Mark's account of Jesus' transfiguration (Mark 9:2-9) comes right after Jesus taught His disciples that he would have to suffer, die, and rise again (Mark 8:31). With that in mind, consider the following:
1) The voice from the cloud tells Peter, James, and John, "This is my beloved Son; listen to him" (Mark 9:7). Why is it important for the disciples to listen to Jesus as He predicts His death and resurrection? How have you benefited from the disciples listening to Jesus?
2) Jesus chooses to reveal His glory to Peter, James and John only after he begins to teach them that He must suffer and die. When we consider the cross and Jesus' death why is it important for us to also remember that Jesus is revealed to be God's Son and to have God's glory? How would things be different for us if Jesus was only an ordinary person and not God's Son?
3) As they come down from the mountain Jesus instructs his disciples to tell no one about His transfiguration until after he has risen from the dead. The disciples, however, were confused, "questioning what this rising from the dead might mean." Why was it so hard for them to accept that Jesus, the Messiah, had to suffer and die? Is it hard for you to accept that we too may likewise need to suffer because of our faith (John 15:20)?
1) For what possessions, accomplishments, or skills do you receive the most compliments?
2) How much time and effort did you spend training to achieving these possessions, accomplishments, or skills and/or how much time and effort do you spend currently maintaining them?
3) How much time and effort did you spend this past week training your faith or exercising your Christian witness? This can certainly include time spent going to church, praying, or reading your Bible, but it can also include time spent helping a neighbor or even going to your job if you recognize that all your work is ultimately a service to the Lord. (Colossians 3:23: "Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men")
4) What about this next week would look different if you were to make a conscious choice to train your faith like an athlete training for the Super Bowl or the Olympics?
5) As our faith grows stronger and as we grow closer to our Savior we often find God's peace, comfort, and guidance helping us in the midst of even the most difficult times and areas of our life (although sometimes it can be really, really hard to see it). In what particular area of your life would God's peace, comfort, and guidance be most helpful this coming week?
I invite you this coming week to pray that God would be at work in you and in the areas of your life where you need Him most. Then I invite you to watch carefully for God to work in you and in your life! It's amazing how God often serves us through the helping hands of others without us recognizing that He is the one at work. Likewise, God often gives us peace and comfort in even the most difficult of times when we keep our hearts and minds focused on Him (Philippians 4:7). This doesn't mean that all our problems will simply disappear, but there is comfort in the fact that God knows what we are going through and that He still loves and cares for us, a fact he proved to us through the life, death, and resurrection of His Son.
Daily Reflection Questions:
(1) In what particular areas of my life today have I given Jesus authority?
(2) In what particular areas of my life today have I failed to give Jesus authority?
(3) In what particular areas of my life today do I need to remember that Jesus has the authority to forgive my failures and shortcomings and that He has used that authority to forgive me?
Jesus said, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him." — John 3:16-17