Summary: The Transfiguration. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: email@example.com)
(1). The change (vs 2-3).
(2). The company (vs 4-6).
(3). The cloud (verses 5-7).
(4). The command (verse 7).
• Fed up with people telling him he was going deaf;
• A man went to get his hearing tested,
• After examining the man;
• The audiologist place a clock on a desk and asked the man if he could hear it ticking;
• The man replied; “Yes I can”.
• The audiologist then placed the clock at the far end of the room;
• And again asked the man if he could hear it ticking;
• Once again the man replied; “Yes I can”.
• The audiologist then opened the door and walked out of the office;
• Placing the clock in a corridor and asked the man if he could hear it ticking;
• For a third time the man replied; “Yes I can”.
• The audiologist then told the man;
• “There is nothing wrong with your hearing, you just don’t listen to people!”
• There is of course a big difference between hearing and listening!
• Most of us were born hearing well, but listening is something you have to work on!
• A school music teacher asked her class the difference between listening and hearing.
• At first there was no response.
• Finally a hand went up and a youngster offered this wise definition:
• “Listening is wanting to hear.”
• As Christians we believe the Spirit of God is always speaking to us:
• (And he does not need to shout!)
• The key is that we must want to hear Him;
• Question: Are we sensitive to the Spirit’s voice?
• He speaks clearest and most often to those people who are willing to obey!
• And if we are not willing to obey, then don’t be surprised if God does not speak to you!
• In our passage this morning, God speaks;
• But it appears there is only one out of the four people who is actually listening!
• I want us to consider four things from this mountaintop experience:
• (5 if you count the introduction – the context)
• You will not be surprised to know that chapter 9 of Mark’s gospel;
• Follows on from chapter 8 – in other words these verses are connected.
• In case you miss it, verse 2 is a reminder: “Six days later”.
• The disciples have had six days to think over some incredible truths.
• Truth No 1:
• Peter had declared (chapter 8 verse 29) Jesus to be “The Messiah, the Christ of God”.
• That in itself was a milestone moment!
• Grasp hold of that incredible truth:
• Not just a good man or a prophet of God,
• But God the Son – God in a body!
• Quote: Wesley’s carol: “Veiled in flesh the Godhead see, hail the incarnate deity”.
• Truth No 2:
• Note that Jesus spoilt the disciples spiritual high by dropping a bombshell;
• (Chapter 8 verse 31);
• That the Messiah must; “Suffer much, be rejected and then killed”.
• This is not what the disciples were expecting or wanting to hear;
• Truth No 3:
• Then Jesus deflated them even more by saying (chapter 8 verse 34):
• “If anyone” – no exceptions – to the first listeners of these words and to us today!
• “He must forget self, carry his cross and follow me”.
• Jesus was talking about a commitment to death;
• Anyone who picked up a cross under Roman occupation never put it down again;
• They were nailed to it!
As David McCann reminded us last week from this passage:
• Jesus required from his followers total commitment!
• The Church of Jesus Christ is not a social club you join,
• It is a ‘put Jesus first’ lifestyle that you embrace!
• And said Jesus that lifestyle often leads to suffering;
• In fact you may even lose your life (chapter 8 verse 35)
• i.e. Turkish believers we recently met;
• Whose families have rejected them because they have chosen to follow Jesus Christ.
• Truth No 4:
• But after the bitter message of commitment and suffering;
• Jesus gave a sweetener (chapter 8 verse 38) that after the suffering there will be glory;
• The end result for the Christian is never suffering and death;
• Rather it is always resurrection and glory!
• So suffering leads to glory;
• And suffering will be transformed into glory!
• Now having given the disciples the theory regarding;
• Suffering will be transformed into glory!
• They are about to get a practical insight into that truth.
• The disciples are about to see Jesus;