Wednesday, April 05, 2006

April 2, 2006 P.M.

Mark 9:2 – 8
“What now?”

***** What if what you thought you knew about Christianity was wrong? *****

Background – Jesus has just feed the 5,000, He’s taught them to take up the cross and follow Him.
Experience of the transfiguration is powerful, spiritually, visually, and emotionally. It begs the question: WHAT ARE YOU SEARCHING FOR?

I. Are you searching for the supernatural?

A. The transfiguration was a powerful even.

1. Visually:

a. Jesus’ clothes shined, in Matthew’s account, His face shined like the sun.

b. Elijah and Moses appeared with Jesus. (These were hero’s of the faith.)

2. Emotionally:

a. “for they were greatly afraid.” They did not understand what was happening.

b. There was connection between Moses, Elijah, and Jesus. It was an extreme honor to be in the presence of these three heros.

B. This was a miraculous event.

1. The power of God was plain.

a. The disciples got to see Jesus’ glory (partially)

b. The disciples got to hear about Jesus death (Luke) and resurrection.

2. Elijah was the one who had not died.

3. Moses was the one who had died yet was alive.

III. Are you looking for the spectacular?

A. The feeling:

1. This was a privilege, only 3 of the disciples were there.

2. They heard God the Father speak directly to them!

B. The blessing:

1. Witnessing this event would boost their emotional and spiritual state (if not status).

2. Maybe this was a reason James and John fought over who was the greatest...

III. Are you looking for the super-spiritual?

A. The planning.

1. This was a great event.

a. After great events we tend to want to build momentum.

b. After great events we want to cherish and relive instead of moving on (let’s build...)

2. The desire/expectation was to make this a permanent state.

a. After all, wasn’t this the coming of the kingdom?

b. Events seemed to be building to this climax?

***** If they had stayed on the mountain top, they would have missed the best events that were still to come. *****

B. The constant asking:

1. The disciples had their own ideas.

a. They were always asking questions, but not for the right reasons.

b. They were trying to make sense of Jesus, make Him fit into their understanding.

2. The request seemed to be triggered by anxiety.

a. Peter felt he had to say something... anything.

b. Peter said a lot of interesting things... incurable?

3. They were listening to everyone and everything except Jesus.

a. Their beliefs (background, traditions) did not allow them to consider Jesus dying.

b. The physical world did not allow them to understand “rising from the dead.”

IV. How about you?

A. What are you seeking?

1. Are you seeking a powerful event?

a. Is that why you come to church?

b. Is that why you pray for revival?

2. Are you seeking the miraculous event?

a. Maybe you want healing.

b. Maybe you want to feel the presence of God.

Churches do a lot to inspire the FEELING of the presence of God, through incense, lighting, music, etc..

3. Are you seeking the special feeling?

a. Nothing compares to being in the presence of God.

b. When we “feel” that we “feel” that we are special to God.

4. Are you seeking the blessing?

a. We want our souls and spirits lifted and filled.

b. We want to be honored by God’s working through our lives.

5. Are you planning?

a. Because we feel like planning the next step is the right response.

b. Because we want the critical mountain top experience to last.

6. Are you anxious?

a. We spend a lot of time listening to what is not true instead of Jesus.

b. We doubt and do not know what to do.

7. Are you constantly asking:

a. for what is good BUT mostly temporary?

b. for what we want?

Can you join Habakkuk when he says: (Hab 3:17 – 18)

Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
[18] yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.

***** Is God enough? *****

Paul learned this: (2 Cornithians 12:9 – 10)

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. [10] That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

***** Is God enough? *****

Notice that when the transfiguration was over: “they saw no one anymore, but only Jesus with themselves.”
It seems that when we WANT we are trying to use God and we labor for ourselves. If the only thing that happened was that God would to save you and you lived the rest of your spiritual life without all the extras and frills, would God’s grace be enough?

You see we’ve lied to ourselves, thinking all these other things were necessary. In reality we’ve replaced Jesus with a weak idol of an event.

[For further thought see A. B. Simpson’s song “Himself.”]

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