Sunday School Material 2-13-11: This Is My Beloved Son
(Mark 9:2-13; 2/13/11)
Introduction: A key idea in today's Sunday School material is that God sent His Son for the people of God to obey. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to obey the teachings of Jesus, as the people of God should.
Read Mark 9:2-4
I. Resplendent Presentation. Resplendent means shining with brilliant luster. Jesus led His inner circle disciples up what we have come to call the mountain of transfiguration.
There, Jesus is transfigured, and Elias (i.e., Elijah) and Moses appear. The nature of the transfiguration or change includes a great brightness; however, the rest of the details are unclear.
- Inner circle disciples. Notice in vs. 2 of our Sunday School material that Jesus has three disciples that many have come to call the "inner circle disciples."
First, every believer should strive to be a disciple of Christ. This calls for the ongoing decision to deny and dedicate one's self to following divine direction like studying, serving, and giving.
Second, every disciple is not going to be an "inner circle disciple" of the leader. Those who are should remember that to whom much is given much is required. Those who are not in the inner circle should pray that the inner circle do the will of God, since we are all in this thing together.
Don't let jealousy or a desire to see things fall apart find a place in your heart. Let's strive to both do are part and pray for the other parts of the body as well.
- Getting attention for the sake of ministry. Notice in vss. 2-4 of our Sunday School material that it is important to gain a person's attention, in order to teach them. The transfiguration and appearance of Elias and Moses were at least attention getting devices.
As we strive to minister to people, it is important for us to get and hold on to a person's attention. Although we may not be able to be transfigured and call upon people like Elias and Moses, we need to do what we can. Without attention, we are wasting breath and energy.
Sometimes we have to pull people aside and find away to get them to see that you are very serious about what you are about to say. Relational evangelism and edification often calls for this kind of attention getting. Let's seek the wisdom and energy needed to get and hold the attention of those to whom we seek to minister.
Read Mark 9:5-8
II. Rejected Proposal. Peter, probably fueled by fear and unharnessed energy, talks about building tents for Jesus and His guests. A cloud appears, and a voice (i.e., the voice of God the Father) talks about Jesus being His beloved Son. He is to be obeyed. Moses and Elias disappear.
- Controlling our tongues. Notice in vs. 5 of our Sunday School material that Peter seems to speak before he develops his thoughts. Just as bad as Peter's example is the reality that too many of us are guilty of the same. Let's work on developing our thoughts, before we speak.
This is especially the case, when we are going to say something that is going to make an impact on others. For example, in a relational argument, we ought to slow down and say what we mean and mean what we say. We should also make sure that we don't drift to the extremes of this idea.
Some think too much and say too little (esp. men). And some are guilty of thinking out loud (esp. women), which can be rather exhausting to the listener.
- The specialness of Jesus. Notice in vss. 5-8 of our Sunday School material that Jesus is the beloved Son of God, and He is to be obeyed. Jesus clearly outranks Elias and Moses, in that the latter came and went, but Jesus was still present. God declares that Jesus is His beloved Son and He is to be obeyed. God doesn't say that of the others.
Jesus is in a category all by Himself and above all other human constructions. In fact, Jesus is God the Son (i.e., the second part of the trinity). Let's live like we really believe that Jesus is the beloved Son of God whom we are to obey.
Our actions speak louder than our words. If we are not living lives of loving God, ourselves, and others then our claim to really believe that Jesus is so special is suspect.
Read Mark 9:9-13
III. Resurrection Promised. Jesus told His inner circle disciples not to tell anyone about what they had seen, until after His resurrection. They did not understand what He meant by being raised from the dead.
Jesus responds to their inquiry about the coming of Elias. Jesus shares that John the Baptist fulfilled this expectation and promise of scripture.
- God's timing. Notice in vss. 9-10 of our Sunday School material that it important to follow the timing of God. Just as the disciples were instructed to be silent about the transfiguration experience, in our text, and they will be commissioned to tell the world about the resurrection later on, we need to follow God's schedule.
There is a time for us to learn and then a time to execute what we have learned, instead of being professional students. There is a time for singles to be celibate and a time for spouses to enjoy marital sex. There is a time to be still and let God work it out and times to demonstrate our faith by our works.
Let's pray for the wisdom and energy to follow God's timing. By the way, it is time to tell everybody about the saving power of Jesus Christ. It is time to grow up and live lives of loving God, ourselves, and others.
- God's mysterious ways. Notice in vss. 10-13 of our Sunday School material that even when God works in mysterious ways that we are to be faithful. The idea of John the Baptist being some type of representation of Elijah is a mysterious action of God.
God doesn't always act in ways that make sense to us (e.g., tragic suffering, bad things happening to people who seem to be trying to live right, good things happening to people who seem to have no regarding for God, etc.). However, we are called to simply trust and obey God, even when we don't understand Him.
Let's work on developing the faith needed to obey God, even when we don't know what He is up to. God knows what is best for us, and He can be trusted to work things out for the good of His people.
Conclusion: Based on our Sunday School material, let's work on obeying the teachings of Jesus, as the people of God should. God has much for those who obey His will.
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