Christ’s Transfiguration

Reading this Gospel like an ardent disciple involves read this trying to learn each thing Jesus taught. This is why we go over and over the Scriptures here @ Midtown: We are a church of Jesus disciples constantly seeking to be taught by Christ. As we have studied throughThe Gospel of Mark what we have see is a minimalist account of a active, intentional Messiah. While declaring the coming of ‘The Kingdom’ He demonstrates the reality of God’s desire to be part of our lives.

After a period where He is Baptized and tested, He calls His disciples and begins His ministry in Galilee and various surrounding areas. [Preaching / Healing / Miracles] He has been revealing Himself through these interactions to His disciples.

Last week Laban did a great job pointing out the gravity of the moment the Disciples correctly identify Jesus of Nazareth [Peter as spokesperson] He says: You are the Christ! In Matthew 16 we get a bit more of the dialogue that day: “But what about you?” He asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven.” ~ Matthew 16:15-17

And because of that confession by His Disciples He said this:

If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul? If anyone is ashamed of Me and My message in these adulterous and sinful days, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when He returns in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” ~ Mark 8:35-38 [NLT]

In connection with this Jesus is ready to show a select group of His Disciples what this glory looks like. [He had taken these 3 W/ Him to the Synagogue Leaders home] So right on the heals of some intense things Jesus is telling them comes:

‘The Transfiguration’

Jesus’ Transfiguration is considered one of the FIVE Milestones of Jesus’ life according to the Gospels: Baptism / Transfiguration / Crucifixion / Resurrection / Ascension

This is an intense, transitional period in Jesus’ training of His disciples. From here everything leads to Jerusalem, the Cross and The Resurrection. Jesus had something special He wanted to show the three, and later all of us.

To start, He gives them a hint of what is going to happen:

Mark 9:1-13 [MOUNCE]

1 And He said to them, “I tell you the truth, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God having come with power.”

  • Cryptic to say the least…
  • What is says: Persons there would SEE the Kingdom come in power before they die… This is an exception; for everyone else who believes in Jesus as Lord sees / enters into the Kingdom when they die on this earth.
  • What it doesn’t say: The kingdom will come in power before some of them die

2 And after six days Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And He was transfigured before them, 3 and His clothes became radiant, intensely white, as no launderer on earth could bleach them.

  • By themselves: just the 3 disciples… What about Andrew? Why is he not there?
  • He was the 1st of the 12 disciples Christ called & the 1st to call Jesus ‘Messiah’
  • Was He overlooked because He was John’s disciple 1st? [but so was John]
  • Left out of raising Jairus’ daughter [5:37], here & later in the garden [14:33]
  • Jesus was setting up the original Christian ‘Mountain Top’ experience
  • These 3 would witness: Eli, Mo and Jesus the Messiah In His heavenly Glory
  • This was Glory that was ‘Otherworldly’ not possible by natural means
  • Jesus was showing these disciples the ultimate proof of His Messiahship.
  • This was Christ demonstrating He IS GOD AlMIGHTY

4 And Elijah appeared to them with Moses, 5 And answering, Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good that we are here. Let us make three shelters: one for You and one for Moses and one for Elijah”— 6 for he did not know what he should reply, because they were so frightened.

  • Elijah & Moses… neither have a book of the Bible named after them
  • Moses: Giver of the Law
  • Elijah: Highest Profile Prophet
  • Together they represent Scripture / The Word of God ‘The Law & The Prophets’
  • Both departed from the earth in a manner that prefigures Christ’s Ascension
  • These two could be considered the most important of Old Testament Players
  • Luke 9:30 records these 3 were talking about Christ’s ‘exodus from this world’
  • Everything Christ did / does they talk about the crucifixion & the resurrection
  • Peter spoke ‘answering them’, they must have overheard the conversation
  • Peter wants to continue this ‘Salvation Symposium’
  • Totally frightened, yet they wanted more [The Life of True Christ Discipleship]

But before Peter can build anything… Verse 7

7 Then a cloud appeared, overshadowing them, and a voice came out of the cloud, “This is my Son, the beloved, listen to Him!” 8 And suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone, but only Jesus with them.

  • What kind of cloud? The ‘Shekinah Glory’

Shekinah Glory is a visible manifestation of God on earth, whose presence is portrayed through a natural occurrence. The word Shekinah is a Hebrew name meaning “dwelling” or “one who dwells.” Shekinah Glory means “He caused to dwell,” referring to the divine presence of God.

  • ‘Overshadowing Them’ This is the same phrase used by Gabriel to Mary
  • This was the same glory cloud that was in the tent of meeting: I, the Lord, appear in a cloud over the place of mercy on the sacred chest… ~ Leviticus 16:2 [CEV]

9 And as they were coming down from the mountain, He ordered them not to tell anyone what they had seen, until the Son of Man should rise from the dead. 10 So they kept this saying to themselves, questioning what ‘rising from the dead’ could mean.

  • Ordered… in Luke’s gospel it says they didn’t tell anyone in ‘those days’
  • They wanted to know when they could tell, when was this ‘rising’ happening?
  • All indications were no one but the three knew of this until Post Resurrection
  • They obviously figured out what Jesus meant by raise from the dead!

11 And they asked Him, saying, “Why do the scribes say, ‘Elijah must come first’?” 12 And He said to them, “Elijah does come first, and restores all things. Yet how is it written about the Son of Man? That he should suffer many things and be treated with contempt? 13 But I tell you that Elijah has come, and they did to him whatever they pleased, just as it is written about him.”

  • Jesus says the Scribes get it partially right…
  • He compares how the scribes misunderstand the Messiah
  • And in the same kind of ways the Scribes misunderstand ‘Elijah coming first
  • John the Baptist was the ‘Elijah’ that came first [mistreated like Christ]
  • Christ is saying how the Scribes misread the scriptures regarding the Christ {Jesus of Nazareth] & the Elijah [John The Baptist]

Questions, Answers & Application

Why doesn’t Jesus take all the Disciples up to the Mount of Transfiguration?

God teaches His disciples in different ways, preparing His followers for different things! God shows things to those He chooses to show things to. He has His reasons.

Take stock of the lessons you have been blessed to have been taught and ask Christ to make you more teachable.

Questions, Answers & Application

Why did Jesus reveal His future glorified state, including Moses & Elijah, to His Disciples?

It connects His Messiahship / Godhood with Old Testament Revelation while prefiguring the future of all Biblical Believers in Christ: Perfect fellowship with God in eternal glory.

Become a student of how the Old & New Testament Scriptures correspond, explain and validate each other as to the full nature of the Triune Godhead.

Questions, Answers & Application

Why were Moses and Elijah talking with Christ about the Crucifixion & Resurrection?

All of the glory the Disciples were seeing prefigured on that mountain would result from the Crucifixion & Resurrection of Jesus the Christ. God’s Glory emanates from who He is and what He does.

Meditate on the impact that Christ’s Crucifixion & Resurrection have on your daily life.

Questions, Answers & Application

Why would a Disciple of Jesus want to build earthly shelters for Heavenly Beings?

We all share the desire to stay at a great place in our growth as Disciples. God wants us to take the revelation of ‘Mountaintop Experiences’ and apply them to change our lives.

Take the latest thing God has taught you about Himself and change something in your life in response to that revelation.

Questions, Answers & Application

Why does the Voice of God from His Shekinah Glory say: ‘Listen To My Son’!

All the revelation in the world is worthless without obedience to Christ; His call to surrender your life, His teachings regarding living in ways that honor God and His call to make disciples.

Do one of these three: Surrender to His Lordship; Obey His Teachings More; Make a Disciple.

I will leave you with one last question: How did the ‘Scribes & Religious Leaders misinterpret Scripture so badly regarding both Jesus & John the Baptist?