Verse: 2 Peter 1:16-18
For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.

Ultimate power, unlimited resources, infinite creativity. Yet the thing that God values most is honor and glory.

This is a verse that’s important for what’s NOT mentioned here. Out of all the things he could have mentioned as desirable outcomes, a good reputation is the way God gives gifts. The very fact that God is pleased with him gives Jesus a powerful reputation. That good relationship innately honors, glorifies, and empowers Jesus. He doesn’t have to do anything else to earn that reputation, it’s just automatically passed to him.

This is so consistent with the rest of the Bible as well, especially in Jesus’s words and stories. The story of the rich young ruler alludes to the impossibility of pleasing God by earning a lot of money. The parable of the guy building bigger barns so he can hoard even more stuff shows that God doesn’t care about possessions. Every speech he gave to the thought leaders of his day was about how all of their rule-following and structure meant nothing since they didn’t actually have a relationship with God. For a group of people who wanted nothing more than to be seen as high and mighty, that must have been devastating blows to their ego. No wonder they called for him to be killed.

Isn’t this fascinating? Our culture assigns reputational value to people based on their productivity, appearance, activities, and belongings. Yet God’s system for reputation is based on relationship. After everything’s burned to a crisp in the apocalypse, all that’s really left is what God thinks about us.

God, help me understand ways that I can make you happy and pleased with me today.