October 16

Read Mark 8 -- 9

In Today’s Reading:

Feeding the 4,000; leaven explained; healing of a blind man; Peter's confession of faith; death and resurrection foretold; transfiguration; inability of disciples to cast out a demon; dispute over who should be greatest; warning of hell.

Jesus and His disciples had been in the famous idol-worshiping towns of Caesarea Philippi (Mark 8:27 9:2). It was here that Jesus asked His disciples . . . Whom do men say that I am? . . . And Peter [answered] . . . [You are] the Christ (God's Anointed) (8:27-29).

A short time later, Jesus invited the people to follow Him, but with certain qualifications, saying: [Whoever] will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For [whoever] will save his life (for selfish ambitions) shall lose it; but [whoever] 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? [Whoever] 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).

Taking three of His disciples up this high mountain . . . 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 and Elijah were now in the presence of their 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 Michael the Archangel (Jude 1:9).

At this momentous event, they spoke of His decease (Jesus' death) which He should accomplish (fulfill) at Jerusalem (Luke 9:31). Moses representing the Law and Elijah, the Prophets, join Jesus to honor Him prior to His suffering, death on the cross, and resurrection.

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, and His Book, the Bible, are far superior to any man or book in history. Jesus and His Book need priority in our lives.

Jesus Christ is the Only Begotten Son of God. He alone is worthy of our worship and obedience. All other masters fade into insignificance when Jesus becomes Lord of our lives. Nothing or no one can replace or equal personal communion with Him as our Lord. Think of it; God has provided 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).

Thought for Today: The worship, love, and loyalty that is due Christ cannot be shared with anyone.

Word Studies:

9:3 fuller = to bleach, make white, to clean; 9:12 set at nought = rejected; 9:13 whatsoever they listed = whatever they desired; 9:18 teareth him = violent convulsions; pineth away = wasting away; 9:45 halt = lame or crippled.

Cross References:

For Mark 8:18: See Ezek. 12:2. Mark 9:44,46,48: See Isa. 66:24.

Prayer Needs:

Government Officials: Rep. Christopher Cox (CA) and Rep. Gary Miller (CA) · Pray for your church · Country: Azerbaijan (8 million) southern Transcaucasia between Europe and Asia · Major languages: Azeri and Russian · Religious freedom · 80% Muslim; 3% Russian/Armenian/Georgian Orthodox · Prayer Suggestion: Offer your gift of praise to God in prayer (I Peter 2:5).

Memory Verse for the Week: John 15:5