my beloved*, with whom my soul is well pleased.
I will put my Spirit upon him,
and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles.

This is a reference to Isaiah 42:1 1 Here is my servant, whom I uphold,
my chosen*, in whom my soul delights;
I have put my spirit upon him;
he will bring forth justice to the nations.

*Chosen as in the Elect, the One who is the Belovéd and only begotten Son in whom the LORD delights above all others, chosen by God before the formation of the World for the expiation of sin. Jesus, of course, is the Belovéd. And in him, by him, and through him we are also Belovéd. Later, as the early Church was getting established, the Apostle John told us in 1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.

Isn’t it true that “all you need is love?” (↔ NOT a Music Link! Heh-heh-heh-heh-heeeeeeehhhhh!)

The word Belovéd is used dozens of times in the Old Testament – especially in the Song of Solomon – but also in several other places where God speaks of his love for his People. For example we have Deuteronomy 33:12 – 12 Of Benjamin he said:

The beloved* of the Lord rests in safety—
the High God surrounds him all day long—
the beloved rests between his shoulders.

*Another Hebrew word meaning Belovéd is יְדִיד (yadid) {yed-eed’} beloved, lovely, well-beloved – and in Song of Songs דוֹדִי֙ (dode) {ḏō-w-ḏî} Beloved

In the daily news we hear so much about the lack of love. This can be distressing, but it is not unexpected. Consider this advice from the Letter of Jude: Jude 17-21 17 But you, beloved, must remember the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; 18 for they said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, indulging their own ungodly lusts.” 19 It is these worldly people, devoid of the Spirit, who are causing divisions. 20 But you, beloved, build yourselves up on your most holy faith; pray in the Holy Spirit; 21 keep yourselves in the love of God; look forward to the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.

The transfiguration demonstrates to the Apostles gathered with him – Peter, James, and John – that he is the Christ of God, the fulfillment of The Law, and the realization of The Prophets instruction. Appearing on the mountain top with him are Moses and Elijah. It is indeed the one of the greatest miracles in the Gospel of Christ and unique in that it happens to Jesus rather than by Jesus. The cloud which appeared is described as “overshadowing them” seems to indicate that the dazzling brilliance of the vision of Jesus with Elijah and Moses was brighter than the cloud. From the cloud they heard a Voice proclaiming, “This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!”

More often than not, I limit my realization of the power of these words by confining my thoughts to the three Disciples. However, since it is clear that God is stating unequivocally that all that has preceded this moment must be secondary to the presence of the Belovéd, the Messiah, the LORD, Jesus Christ, all of creation and all of history is to “listen to him!” Let that sink in. Jesus has revealed himself, and God has spoken again of him with the delight only a father knows when speaking of his son. How much more the Son will love the Father for speaking thus! Now, add one more known fact from John 1:12-13 12 But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God. You, son of the Father, you daughter of the Father, you brother and sister of the Son: You are also The Belovéd. But you, beloved, build yourselves up on your most holy faith; pray in the Holy Spirit; keep yourselves in the love of God; look forward to the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. Blesséd be God forever!

Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture passages are from the New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE) New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


Aloha Friday Messages by
Charles O. Todd, III is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

Biblical languages inserts from Bible Hub (Bible Hub: Search, Read, Study the Bible in Many Languages) Visit at http://biblehub.com

 

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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

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