Summary: The transfiguration and lesson we should take from it.
• Sometimes a taste is not enough. Sometimes it is too much.
• Ill. Little Johnny sat playing in the garden. When his mother came out to collect him, she saw that he was slowly eating a worm. She turned pale. "No, Johnny! Stop! That's horrible! You can't eat worms!" Trying to convince him further she noted, "Now the mother worm is looking all over for her nice baby worm."
• "No, she isn't," said Johnny.
• "How do you know she's not?" said the mother.
• "Because I ate her first!"
• Jesus wanted to give his friends a taste of His true glory.
Mar 9:1 And he said to them, "Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power."
• Verse 1 of chapter 9 belongs to the verses in chapter 8 on counting the cost of discipleship.
• Jesus had called all the people together with the disciples and said discipleship would cost, but adds, "there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power."
• This statement mean something different to the people. It meant another thing to the speaker.
• Most expected the Messiah to rise in power, defeat the Romans, and re-establish Israel as rulers of the world.
• John had prepared the people's hearts by telling them that the Kingdom of God was near.
• This was their hope and dream: for God to re-establish the glory of Israel.
• We understand that Jesus was talking about taking back His glory, empower spiritual kingdom.
Mar 9:2-3 And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, 3 and his clothes became radiant, intensely white, as no one on earth could bleach them.
• Oh, the transfiguration. We "traditionalize" the word "transfiguration" by over usage.
• Because of this limiting its meaning, we miss its power.
• The Greek word is the same as "Metamorphosed" or going through a metamorphosis.
• It simply means that Jesus went through a major physical change right before their eyes.
• Examples of Metamorphosis:caterpillar and a butterfly, a tadpole and a frog, a seed and a tree or an egg and a bird.
• The idea is something completely changing by not even resembling the original state.
• There is no way that a bird looks like an egg or a tree looks like a seed.
• Jesus was temporarily re-clothed with the glory He had given up to walk among men.
• Mark briefly describes the sight of this metamorphosis.
• But he only mentions his clothing glowing, emitting light instead of simply reflecting them.
• This was like wrapping a light bulb in a handkerchief that cannot conceal the light emitted.
• Matthew adds in Chapter 17 that Jesus' face shined like the sun.
Mar 9:4 And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus.
• Elijah, representing the prophets. Moses, representing the law.
• Jesus fulfilling both the prophets and the law.
• Moses represented those who die. Elijah, who was raptured, represented the raptured.
• What a spiritual message we see here as this testifies to the deity of Jesus Christ!
• But that message was lost on Peter. He was too overwhelmed by the metamorphosis.
• He was blinded by these two legends who he had revered all of his life.
• In a sense, this raised Peters view of Jesus, but not near far enough.
• Still, Peter was beginning to see, but not yet clearly.
Mar 9:5-6 And Peter said to Jesus, "Rabbi, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah." 6 For he did not know what to say, for they were terrified.
• Peter was again one of those who, when he was at a loss for words, used them anyway.
• Usually, when the disciples were wrong in their beliefs, Jesus had a way of telling them.
• He had previously said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan, for you mind the things of men more than the things of God."
• I am certain that this request for three tents of worship frustrated our Savior.
• But I can also picture that in His heart, God the Father whispered, "I'll handle this one, Son."
Mar 9:7-8 And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, "This is my beloved Son; listen to him." 8 And suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone with them but Jesus only.