Read Mark 8 -- 9
In Today's Reading:
Feeding 4,000; leaven explained; healing blind man; Peter's confession of faith; Jesus' death and resurrection foretold; transfiguration; disciples unable to heal boy; dispute over who is greatest, the terrifying torments of eternal hell
Jesus and His disciples had been in the famous idol-worshiping town of Caesarea Philippi (Mark 8:27 — 9:1). It was here that Jesus asked His disciples: Whom do men say that I am? And they answered, John the Baptist: but some say, Elijah; and others, One of the prophets. And He says to them, But whom say you that I am? And Peter answered . . . You are the Christ (8:27-29).
A short time later, 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 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 (benefit) 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).
It was in this same region that, six days later, Jesus and three of His disciples went up on a high mountain . . . and He was transfigured before 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. At this momentous event, the two Old Testament prophets spoke with Jesus about His decease (dying) which He should accomplish at Jerusalem (Luke 9:31). Moses, representing the Law, and Elijah, representing the prophets, appeared to honor Jesus prior to His suffering, death on the cross, and physical resurrection.
Peter made the mistake of suggesting they make three tabernacles; one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah. For he knew not what to say (Mark 9:5-6). However, since Jesus Christ is the Only Begotten Son of God, He alone is worthy of our worship and obedience (Revelation 4:9-11). Nothing, or no one, can replace or equal a personal communion with Him as our Lord.
After Peter's three tabernacles suggestion, a Voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear Him (Mark 9:7).
9:3 fuller = to bleach, make white, clean; 9:12 set at nought = treated with contempt, rejected; 9:13 whatsoever they listed = whatever they desired; 9:18 teareth him = violent convulsions; pineth away = wastes away; 9:45 halt = lame or crippled.
For Mark 8:18: See Ezekiel 12:2. Mark 9:44,46,48: See Isaiah 66:24.
BP Staff: Barbara Bivens · Pray for the Center for Christian Statesmanship, Washington DC · Government Officials: Rep. Christopher Cox (CA) and Rep. Gary Miller (CA) · Country: United Kingdom (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, & Wales) (59 million) off the coast of western Europe · Major languages: English and Welsh · Religious freedom · 53% Protestant; 10% Roman Catholic; 2.5% Muslim; .8% Sikh; .7% Hindu; .6% Jewish · Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to give you mercy and compassion for others (Jude 1:21-22).
Memory Verse for the Week: II Corinthians 9:6