A Preview – Mark 9:2-4 03/20/2022

A Preview – Mark 9:2-4 03/20/2022


We are now marching toward resurrection Sunday. I haven’t done this in the past, but I thought it might be instructive for us to very intentionally spend time building up to the “Days” that we set aside to remember the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ… but for Christianity the story never stops with the story of the cross. The real story continues with something unique. Jesus did not stay dead: but that’s getting ahead of ourselves.


Today we’ll look at Jesus’ transfiguration. In our text today, Mark 9:2-4, we’re given a preview of Jesus’ innate glory. It stands as a reminder that, in spite of the things that are about to take place, Jesus was in complete control. In fact, the things that are beginning to unfold, the wickedness of men, the suffering of the Son of God, these things had to happen.


Let’s look at the details of what took place. Jesus selected three of His closest followers, His inner circle, Peter, James, and John, to see His innate glory.[1] For a short time, Jesus’ human body was transformed (that is, glorified) and the disciples were allowed to see Him as He was prior to His incarnation, as He would be after His resurrection, and as He will be when He returns in power and glory to establish His kingdom on earth.[2]


Notice that this light does not shine on Him; the light was from within Him; and everything around Him was irradiated with Jesus innate celestial glory.[3] This was nothing less than His Divine glory manifesting itself through His humanity.[4] Mark takes pains to help us picture what was taking place[5] as he described Jesus’ clothing. Jesus was “transformed” (μετεμορφωθη)[6] [mĕt ĕ mŏr spōʹ thā]. The reference is to a radical change, to a complete transformation.[7] What we have in our text is the verb referring to Jesus’ outward appearance actually matching His inner nature.[8] The idea is a fundamental change.[9]


Here, Jesus reveals His true identity to His inner circle. During His earthly ministry, Jesus’ glory was veiled, and He was presented as a man of humility, the man, Christ Jesus, the Man of Sorrows.[10] The world saw Him as a travel-stained itinerant teacher.[11] The world saw a peasant from Galilee, a man dressed in homespun.[12] And then the voice of the Father identified the Son; Matthew 3:16-17. Now, just to make absolutely sure that the disciples understood who Jesus was, God hammers the point home; Mark 9:7.


There could be no misunderstanding; the Father made sure that they understood that Jesus Christ was truly God.[13] His essential Deity was veiled in the flesh of a true human being who was about to be crucified.[14] Now, the outward expression matched the inward nature for a moment, giving a preview of what will be universally seen one day.[15] From within Himself the dazzling glory of His essence, His Deity, that which was co-eternally His with God the Father and God the Spirit, was revealed.[16]


The word “shining” is [stilbō] (στιλβω), an active participle indicating that the shining was not like a flashlight, instead it was active and ever changing.[17] The word is used to describe a flashing sword or the sunshine reflecting on shields.[18] This is the radiance described by Jesus’ transfiguration.[19] This is a picture of what He will be like in the Millennium.[20]


This glorious One would soon die. But that death was not one forced on Him, it was made of His own free will; it was made for the redemption of His people.[21] The transfiguration made plain that, since Jesus was in Himself filled with Divine glory, He had the power to save Himself from death… if He chose to do so.[22] He chose not to do so.


But there’s more to it than that; for those who follow Him there are promises; we too will be revealed in glory;1 John 3:2-3. As a result of this promise, we’re called upon to do something. To live, right now, lives that are consistent with our true nature in Christ. When Jesus returns again, this time as the victorious King, He will raise to life the dead bodies of the saints and reunite their souls with their bodies.[23] He will then rapture the remaining living saints; 1 Thessalonians 4:13–18. Jesus will establish His glorious Kingdom on earth and keep the many remaining promises He made to the Jews.[24]


Christ’s suffering and death did not prevent God from doing all of this; instead, by addressing and removing the sin problem, the cross made all of this possible.[25] It is because Jesus resolved the sin problem that God is able to righteously do any of this; Romans 3:26.


Now, there are plenty of things to be afraid of in this life, and there are plenty of ministries and people peddling material designed to make you afraid and to keep you afraid. But… we do not need to fear. This record was intended, not only to reassure the disciples, but to reassure us as well.[26] Jesus was in control. Jesus remains in control. We may not like the path we’re called to walk, but that does not negate the reality; Romans 8:18.


What we need to remember is that, beyond each struggle, each cross that God calls on us to bear, lies the splendor of our own resurrection and transformation.[27] Our true home waits for us.


[1] H. D. M. Spence-Jones, ed., St. Mark, vol. 2, The Pulpit Commentary (London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1909), 1. [2] John D. Grassmick, “Mark,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 142. [3] Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset, and David Brown, Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible, vol. 2 (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997), 107. [4] H. D. M. Spence-Jones, ed., St. Mark, vol. 2, The Pulpit Commentary (London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1909), 2. [5] Craig A. Evans, Mark 8:27–16:20, vol. 34B, Word Biblical Commentary (Dallas: Word, Incorporated, 2001), 35. [6]Thomas Newberry and George Ricker Berry, The Interlinear Literal Translation of the Greek New Testament (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2004), Mk 9:2. [7] James A. Brooks, Mark, vol. 23, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1991), 142. [8] Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 1 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 174. [9] A.T. Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament (Nashville, TN: Broadman Press, 1933), Mt 17:2. [10] Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 1 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 174. [11] Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 1 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 174. [12] Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 1 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 174. [13] H. D. M. Spence-Jones, ed., St. Mark, vol. 2, The Pulpit Commentary (London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1909), 1. [14] H. D. M. Spence-Jones, ed., St. Mark, vol. 2, The Pulpit Commentary (London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1909), 1. [15] Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 1 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 174. [16] Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 1 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 174. [17] Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 1 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 175. [18] Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 1 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 175. [19] Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 1 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 175. [20] Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 1 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 175. [21] H. D. M. Spence-Jones, ed., St. Mark, vol. 2, The Pulpit Commentary (London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1909), 1. [22] H. D. M. Spence-Jones, ed., St. Mark, vol. 2, The Pulpit Commentary (London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1909), 1. [23] Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 141. [24] Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 141. [25] Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 141. [26] Lawrence O. Richards, The Teacher’s Commentary (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1987), 619. [27] Lawrence O. Richards, The Teacher’s Commentary (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1987), 619.

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