Mark 8 -- 9
Jesus and His disciples had been in the midst of the famous center for idol worship in Caesarea Philippi (Mark 8:27 -- 9:2). It was here that Jesus asked His disciples . . . whom do men say that I am? And they answered . . . You are the Christ (God's Anointed) (8:27,29). Jesus invited the people to follow Him, but with certain qualifications, saying: Whosoever will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whosoever will save his life (for selfish ambitions) 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? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of Me and of My words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of Man be ashamed (8:34-38). The Christian life is a life of surrender -- a call to deny the natural man and pursue the higher spiritual standards to which Jesus points.
It was on this high mountain that He was transfigured before them. And His raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller (laundryman) on earth can whiten them. And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus (9:2-4).
Moses, representing the Law, and Elijah, representing the Prophets, were now in the presence of the Messiah. Elijah had been taken alive to Heaven in a chariot of fire (II Kings 2:11); and, Moses' body had been specially cared for by the Archangel Michael (Jude 1:9).
At this momentous event, they spoke of His decease (Jesus' death) which He should accomplish (fulfill) at Jerusalem (Luke 9:31). How fitting that these two Old Testament saints, representing both the Law and the Prophets, should join Jesus to honor Him in His suffering, death on the cross, and resurrection. These imminent events in the life of Jesus would fulfill many prophecies made through Moses and the Prophets concerning their long-awaited Messiah.
Not knowing what to say, Peter made the mistake of suggesting they make three tabernacles; one for Jesus, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah (Mark 9:5-6). Some today make a similar mistake in their admiration of men and their books. Moses and Elijah were truly great men of God; but Jesus Christ, the only virgin-born Son of God, is far superior to the most godly man of history. All other Masters will fade into insignificance when Jesus becomes Lord of our lives.
Only Jesus Christ is God's Son, worthy of human worship and obedience. Nothing or no one can replace or equal personal communion with the Lord. We have that wonderful access to Him through reading His Word -- the One True Source of spiritual life and growth!
Following Peter's three tabernacles suggestion, a Voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is My Beloved Son: (He is the final authority) hear Him (listen to and obey Him) (Mark 9:7).
For Mark 8:18: See Ezek. 12:2. Mark 9:44,46,48: See Isa. 66:24.
Government Officials: Rep. Christopher Cox (CA) and Rep. Gary Miller (CA) · BPM Staff: Barbara Ann Bivens · Pray for Linda Rathbone, French translator · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio broadcast in memory of Cleatus H. Bell · Country: Estonia (2 million) northeastern Europe · Major languages: Estonian and Russian · Religious freedom · 38% Protestant; 20% Estonian Orthodox; 1% Roman Catholic; 1% Muslim · Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to enable you to endure temptation (James 1:12).
Memory Verse for the Week: