Summary: When we come into contact with someone who doesn't know God's word we need to patiently lead them to the truth.
The Elijah Dilemma
The Book of Mark
I. Eschatology, which is the study of the end times, is a source of great comfort to those who study and understand it.
A. It helps us understand events that take place even in our own day.
B. It gives us hope because we know the God has the future under control and by knowing that we can trust Him to have control of events that happen during our lifetime.
C. Studying prophecy can be a daunting and confusing study sometimes.
1. Especially if we misunderstand what is going on.
2. There are many, many different schools of thought concerning the future.
3. Much of the disagreement stems from a differing hermeneutic or interpretation of the prophecies.
D. Many times when we have been taught certain things by well meaning teachers they stay with us.
1. This can be both good and bad.
2. If it is a good and accurate interpretation it will be beneficial.
3. If it isn’t so good it will cause us to misunderstand and ultimately perpetrate an untruth which will lead others off the right track.
4. Once that happens it is very difficult for us to accept another perspective.
5. It takes great patience on the part of the teacher and willingness on the student’s part to change their interpretation.
E. That is the case of the three disciples here in our passage in Mark.
1. Remember they have been on a rollercoaster ride of emotions here in this section.
a) God revealed to them who Jesus really is.
b) Then Jesus immediately tells them that He is going to die.
c) They recoil in revulsion over this
2. In order to encourage them and impress on them the true purpose of Jesus’ presence here on earth He takes three of them up on the mountain and is transformed before them.
F. Here in the last 5 verses of this passage we can still see a general lack of understanding about what is about to happen in just a few short months.
G. Three parts.
A. Commanded them
1. Not an option.
2. He forbids them to tell about the glorious event that they had witnessed.
3. Imagine how hard that would be?
4. Put yourself in their shoes
5. I would want to be telling everyone I came into contact with.
B. Why did He forbid them?
1. This isn’t the only time that Jesus forbade someone to tell about what He had done.
a) Several times He told those He had healed not to tell anyone.
b) He also told the disciples not to say anything about Him being the Messiah in chapter 8.
2. Remember what the most important thing is here.
a) The cross.
b) He didn’t want the people to come and take Him and make Him King.
c) The Jews including the disciples were looking for a political solution to the situation they lived in.
(1) They were looking for a Messiah who would come and conquer the oppressive Roman Government.
(2) They had no concept of a suffering savior.
d) If Jesus had started to proclaim that He was the Messiah publicly the people would have missed the more important role that He had come to fulfill.
f) To announce it prematurely would be giving only half the message.
g) It would not be complete until He was crucified and had risen from the grave.
3. His command must have made quiet an impression on these three because they never said one word of it to anyone according to Luke 9:36.
III. Discussion vs.10
A. Jesus prohibition led to a discussion among the disciples.
B. What was this rising from the dead?
C. They weren’t ignorant about people rising from the dead.
1. They had seen Jesus raise people up.
2. The Jewish people in general with the exception of the Sadducees believed in a future resurrection
a) Dan.12:2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, Some to everlasting life, Some to shame and everlasting contempt.
b) Job 19:25-27. For I know that my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth; And after my skin is destroyed, this I know, That in my flesh I shall see God, Whom I shall see for myself, And my eyes shall behold, and not another…
c) Ezek.37:1-4 dry bones prophecy.
3. They know that the Messiah is connected with this resurrection.
4. They also know vs.11 that Elijah must come to prepare the way of the Messiah. (his appearance may have reminded them of this).
D. But Jesus was referring to His own resurrection apart from this future one.
E. All of this leads to the question asked in Vs.11.