Highlights In Today's Reading:
Who is "Jesus" (8:29)? His death foretold (8:31-38; 9:30-32). Transfiguration (9:2-13). Resolving some problems requires surrender (9:29).
Jesus and His disciples were in Caesarea Philippi which was a famous idol-worshiping center (8:27 — 9:2). It was located at the foot of Mount Hermon, the highest mountain in Israel. It was here that Jesus asked His disciples . . . whom do men say that I am? . . . And Peter answereth . . . Thou art the Christ (Messiah) (8:27,29). Matthew adds the Son of the Living God (Matt. 16:13-16), which emphasizes the deity of Christ.
Jesus invited the people to follow and serve Him, saying: Whosoever will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for My sake and the Gospel's, the same shall save it. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? (Mark 8:34-36). To lose his life means giving up personal ambitions to take advantage of every opportunity to expand one's development of God-given opportunities. Seek . . . first the Kingdom of God (Matt. 6:33).
Jesus taketh with Him Peter, and James, and John, and leadeth them up into an high mountain apart by themselves: and He was transfigured before them (Mark 9:2). As He prayed, the fashion of His countenance was altered (gloriously changed) (Luke 9:29). And His raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow. . . . And there appeared unto them Elias with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus (Mark 9:3-4).
At this momentous event, they spoke of His decease (death) which He should accomplish (fulfill) at Jerusalem (9:31). How fitting that these two Old Testament saints, representing the Law and the Prophets, should join Jesus to honor Him in His coming suffering, death, and resurrection, the fulfillment of their prophecies (Deut. 18:15-19; Is. 7:14; 9:6-7).
Peter . . . said . . . let us make three tabernacles; one for Thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias (Mark 9:5-6). Some make a similar mistake preferring men and their books, when Jesus and His Book is far superior and beyond comparison. Moses and Elijah were truly great men of God; but Jesus Christ, the sinless Son of God, is far superior to even the most godly men of history. Peter's three tabernacles suggestion was interrupted by a Voice . . . saying, This is My Beloved Son: hear Him (Mark 9:7).
Thought for Today:
And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men (Col. 3:23).
9:3 fuller =bleach that makes white, cleans; 9:12 set at nought =rejected; 9:13 whatsoever they listed =whatever they wanted; 9:45 halt =crippled.
For Mark 8:18: See Ezek. 12:2. Mark 9:44,46,48: See Is. 66:24.
Pray for International Shortwave Broadcasts in memory of Letha Hash • Staff: Barbara Bivens • Government Officials: Rep. Andre Carson (IN) and Rep. Gary Miller (CA) • Country: Grenada (97,000) southernmost of the Windward Islands • Major language: English • Religious freedom • 61% Roman Catholic; 31% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Rejoice that He has promised to sustain us at all times (Ps. 55:22).
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 15:9