Mark 9:1-13: Listen to Him
April 24, 2021
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
Mark 9 verse 1 may refer to the transfiguration, which immediately comes after the otherwise enigmatic statement of verse 1, or it may refer to the kingdom of God that is inaugurated (though not fully) with the death and resurrection of Jesus. Given that Jesus refers to the “kingdom of God” and the transfiguration does not, it seems unlikely that it corresponds with the transfiguration. But given that the transfiguration occurs right after, it seems likely that it does correspond to the transfiguration.
The solution is that the transfiguration is itself about something else: it is revealing Jesus and the coming kingdom. Some of those “standing there” saw this foretaste of the kingdom of God coming with power.
Peter opens his mouth and proceeds to put his foot in it, once again (9:5). Apparently, though he had confessed Jesus as the Christ quite recently, he still was willing to have the great heroes of the Old Testament (Moses and Elijah) in equal tents to that which he wanted to set up for Jesus. But then a cloud intervenes—the glory of God—and the voice from the cloud, “This is my beloved Son; listen to him” (9:7).
After that, Moses and Elijah had disappeared, and Jesus is there only—the point being that Moses and Elijah, the whole Old Testament, is now fulfilled in Jesus, and we are to listen to Jesus. Coming down from the mountain he charges them not to say anything until the Son of Man had risen from the dead (until the kingdom had come at this stage of its inauguration), and they ask about Elijah. Jesus tells them that Elijah has already come, meaning John the Baptist (Matthew 11:7-14) has come in the Spirit and power of Elijah (Luke 1:17).
Listen, then, to Jesus. Elijah points to him. Moses does. John the Baptist does. The Old Testament is fulfilled in the Lord Jesus Christ. Bow before him and worship. And listen to his Word.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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