Have you ever been a part of something that only a select few were involved in? And then, you’re told not to tell anyone about it. These moments can be life changing, transforming, awe-inspiring. Well, Peter, James, and John experienced one of the most transformative events in history.
After Peter declares Jesus as Lord, Jesus takes Peter, James, and John up on a mountain where no one else was with them. Mark chapter 9, verses 2-4 say, "There Jesus was transfigured before them. His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them. And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus.” These three disciples were in shock. They had seen Jesus go through something they haven’t experienced before and heard God’s voice. Transfigured comes from a Greek word meaning “to change in form,” or “to be transformed.” Before them, the Son of man was transformed and his clothes shown exceedingly white. This white could be thought of as white light. Throughout the Bible, light is associated with the presence of the Lord. Jesus had been in the presence of the Lord. The presence of the Lord changes us.
After all of this took place, Peter, always a man of action, began to propose a plan on how to take care of Elijah, Moses and Jesus. Then, the voice of the Lord literally interrupted him saying, “This is my son, whom I love. Listen to Him!” God interrupted Peter’s plans to tell them all that they needed to listen to what Jesus had told them and what He would tell them in the future. These men had to learn how the heavenly kingdom worked in contrast to how they thought the Messianic kingdom would work. After that, Jesus told them to not tell anyone about this experience. I cannot imagine trying to keep that one under wraps.
Jesus goes on to heal a demon-possessed boy in front of them through the power of prayer. He predicts His death again and shares with the disciples that the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven is a servant of all. They learn that those doing God’s will in the name of Jesus are on the same team. All of these lessons are a part of what it means to be in the Kingdom of God.
Mark chapter 9 ends with a warning against falling into temptation. We read the warnings found in Matthew 18 that "if your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better to enter life maimed than with two hands and be thrown into hell." This is not a literal statement. Rather, it is Jesus using hyperbole to show that we need to do everything we can to protect ourselves from sin.
We ourselves are to be transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit working in our lives daily. This means that we will go through struggles but that these struggles can produce holiness in us. Verse 49 shows that we will be made salty through fire. You will be made salty through persecution and suffering. Once you are salty, you can lose your saltiness. That means we need to constantly be feeding ourselves God’s word and spending time in His word. Additionally, in order for us to make the world salty, we have to interact with the world. For salt to make food salty, it has to touch the food it is making salty. We have to engage with the world wisely so that the power of God can transform them. Praise the Lord that we can all be transformed by God’s power!