Gospel of Mark Chapter Nine Part One
Introduction: A key idea in the Gospel of Mark is that Jesus is the servant of God. Today, we hope to discuss Jesus' preview of His glory.
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Read Mark 9:1-13
G. His Previews.
1. Of His Glory.Verse one of chapter nine of the Gospel of Mark may go better with chapter eight. It talks about how some of Jesus' disciples would see the kingdom of God, before they died.
Starting in verse two, we see the famous Mountain of Transfiguration episode. Jesus takes His inner circle disciples on a mountain, where He meets and chats with Elijah and Moses.
God announces from a cloud that Jesus is His Son, whom He loves, and who the people should obey. Jesus tells the disciples not to tell anyone about what they saw.
- Inner circles. In chapter nine of the Gospel of Mark, notice in vs. 2 that Jesus chose His inner circle disciples to do special assignments. There are too many who get jealous about the leader having an inner circle, especially if they are not in it.
First, based on the Gospel of Mark we should appreciate that Jesus is a model for Christians (see I Pet. 2:21). Since He had an inner circle then we should be careful about criticizing this practice. Second, the best way to be in a trusted position is to prove yourself trustworthy.
If you cannot even study, serve, and give on a consistent basis, what make you think you can be trusted for more advance assignments? Third, to whom much is given, much is required (see Lk. 12:48).
More is expected of inner circle disciples than those who are not in the inner circle. Let's pray for God's will to be done, as leaders strive to do the work of God with those around them.
We should all strive to be the best disciple that we can be and thank God for wherever we may be in the body of Christ. By the way, a clique may be a reference to a group of people who are highly selective in whom they allow into their group and who are usually acting negatively towards others.
The inner circle is a selective group, but it should not be noted for negative behavior.
- Jesus' superiority over Elijah and Moses. Notice in vss. 4, 7-8 of chapter nine of the Gospel of Mark the emphasis on Elijah and Moses. It may well be that Moses was a representative of the Law and Elijah a representative of the Prophets.
They were at least very noted figures of the Old Testament. I believe that God showed this to the inner circle disciples, so that they could be assured that the crucifixion and resurrection that is going to happen soon is in line with what God had in mind since the times of the Law and Prophets.
It should be noted that God, the voice in the cloud, said nothing about Moses and Elijah. The Father talked about His love of His Son and listening obediently to Him.
When Moses and Elijah disappeared, Jesus was still there. Let's live like we understand that Jesus is greater than any other human Bible character.
This kind of living should be known for loving God, ourselves, and others. Loving God should include prayerfully studying and obeying His word.
Loving ourselves should include taking care of our health and wealth. Loving others should include witnessing, serving, and advocating for justice issues.
- Controlling our mouths. Notice in vs. 3 of chapter nine of the Gospel of Mark that Peter did not know what to say, but yet he spoke.
The text teaches that he was afraid. There are too many who speak based on emotions, instead of speaking because they have something worth saying.
Too many words have been said when we were upset, afraid, or confused. Churches have said "no" to what they did not understand. Spouses have said unkind things to one another in heated arguments.
And social groups (e.g., races, classes, regions, etc.) have demonized one another, simply because they did not understand or were afraid of one another.
Let's work on controlling our mouths, when we don't know what to say. James 1:26 talks about the importance of mouth/tongue control.
- Obeying God's time table. Notice in vs. 9 of chapter nine of the Gospel of Mark that God has a time table. It was a time to talk about the Transfiguration and a time to be silent about it.
There are those who have problems with God's time table. We speak when we ought to be silent (e.g., gossiping and murmuring).
And we are silent when we ought to speaking (e.g., worshiping and witnessing). Let's work on being obedient to God's time table.
Time table instructions are often given to us by the leaders whom God has placed in our lives.
- Developing spiritual discernment and maturity. Notice in vss. 10-13 that as close as the inner circle disciples were to Jesus, they still did not understand many of the things that Jesus was up to.
They did not understand the death and resurrection of Christ. They did not understand how John the Baptist was symbolic reappearance of Elijah, as prophesied.
There are many who have titles and seniority that give the impression that they are really spiritually astute and mature. However, upon further investigation they prove to be lacking.
Let's work on developing spiritual discernment and maturity. This calls for prayerful study and obedience over time. We should also be careful about how much trust we put in people. Titles can be deceptive.
Conclusion: Let us work on being servants of God. God has much for those who obey His will.
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