Future Vision

Future Vision: Mark 9:2-8
Pastor John Weathersby
Sunday August 30, 2020

Peter confesses “you are the Christ, the son of the living God”. Peter now is ready for the Jesus of Psalm 2 to conquer the world. But, we’ll see God’s plan is. to take Jesus perfect sinless life and murder and convert the injustice of it all into the ultimate justice for us all – and the transfiguration story we’re about to read is to power these disciples through to a vision greater than themselves, and leave us with encouragement to look past today, through our Lord’s radiating glory, and into a future vision.

When we understand what this story reveals we can live for God’s glory, we can know we’re temporary and the way our lives are lived and point to God’s glory.

These disciples are going to get it for the first time. Like the first time you saw that grain of sand in a microscope, or looked at an insect under high magnification, or looked at the moon in a telescope and something so otherwise un-noticed was full of fascinating detail and dimension, they’ll see Jesus as more than just a hear and now joy to have with them, a great insight and great Bible teacher, but they’ll catch a future vision and this marks the transition of Jesus ministry – capped with God’s proclamation of it.

Mark 9:1–8 (ESV)

1 And he said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power.”

“Some”? That’s the word I’d be hearing if I was with Jesus.

Am I of the “some” who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God?

The Transfiguration
2 And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them,

Mark drills in here on a detail that Mark has never yet given. This is Mark’s first nod to time, to time boxing when things are happening, how much time is passing, etc. Perhaps Mark is drawing on an element about this story which parallels to the story of Moses.

Moses was specifically called by God before Jesus had walked the earth as a man, to go to advocate for God’s people, Israel, to bring them from slavery to the promised land. Moses was called up to a mountain after God’s glory rested on it for 6 days.

3 and his clothes became radiant, intensely white, as no one on earth could bleach them.

Moses, after 40 days on the mountain in God’s presence comes down radiating that light, that brightness. Moses the bringer of the law is referenced in the Old Testament believers mind, but now it becomes more more clear:

4 And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus.

Elijah and Moses present representing all of the law and the prophetic tradition, the whole Old Testament gives witness to Jesus.

Matthew 5:17 (ESV)
Christ Came to Fulfill the Law
17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.

If they’re having anything in the back of their minds that there will be a tension between Old Testament worship of God and New Testament church – that is squashed with Elijah and Moses fellowshipping at the transfiguration of Jesus this day.

This will be their anchor of satisfaction and balance between Old and New Testaments.

Jesus was “transformed” before them. This is used in the NT only a few times of transformation. Once in Romans 12:2

Romans 12:2 (ESV)
2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Jesus was transformed His glory was revealed to the 3 witnesses. The previous verses said his close were radiant as no one on earth could do. The substance of even His clothing were some other worldly bright white light, they’re seeing Jesus’ unveiled glory.

5 And Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.”

Peter, who was rebuked in verse 33

Mark 8:33 (ESV)
33 But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”

Is first to speak up and says some zany stuff; “it’s really good that we are here”. We can formalize this, stick up some tents, and stay here for a bit – perhaps he want to have THIS be the fulfillment of the promised glory. Though Jesus had told him “Peter” already in verse 31 had already been given a glimpse into the future

Mark 8:31 (ESV)
31 And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again.

This was momentary Peter wanted permanence. But Jesus would suffer and die – Peter would not accept this. And I get it for these guys – they just watched Him do so many miracles, handle rulers and leaders, perform miracles and now – they’ve seen His glory. How could he suffer and die?

The Jesus of Psalm 2 comes and conquers all, inspire of raging nations and kindles wrath. But, the Jesus of Psalm 22 comes first. The truth that Peter struggle with is the message of suffering and death for the messiah who comes to not be served but to serve and give His life as a ransom for many.

We’re about to see something interesting:

6 For he did not know what to say, for they were terrified.

Here is what we need to know, while perhaps we taking a humanistic view of our finite lives want all comfort and want to see our lives as lived in service to us, they’re actually temporary reflections on God and His glory, this vision gave them and gives us a future vision. It takes our eyes off the here and now – and reminds us that Jesus is more than this life’s “reality” but that he is transcendent and more than this material world can contain and describe, he is other worldly and glorious and had a purpose on this earth. They couldn’t understand how timeless that mission on earth was, but reflecting back on this story we can see it.

Malachi 4:5–6 (ESV)
5 “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes.
6 And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.”

Perhaps this is Peter’s thinking – Elijah comes before the day of the Lord comes, here we go. Let’s do this. The Law, the Prophets, and the Lord are all here; it’s time for the Lord of Psalm 2! He has a very short memory from the earlier rebuke in trying to pass go on Jesus’ suffering.

Our lives are temporary reflections on God’s Glory.

Will they be radiant and reflect out to God or will they be lived in selfish pursuit of our own perpetual private glory?

Our comfort. Our desires. Our individual Wills.

Jesus gave them a blimps of glory to power their lives and ministry.

7 And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, “This is my beloved Son; listen to him.”
8 And suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone with them but Jesus only.

No tents.

No lastingness.

Just a quick vision where in a moment so much was drawn together.

The Old Covenant worship of God centering on Jesus, set aside for these 3. They’d heard of his suffering and death coming in verse 8 – and were troubled by it. Jesus isn’t speaking in parables and in veils references to His death, Jesus is now very clear. Peter is rebuked because Jesus death and suffering gives the vehicle for Gods wrath against sin, it is the ONLY way that payment for sin can be leveled.

Jesus in all grace then takes them up to a mountain and gives them a full relation of what…

His true glory.

This is foreshadowing, his resurrection and second coming, and now they’re given a command from God …”listen to Him”. What would they be listening to?

Jesus. Must. Suffer.

And listen to Him they did, listen to what this event did for their faith as Peter writes a let to the churches in Asia Minor to a church who was struggling with persecution and suffering and had dissection among them. Peter working to work against false teaching and communicate the importance of knowing God writes saying:

2 Peter 1:10–20 (ESV)
10 Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.
11 For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
12 Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have.
13 I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to stir you up by way of reminder,
14 since I know that the putting off of my body will be soon, as our Lord Jesus Christ made clear to me.
15 And I will make every effort so that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things.
Christ’s Glory and the Prophetic Word
16 For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
17 For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,”
18 we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain.
19 And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts,
20 knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation.

Peter, present at the transfiguration, walked with Jesus, seeing miracles. There when the soldiers took Jesus to try and kill Him. Now says – “we have the prophetic word more fully conformed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place”.

So what is the point? I think Luke captures it some in his telling of this story:

Luke 9:30–31
30 And behold, two men were talking with him, Moses and Elijah,
31 who appeared in glory and spoke of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.

The Law and Prophets – summed up in these two talking about what “Jesus departure”. Peter wanted Jesus, Moses and Elijah to stay and conquer the political system and establish a kingdom on earth.
They’re talking not about Earthly things – rather about “Jesus’ departure” that he was “about to accomplish”…

Jesus’ accomplishing his departure is the most glass half full description of what was about to happen you could imagine, but it’s also the most accurate. Jesus was taken by the guards, rushed through trial, hung on a cross to drown in His own lungs – to be mocked and spit on, but all the while, God uses this to be the satisfaction of His wrath on a sinless one offered up for all. Jesus accomplished much with His departure.

Elijah and Moses helped make this clear.

While those present with Jesus would like to have skipped it, the whole point of Jesus’ life, was ultimately His death.

He conquered that death for us through His sinlessness and God converted the injustice of it all into the ultimate justice for us all who would see its truth and turn to trusting the great news of Jesus.

This lets us live for God’s glory. Not that we earn it, because his Glory cannot be veiled, we just celebrate it, point to it and pray that others see it too!

God converted the injustice of Jesus murder into the ultimate justice for us all – and so we gather, and sing, and enjoy God, daily until either His return. The darkness of the world is what our hearts desire, the light of God came for us and drew us out of this world, Church let’s be worshippers – remember God’s words in verse 8 – this is my beloved son, listen to Him.

Do we?

What has Jesus said to us recorded in the word as Peter said in 2 Peter 1:10-20? Do we know?

Church the Christian life is one of faith in God and celebration of Him it’s that easy and that complex; don’t burden yourself with lots of weight, celibate His Glory, seek to know Him in truth and light, and look to Him as Lord and savior trusting Him with a future vision.

Pray, Observe, Apply.

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