Mar 31, 2013
Mark 9:4-10

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[Mark 9:2-3] “Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John, and led them up on a high mountain apart by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. His clothes became shining, exceedingly white, like snow, such as no launderer on earth can whiten them.” 

Last week we noted 4 reasons why “Jesus was transfigured....”

1. Jesus was allowing them to see Him for who He really was!

The “glory of the Father” that had been veiled by His humanity came shinning forth.

2. Jesus was providing evidence He had lived a sinless life.

His transfigured state radiated “exceedingly white” which spoke of His inner purity.

3. Jesus was showing them the path to glory!

Though our path (as it was with Jesus) will inevitably bring us to the cross, the transfiguration made it clear the cross was not to be our final destination. 

The cross was the path - resurrection glory was the destination.

4. Jesus was demonstrating to the disciples that He was in total control!

This was important because things would soon seem to be out-of-control!

[Mark 9:4] “Elijah appeared to them with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus.” 

Note: They were ease-dropping long enough....

1. To know what was being discussed. 

Luke 9:31, “they spoke of His decease which He was about to accomplish....

Two details that make this interesting:

1. “Spoke of His decease” - Greek word “exodos” literally “His exodus.”

2. “About to accomplish” - “complete, make full, or carry into effect.”

The language implies they were discussing much more than His death. 

Jesus was about to finally finish an exodus that began many years prior.

2. To figure out these two characters were Elijah and Moses.

Note: It’s not an accident Jesus was discussing these things with Moses & Elijah.

Moses: Represented the Law.... which pointed to Jesus.

Elijah: Represented the Prophets.... which spoke of Jesus.

Jesus: Fulfilled both the Law and the Prophets.

Matthew 5:17, “I did’t come to destroy the Law or the Prophets, but to fulfill.

[Mark 9:5-6] “Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”— because he did not know what to say, for they were greatly afraid.” 

Two Aspects to Peter’s Verbal Blunder:

1. “Peter answered....” 

Ironically, no one had asked Peter a question.

The best he can come up with.... “It’s good for us to be here.”

The problem wasn’t that Peter said something. The problem was that Peter said something when according to his own account “he did not know what to say.”

Application: When you don’t know what to say.... don’t say anything at all! 

“It’s better to be quiet & thought a fool than to open one’s mouth & remove all doubt.”

To Peter’s credit at least he was willing to take a risk. 

Sometimes these “risks” led him to great blunders, but in other instances his “risky behavior” made him a great disciple. (B-Sides)

2. What Peter Suggested....

In suggesting they erect “three tabernacles: one for Jesus, one for Moses, and one for Elijah” Peter was placing Jesus on equal footing with both Moses and Elijah.   

“They were greatly afraid....” 

Greatly afraid” - Greek adjective “ekphobos” meaning “stricken with fear or terror.” 

Note: This word is used only one other time in Hebrews 12:21, “And so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I am exceedingly afraid and trembling.” 

Application: It seems that the presence of God as well as Jesus in His heavenly glory was enough to strike fear in the heart of any onlooker. (B-Sides)

[Mark 9:7-8] “And a cloud came and overshadowed them; and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!” Suddenly, when they had looked around, they saw no one anymore, but only Jesus with themselves.”

Imagine the Scene of Activity

And a cloud came and overshadowed them....

The “cloud” in the Old Testament stood for the “shekhinah” glory of God.

“Shekhinah” - Hebrew meaning “dwelling or settling” - described the presence of God.

Exodus 13 - A "cloud" lead the people through the wilderness.

Exodus 34 - In a “cloud” the Lord descended to give Moses the tables of the Law.
Exodus 40 - The “cloud” covered and filled the tabernacle of meeting.

1 Kings 8 - At the dedication of Solomon's Temple, “the cloud filled the house of the Lord, so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord."

Then God spoke “out of the cloud” and said two things: 

1. God affirmed a reality the disciples needed to know! 

This is My beloved Son....

Jesus is the “beloved Son of God” making Him equal with God.

Point: Jesus was not to be placed on the same level with Moses and Elijah.

2. God issues a command the disciples needed to obey! 

Hear Him!” literally “Be hearing Him!” 

What Jesus has to say takes preeminence over the Law and Prophets.

Note: There is an “understood you” in this sentence.... You hear Him! 

We get really good at hearing sermons for other people. (B-Sides)

[Mark 9:9-10] “Now as they came down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them that they should tell no one the things they had seen, till the Son of Man had risen from the dead. So they kept this word to themselves, questioning what the rising from the dead meant.”

Two censures in the last 10 verses:

Following Peter’s declaration in Mark 8:29 that Jesus was indeed “the Christ” Jesus “strictly warned them that they should tell no one about Him.” 

Following the transfiguration Jesus issues a similar command.... “they should tell no one the things they had seen, till the Son of Man had risen from the dead.” 

Initially, Jesus censured the disciples because they didn’t fully understand what Jesus “being the Messiah” really implied. Then for the last two weeks Jesus has been teaching them key lessons concerning the Messiah and His mission. 

In the transfiguration and the conversation He has with Moses and Elijah, Jesus is completing these lessons by finally pulling the veil completely from their eyes. 

Q: Why continue to censure the disciples?

3 Reasons Jesus Censures the Disciples:

1. They needed the power of the Holy Spirit.

Even after His resurrection, Jesus will command that they return to Jerusalem and wait till they had received power on high before going into the world to preach the Gospel.

2. They needed to understand the resurrection. 

Jesus said to wait “till the Son of Man had risen from the dead.” Mark then tells us, “they kept this word to themselves, questioning what the rising from the dead meant.” They still seemed perplexed by the resurrection Jesus spoke of!

Problem: What Jesus was saying concerning the resurrection didn’t jive with the conventional teachings of the Jewish religious leaders.

The Jews believed in a “universal resurrection” of both of the righteous and wicked.

By saying He would “rise after three days” Jesus appears to be indicating there would be “two separate resurrections.” (A concept later explained by the Apostle Paul.)

From the dead” can be literally translated “out from among the dead....” 

1st Resurrection: Jesus would rise first only to then be followed by those “in Christ” also rising from the dead.

Think of the 1st Resurrection as a category, not a singular event. 

Resurrection would include: O.T. saints, church, rapture, 2 witnesses.

Romans 6:5, “For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection.

Philippians 3, “That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead."

2nd Resurrection: Would be a future event where those who’ve died rejecting Christ are resurrected and presented for judgment.

3. They needed to encounter a resurrected Jesus. 

Peter saw the Real Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration and it undoubtedly made an impact on his life. But it was encountering the Resurrected Jesus that would change his life forever.

Peter’s first sermon recorded in Acts 2:22-24, “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God.... you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it.

Second sermon recorded in Acts 3:25-26, “You are sons of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers.... To you first, God, having raised up His Servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities."

Third sermon recorded in Acts 4:8-12, “Let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead.... "This is the 'stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.' Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."

Fourth sermon to the Sanhedrin in Acts 5:29-32, “The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree.... And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him."

Fifth Sermon in Acts 10:36-40, “We are witnesses of all things which Jesus did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem, whom they killed by hanging on a tree. Him God raised up on the third day, and showed Him openly....

1 Peter 1:3-5 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.... "

The Big Point: Hanging out with Jesus made an impact on Peter’s life. Affirming that Jesus was the Christ proved to be an important turing point. Seeing Jesus for who He really was left an indelible impression on Peter. BUT.... encountering a resurrected Jesus changed his life forever!

Note: Even following the transfiguration Peter would deny Jesus on three separate occasions. However, following the resurrection, Peter would have no problem willingly laying down his life of Christ!

You can hang around Jesus. You can affirm Him as Lord and even recognize Him as God. But these things will never be a substitute for encountering the risen Savior.

The Resurrection of Jesus is Essential to the Gospel:

Theologian Gerald O’Collins, “In a profound sense, Christianity without the resurrection is not simply Christianity without its final chapter. It is not Christianity at all.” 

Ravi Zacharias, “If Jesus is risen, nothing else matters. And if Jesus is not risen, then nothing else matters.”

The Resurrection of Jesus is Substantiated by History:

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson went on a camping trip. After sharing a good meal and a bottle of wine, they retire to their tent for the night. At about 3 AM, Holmes nudges Watson and asks, "Watson, look up into the sky and tell me what you see?" Watson said, "I see millions of stars." Holmes asks, "And, what does that tell you?"

Watson replies, "Astronomically, it tells me there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, it tells me that Saturn is in Leo. Theologically, it tells me that God is great and we are small and insignificant. Horologically, it tells me that it's about 3 AM. Meteorologically, it tells me that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. What does it tell you, Holmes?" Holmes retorts, "Someone stole our tent."

Gary Habermas (Chairman of the Department of Philosophy and Theology at Liberty University), “Here’s how I look at the evidence for the resurrection: First, did Jesus die on the cross? And second, did he appear later to people? If you can establish those two things, you’ve made your case, because dead people don’t normally do that.” 

Dr. Simon Greenleaf (Harvard Law Professor), “According to the laws of legal evidence used in courts of law, there is more evidence for the historical fact of the resurrection of Jesus Christ than for just about any other event in history.

The Resurrection of Jesus is simply a Game-Changer:

It’ been said, “The empty tomb, as an enduring symbol of the resurrection, is the ultimate representation of Jesus’ claim to being God.

Charles Wesley (Christ the Lord is Risen Today)

Christ the Lord is ris’n today, Sons of men and angels say, Raise your joys and triumphs high, Sing, ye heav’ns, and earth, reply.... Lives again our glorious King, Where, O death, is now thy sting, Once He died our souls to save, Where thy victory, O grave.... Love’s redeeming work is done, Fought the fight, the battle won, Death in vain forbids His rise, Christ hath opened paradise.... Soar we now where Christ hath led, Foll’wing our exalted Head, Made like Him, like Him we rise, Ours the cross, the grave, the skies.

Billy Graham, “The entire plan for the future has its key in the resurrection.