Mark: The Transfiguration

Read: Mark 8:34-9:13

I’m not actually going to back-track and cover Mark 8:34-38 again, but I wanted to surround 9:1 by the words as it seems it is intended. Just reading 9:1 by itself is confusing to me. I tried to blog on it yesterday by itself, but I think that was a mistake. Reading it in this context helps me understand what the commentaries indicate and, I hope, provides an accurate depiction of what Mark intended.

And he said to them, “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see that the kingdom of God has come with power.” Mark 9:1

Some who are listening to Jesus will not die before they get a glimpse of the power of Jesus, beyond what they’ve already experienced. Some…power. If I were there with the disciples, I don’t think I’d have a clue what He meant.

It’s funny how studying the Bible works. Sometimes I read a passage and it just doesn’t make sense. I’m so grateful to not be alone on this journey, to be able to reach out to friends and ask for insight. This is a personal journey for sure, but it’s much better to go with friends, “A cord of three strands is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:12).

After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them. Mark 9:2

Reading these two verses together seems to fill in the blanks. Some: Peter, James and John. Power: the Transfiguration.

Jesus includes the three disciples He poured into more than the others. And there’s not doubt that witnessing Jesus clothed in dazzling white robes alongside of Elijah and Moses gives us the idea that the power of the kingdom of God has indeed come.

The three watched in amazement. After all the things they’d seen Jesus do up to this point, this one was over the top!. Peter mumbles some sort of plan to build a monument, to which Mark provides this parenthetical comment that I love:

He did not know what to say, they were so frightened. Mark 9:6

At least I think this is funny: “He” didn’t….”they were…” Peter takes the heat, but I love the fact that he wants desperately to do something. So many times I walk away from an event wanting to DO something, even if it’s not well thought out. If my intentions are good, I hope that God will turn my sideways energy into a focused effort that moves me forward and lights the path for someone else.

Then, the impossible happens, they hear the voice of God.

“This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!” Mark 9:7

I’m currently in Nashville, TN, attending the National Disciple Making Forum. Jim Putman spoke yesterday to hammer home the point that we just need to come back to some simple points: Jesus provides the best example, His words are true, we just need to listen!

The disciples didn’t really know what to do with this information, what they had seen and heard. Jesus leads them down the mountain, back to reality, time to get back to work now that they had seen incredible evidence of who Jesus truly is beyond a shadow of a doubt.

They kept the matter to themselves, discussing what “rising from the dead” meant. Mark 9:10

The humanity of the disciples is so encouraging because we know the rest of the story. When we’re confused, tripping over ourselves, we have example after example of how the forefathers of Christianity struggled as well. Thank you Jesus for be real and raw.

Help us, Lord, to know the power of the kingdom that has come and dwelt among us, that lives within us. Help us to go and make disciples that make disciples!

Latest post: Blog Continues at daverphillips.com

Post an Insight