Past Issues

Jesus -- the Messiah #18

Jesus Calls for an Attitude of Love


Now we experience the greatest surprise.  People had understood God as the all-powerful One Who would relentlessly exercise His will. When the Messiah came as God’s Presence on earth, surely He would make everyone cringe and cower under His might. 

But if God is love, then the Messiah also would be love!  And if the Messiah is love, then God must be love!


Read Mark 9:2-13.


The Transfiguration

2 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. 3 His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them. 4 And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus.

5 Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” 6 (He did not know what to say, they were so frightened.)

7 Then a cloud appeared and enveloped them, and a voice came from the cloud: “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!”

8 Suddenly, when they looked around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus.

9 As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus gave them orders not to tell anyone what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead. 10 They kept the matter to themselves, discussing what “rising from the dead” meant.

11 And they asked him, “Why do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?”

12 Jesus replied, “To be sure, Elijah does come first, and restores all things. Why then is it written that the Son of Man must suffer much and be rejected? 13 But I tell you, Elijah has come, and they have done to him everything they wished, just as it is written about him.”



Notes:


vv. 1-3 – Jesus gave His inner circle of disciples a vision of His true, eternal nature.


4 – Elijah is the father of the prophets, and Moses is the father of the law in the Old Testament. By their presence, they were affirming Jesus as the Messiah, in fulfillment of the expectations of both the law and the prophets.


7 – The cloud is a sign throughout biblical history that God is present. God the Father gave His word of encouragement and commendation to Jesus as He began His ministry, at the time of Jesus’ baptism. Now, as Jesus prepares for His final confrontation with the forces of evil at the conclusion of His ministry, the Father provides that same word again: “This is My Son, Whom I love. Listen to Him!”



vv. 9-10 – The disciples had no idea how the next weeks would dramatically unfold.



vv. 11-13 – The disciples know the expectation of Elijah’s return as a preparation for the Messiah, as we see in the verses from Malachi:


(Malachi 3:1) "See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come," says the LORD Almighty.


 (Malachi 4:5) "See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes.


Jesus affirms that John, killed by King Herod, was the fulfillment of that prophecy: “But I tell you, Elijah has come, and they have done to him everything they wished.” (v. 13)



What did the experience of Jesus’ Transfiguration mean to the disciples? What does it mean to you?


I'd love to hear your comments,


 


Abraham


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