Steve has been a follower of Jesus for around 50 years. Below he works through…
Applying the Bible: Mark 9:1-13
Will helps us reflect on Mark 9:1-13
Big truth: We can trust Jesus’ words, even when he says difficult things (like “deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me”!)
Key verse: 9:7
And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, “This is my beloved Son; listen to him.”
Reflection: Having just said something very challenging, Jesus then gives his followers a glimpse of his future glory, as proof that they can trust him. God speaks audibly from heaven, reaffirming that Jesus is his Son – the King. It’s very kind given the challenging nature of what Jesus has just said, that he gives this little demonstration ahead of time of his heavenly power and glory. And it’s a great reminder that the compassionate saviour whose body was broken on the cross for us, will return in splendour and might!
Thinking it through:
- Why do we sometimes find it hard to listen to Jesus’ voice above others?
Because other voices are often louder, seem more relevant to our needs or play on our feelings in subliminal ways. Those voices therefore quickly capture our attention
- What voices in the world do we listen to, and why?
The voices of friends, family members – because we know, like and trust them – politicians, celebrities and other public influencers – because their popularity and status make us quick to listen to them, sometimes unquestioningly
- How does Jesus’ transfiguration give us confidence that we can listen to him?
The transfiguration demonstrates with great power that Jesus is who He claimed to be: God. In the presence of earthly and heavenly witnesses, the voice of God the Father also testifies to Jesus’ Lordship and glory – providing ultimate assurance that Jesus is worth trusting
- How does Jesus’ transfiguration make us feel about his glorious return?
Excited, joyful, hopeful and confident that the “Cross now, crown later” mindset is worth living by – because Christians who stay faithful to the end will one day join Jesus in glory
Working it out:
What steps could you take to make listening to Jesus’ voice more of a priority? Or what steps could you take to listen less to other voices?
Setting aside time each day to commune with God through Bible study, prayerfully seeking to hear Jesus’ voice whenever the Bible is opened. Cultivating a critical eye to test whether other voices are a positive spiritual input or actually contradict Jesus’ voice. Limiting exposure to mainstream news channels is another way to guard against bad spiritual influences, as all of them vie for our attention but none of them are interested in the return of Jesus in glory. Counter-Christian voices inevitably enter our ears each day, but the solution isn’t to bury our heads in the sand – that’s impossible. It’s more a case of knowing, through experience, which voices to turn off and which voices to engage with, depending on the likely spiritual outcome.
- What steps could you take to make Jesus’ return something that you long for more?
Frequently reminding ourselves that life is fleeting and eternity is vast. Actually recalling what Jesus’ glorious return involves – the future He has prepared for us is far better than anything that might be in store in this life. Holding loosely to the trappings of this world is also very important, because none of it will count when Jesus comes back (what will, apart from being saved, is whether we’ve actively invested in His kingdom). These steps should cause use to long for His return and beckon it on.
Praying it in:
Father, thank you for this glimpse of Jesus’ true nature. Please help us to fill our minds with this Jesus. And please would that help us to trust him with our very lives. Help us to be those who listen to the voice of your son, and who long for his return. Amen.
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