Summary: What wonderful things can happen in small groups? Who do we listen to and obey? Can we glimpse eternity in a small group? Let’s examine these questions by looking at Mark 9:2-9.
What wonderful things can happen in small groups? Who do we listen to and obey? Can we glimpse eternity in a small group? Let’s examine these questions by looking at Mark 9:2-9.
What can happen when only a very few are gathered together?
Mark 9:2 Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John, and led them up on a high mountain apart by themselves; and He was transfigured before them.
This occurred with just Peter, James and John, not the other disciples. Transfigured means changing form, like a metamorphosis. How did this look?
Mark 9:3 His clothes became shining, exceedingly white, like snow, such as no launderer on earth can whiten them.
This is a vision of our future bodies. We will be like Him (1 John 3:2).
Mark 9:4 And Elijah appeared to them with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus.
Was this a vision of Elijah and Moses in the future or their present reality (2 Kings 2:11; Deuteronomy 34:6)? Luke fills in (Luke 9:31) that their conversation was of Jesus’ then future decease, not as if they were speaking of the past in a distant future.
This is a vision of Elijah’s and Moses’ timeless eternity in heavenly reality. We who are trapped in time cannot possibly explain timeless eternity. Moses represented the law and Elijah the prophets, a summary of the entire Old Testament, which pointed to Jesus' appointment on the cross.
Mark 9:5 Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”—
As was his habit, Peter wanted to do something in the situation.
Mark 9:6 because he did not know what to say, for they were greatly afraid.
We can all relate, not knowing what to say, and saying something irrelevant. That’s life! This also adds to the reliability of the testimony, because it does not cover up Peter’s impetuosity, nor gloss over a seemingly trivial comment.
What happened next?
Mark 9:7 And a cloud came and overshadowed them; and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!”
Does God love Jesus? “This is my dearly loved Son” (NLT), “This is my Son, and I love him.” (CEV) “This is my Son, whom I love.” (NIV) To which of these should Christians listen? “Listen to Him and obey Him!” (AMP) It means to hear and obey. Who?
Mark 9:8 Suddenly, when they had looked around, they saw no one anymore, but only Jesus with themselves.
Moses, brought the old covenant and Elijah, restored it. Both visitors from timeless eternity have gone, symbolic of their service which is now completed in Jesus and the cross. Could the three disciples share this experience?
Mark 9:9 Now as they came down from the mountain, He commanded them that they should tell no one the things they had seen, till the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
Not every epiphany or vision is to be broadcast immediately. We need to pray and ask God what He wants us to do with any revelation. What can we take home from this event?
First, who despises the day of small things (Zechariah 4:10)? For instance, when attendance at an activity is low or our accomplishments are too small, we may get discouraged, yet remember that events attended by only a few disciples may be very significant. Miracles may happen and God may provide wonderful revelations to us in our small things.
Secondly, let’s learn that Jesus is our primary teacher (Matthew 28:20). We certainly listen to others like Moses, Elijah, Paul and Peter, but Jesus has the last word.
Third, we have a glimpse of our transfiguration at the resurrection. “It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body… And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man.” (1 Corinthians 15:35-49)
Postlude: Let’s not be discouraged when few attend a meeting or our strength is small. God may be preparing a special blessing. Let’s listen to Jesus and look forward to that day when our bodies will also be transformed in eternity.
New King James Version (NKJV) Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
2 Kings 2:1-12 “a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, and separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven”
Psalm 50:1-6 “The Mighty One, God the Lord, Has spoken and called the earth From the rising of the sun to its going down.”
2 Corinthians 4:3-6 “we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord”