Summary: The Transfiguration. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email:


The context.

(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)

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;

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