(Note: Pastor Ben’s sermon series runs all the way through Easter. We are on a 60 Day Journey with Jesus as he appeared in the letters of the New Testament. Through seeing Jesus in the letters of the New Testament we are learning how the way of Jesus was lived out in the early church which in turn will help us better live out the way of Jesus as his people today. This week’s Devotionals are borrowed from a Devotional set from a few years ago. It should serve us well as we see how the way of Jesus as he made it known when he was here manifests itself in 1 & 2 Peter.)
And Jesus was saying to them, “Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power.” Six days later, Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John, and brought them up on a high mountain by themselves. And He was transfigured before them; and His garments became radiant and exceedingly white, as no launderer on earth can whiten them. Elijah appeared to them along with Moses; and they were talking with Jesus. Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three tabernacles, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” For he did not know what to answer; for they became terrified. Then a cloud formed, overshadowing them, and a voice came out of the cloud, “This is My beloved Son, listen to Him!” All at once they looked around and saw no one with them anymore, except Jesus alone. Mark 9:1-8
Today’s thoughts from today’s verses:
There is so much involved in today’s passage that it would take a thorough Bible teaching session to draw it all out properly. So, as we look at the rest of Mark 9 throughout the week we will include in each day’s considerations some aspect of what we find in today’s passage. We are going to begin our exploration of today’s passage by drawing a parallel between it and an event we looked at early in our journey through the Gospel of Mark. Mark 3:13-15 says this, “And He went up on the mountain and summoned those whom He Himself wanted, and they came to Him. And He appointed twelve, so that they would be with Him and that He could send them out to preach, and to have authority to cast out the demons.”
Prior to this Jesus had launched his earthly ministry and had gained a following. In a transitional event on the mountain of chapter 3 he summoned those he wanted for an inner circle of disciples and then from them he appointed 12 apostles to form an even smaller inner circle. Well, it seems an even smaller inner circle has developed between chapter 3 and chapter 9. Today’s passage tells us that Jesus took with him three of the twelve apostles, Peter, James and John, and brought them up on a high mountain by themselves. Like on the mountain of chapter 3, we have another very significant transitional event on the mountain of chapter 9, that is commonly called the “transfiguration” of Jesus Christ.
Take some time and read the passage again. Note each of the amazing things that happened. Truly, this was an event of huge significance for Jesus. The event has so much to do with preparing Jesus for all that will soon transpire for him in Jerusalem as his mission as the Savior of the world is fulfilled (we will explore this more fully later in the week). For today, let’s just concentrate on one thing. Notice the words that came from the voice out of the cloud: “This is My beloved Son, listen to Him!”
The disciples desperately needed to let go of their expectations for Jesus. They needed to listen to the Son of God and respond to what he said about himself and what he said he expects from his disciples. So do we need to do this as his disciples. So, go back and read verses 31-38 of Mark 8. May we listen carefully to what Jesus says here about himself and what he expects from us as his disciples. How will you respond to what Jesus says?
Today’s prayer response from today’s thoughts:
Lord, I want to go deeper with you in my faith. Seeing the life you lived unfold in the Gospel of Mark is having a powerful impact on me. Help me listen to you and understand clearly everything you are saying to me, Lord. I want to follow you fully. Thank you for being my Savior and Lord. Amen!