Opening our eyes to reality
I. The ORGANIZATION of the TEXT. (Mark 8-10)
A. The QUESTION for the DISCIPLES. (Mark 8:29)
B. BOOKENDS of healing BLINDNESS. (8:22-26; 10:46-52)
C. The MOUNT of TRANSFIGURATION. (9:2-13)
We often forget that when the Gospel writers put information together they have a purpose in the way that they organize the stories. It’s often less chronological and more thematic in order to communicate the points they want to get across. Mark chapter 8, 9, and 10 are good examples of this.
- Kids Question: What is the most amazing thing that you have ever seen happen in person?
- What is your response to Jeff’s assertion that Mark bookends this section with miracles of healing blindness? How does that impact your understanding of the parts in between?
II. MISUNDERSTANDING the MOUNTAINTOP. (9:2-13)
A. Spiritual PEAKS and life in the VALLEY. (9:2,9)
B. PETER’S misguided WORDS/ACTIONS. (9:5-7)
C. Not about a SINGLE moment in TIME. (9:3-4, 12-13)
There are many great truths in the passage that describes what we know as “The Transfiguration.” We can grasp and apply them all, but there seems to be one that I think is foundational to all the others, and the lens through which we need to see everything about this “moment”.
- What has been your “take aways” from this story in the past? What has this passage meant to you in your own spiritual journey?
- What is your reaction to Peter and his responses on the mountain? Can you identify with him? In what ways?
III. Seeing the REALITY behind their EXPERIENCE. (9:2-8)
A. Their eyes were OPENED to JESUS as He is. (9:2-8)
B. Their EARS heard the call to LISTEN. (9:7)
C. Jesus as the CENTRE of REALITY. (9:8)
They saw Jesus in all his glory. But we have to realize that it was a moment of “seeing” and not a moment of “glory” The fact of Jesus being God and all that entails was true every second of every day they walked with Him. The moment was being able to actually see past their experience to the reality that was behind it all the time.
- Is this idea of seeing deeper than your experience different than what is often called “the power of positive thinking”? In what ways?
- Why do you think that Moses and Elijah were there? What is God saying to us through their presence (and disappearance)?
IV. LIVING with our eyes OPEN. (2 Cor. 4:18)
A. The transfiguration is REALITY, not just a MOMENT. (Rev. 1:12-18)
B. Don’t be LIMITED by your present EXPERIENCE. (8:31-32; Lk. 24:19-21)
C. Don’t seek to MANAGE the GLORY. (9:5-7; 8:32; Mt. 17:6-7)
D. LISTEN and TELL the story. (9:7-9; Acts 4:19-20)
What was true for them is true for us. The call as followers of the Messiah is to be open to having our eyes open. To see Jesus for who He is all the time, and to rest in that powerful presence.
- Where do you presently find it hard to look (and to trust) beyond your own experience? Can you share that with someone so that they can pray for you in this area?
- Where are you guilty of seeking to “manage” God rather than listen and tell? What will you do about that?