3-Week Series: Double Blessing

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Summary: Many Christians in our churches follow Jesus but still have doubts. Their faith has not become crystal clear for them. There are things about Jesus that are cloudy for them like looking through a dark glass. Maybe you are one of them?

Transfiguration Sunday

Seeing is Believing

Mark 9:2-9

2Corinthians 4:3-6

1 Corinthians 13:12

12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. KJV

This passage from St. Paul tells us that we do not have clear vision as it concerns the things of God. Our vision is obstructed by a darkness. It is as if we are looking through a dark glass. That darkness prevents us from seeing the fine details of what we are looking at.

The darkness is not sin but rather it is the limitation of our faith.

Hebrews 11:1 KJV

1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

When Jesus led Peter, James and John to the top of a mountain it was so that they could see a clear image of Jesus unobstructed by the darkness.

The darkness for these three Disciples was their limited faith. They had been following Jesus for nearly three years but they still had doubts.

There are many Christians like this today in our churches. They follow Jesus but still have doubts. Their faith has not become crystal clear for them. There are things about Jesus that are cloudy for them like looking through a dark glass.

Maybe you are one of those people?

If you are do not be too hard on yourselves for Peter, James and John also had a problem with how they saw Jesus.

Who was Jesus?

This was the very question that Jesus had put to them about six days earlier. Mark 8:27 “Who do people say that I am”?

Strangely Jesus asks all of them this question after they have all witnessed and participated in the feeding of the four thousand with the seven loaves and a few fishes. Mark 8

It was their job to collect the left overs in baskets. They had done this before when Jesus feed the Five thousand with five loafs where they each collected one basket full of left overs. This time Jesus feeds four thousand with seven loafs and they recover seven full baskets. It makes it hard to deny that such miracles happened when you are assigned as part of the clean-up team.

Jesus did this intentionally to help all of them grow their faith in Him. The left over fish and bread were things of substance that were real evidence of the miracle they had been a part of. Hard to deny that one.

Hebrews 11:1 KJV

1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Still after all that they had doubts. Partly because the ruling class of religious leaders kept testing and challenging Jesus. They like us had to let go of preconceived ideas about God that they had been taught by men. They like us had to look at Jesus for themselves they had to see Jesus for themselves unfiltered by religious preconceptions. To stress this point Jesus heals a blind man soon after they had cleaned up and started down the road.

Mark 8:22-26

It is almost as if Jesus is saying to them open your eyes and see that it is I who opens the eyes of the blind. Jesus helps us to truly see Him. We do not need to rely on blind faith but real faith can be ours if we see Him for who He is.

Peter is the only one of the 12 to offer an answer to Jesus question, “Who do people say that I am”? Mark 8:27

Peter answers four words “You are the Christ”. Mark 8:29

Jesus commends Peter and blesses him for getting the right answer. But they are told to keep quiet about it. Then Jesus explains to them how He must die and be resurrected after the third day. Peter did not like hearing that and tried to reprimand Jesus but Jesus put him in his place and expounded on the reasons for His death.

Then Jesus explains to them that some of the Disciples standing there will not die until they see “The Kingdom of God come with power.” Mark 9:1

This was a confusing statement for them and remains so for folks today who think that meant some of the Disciples would stay alive until Jesus second coming.

Dr. William MacDonald says that’s not what Jesus meant.

Source: pg. 1342 “Believers Bible Commentary” Thomas Nelson Publishers Nashville Tenn. 1980

"Jesus was announcing that some of the Disciples were about to see with their own eyes the one who is “The Kingdom of God” and His power. That I believe is part of the reason why Jesus invites these three Disciples to join Him at the top of the Mount of Transfiguration. Peter was the oldest, John the youngest and James was John’s older brother. These three needed to have the limitations of their faith removed.

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