Brad Libolt speaking on Mark 9:2-13. He spoke of the glory of Jesus being revealed, and how God had every right to reject us, but instead he became like us, to die for us, to save us.
2 And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, 3 and his clothes became radiant, intensely white, as no one on earth could bleach them. 4 And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus. 5 And Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” 6 For he did not know what to say, for they were terrified. 7 And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, “This is my beloved Son; listen to him.” 8 And suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone with them but Jesus only.
- Jesus takes Peter and James and John up on a high mountain with him, and it says he was transfigured before them. Jesus’ clothes got super white, whiter than anyone on earth could bleach them. Then Elijah and Moses appeared, and started talking with Jesus.
- This is a crazy scene, and remember the three disciples that are with him. Peter decides to speak up. He says, “Rabbi, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” So seems like Peter is using the old noggin, trying to do something helpful. But then the next verse says they had no idea what to say because they were terrified. This was a frightening scene.
- Then a cloud comes over them and a voice comes out of the cloud and says, “This is my beloved Son; listen to him.” Then Moses and Elijah are gone and it’s just Jesus standing there.
- So this is a crazy scene, what’s going on? There are a lot of connections to the Old Testament here, which are important to notice. Jesus goes up on a mountain, a cloud covers the mountain, and a voice speaks from the cloud. This also happened to both Moses and Elijah. Moses went up Mount Sinai and there was a cloud with lightening and God spoke to Moses giving him the law. Elijah did the same. He went up on a mountain where God spoke to him. So Jesus is in the same camp as these two guys, which is important because we know Jesus is the prophet like Moses that was going to come, we’ve talked about this before. Jesus is in the same kind of category as Moses and Elijah, but he’s better. The other two guys disappear, and Jesus remains.
- Then there’s the voice of God, saying, “This is my Beloved Son; listen to him.” This is similar to what God said at Jesus baptism in chapter 1, and we talked about the significance of God calling Jesus his son, but here he says listen to him. When Moses says in Deuteronomy that God will raise up a prophet like him, he tells the people that they will listen to him. Here it is God echoing these words, affirming that Jesus is that prophet to come and saying, “listen to him.”
- So there’s Jesus as a prophet, in fact as the prophet like Moses that was to come, the one everyone should listen to, but theres also this transfiguration stuff. Jesus’ clothes becoming super intensely white.
- What is happening here is Jesus’ glory is being revealed. The description of Jesus in this passage of his radiant white clothes and the terrified response of the disciples is very similar to the descriptions of the glory of God in the Old Testament. When Isaiah sees the glory of God in the temple it is radiant white and he falls on his face in fear. When Ezekiel sees the glory of God in exile he is so freaked out he doesn’t do anything for seven days. And here the disciples see the glory of God in Jesus and they are so scared they offer to make tents.
- It’s important to see what is going on here, this is the glory of God. The curtain of who Jesus is is being pulled back just a little bit to reveal Yahweh’s glory. The ramifications of this are huge. This means that Jesus is God. I know we have talked about this before, all through the book of Mark, but see it again here, that the glory of God is revealed in Jesus, Jesus is God. Jesus is divine.
- Look at the next few verses.
9 And as they were coming down the mountain, he charged them to tell no one what they had seen, until the Son of Man had risen from the dead. 10 So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what this rising from the dead might mean. 11 And they asked him, “Why do the scribes say that first Elijah must come?” 12 And he said to them, “Elijah does come first to restore all things. And how is it written of the Son of Man that he should suffer many things and be treated with contempt? 13 But I tell you that Elijah has come, and they did to him whatever they pleased, as it is written of him.”
- On the day of the Lord, Elijah comes and the Son of Man suffers. John the Baptist suffered, and so will the Son of Man
- Jesus refers to himself as the son of man, meaning he is human. Jesus is fully God, but he is also fully human. He is one person in two natures. He was fully man so that he could live like his people, and be their substitute. He was fully man because only God could take on all the sins of the world.
- In the middle of Jesus teaching about suffering, dying, and rising it is revealed that Jesus is the glory of God.