If you were a Jew, you understood that it doesn’t get any better than Moses. It’s all downhill after Moses. No one will outstrip Moses and what he has given to God’s people. What came before is always better because what came before is Moses.
So what is Jesus saying through this sign? He’s not just performing some cheap parlor trick to impress his disciples. Nor is he simply showing them that he has power to do what he wants. No, this whole miracle is a parable of a deeper truth about who Jesus is and about how Jesus is going to defy Jewish expectation. They thought that the pinnacle was Moses. But Jesus is saying, “No, my Father has saved the very best for last, and it’s me. It’s me.”
Do you remember what John the Apostle wrote in the Prologue?
John 1:16-18, “16 For of His fullness we have all received, and grace in place of grace. 17 For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. 18 No man has seen God at any time; the only begotten God, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.”
What do it mean that no man has seen God at any time? Moses spoke with God mouth to mouth, face to face. Well, sort of. Moses knew that he wasn’t seeing the full blazing glory of God and asked God to let him see it in Exodus 33. But God said, No man can see my full glory and live. Not even you, Moses. So I’m gonna let my glory pass you by, but I will hide you in the cleft of the rock so that you don’t get incinerated by my unmediated glory.
Sure, Moses saw more than anyone ever had, but not even Moses saw full glory. But now we have Jesus. The only begotten God, who not only sees the unmitigated glory. He is the unmitigated glory of God! Moses is not the mountaintop. Jesus is the mountaintop of God’s revelation. You may have seen Moses, but you haven’t seen anything yet if you haven’t seen Jesus. Jesus alone is the only-begotten God in the bosom of the Father who explains the Father. Only Jesus can say, as he does in John 14, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.”