Believe and Obey

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Jesus Changes, We Change

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A Revealing Transformation

The text this week is Mark 9:2-9.  This is the story of the Transfiguration of Jesus on the mountaintop.  It is an intense moment, especially for Peter, but also for us as we take in what is going on here.  Jesus is transfigured.  His clothes become a dazzling white, and Elijah and Moses appeared talking to Jesus.  Then God’s voice was heard saying “This is my Son, whom I love.  Listen to him!” (Verse 7).

This change in Jesus, and this word of God heard on the mountaintop is a further revelation of who Jesus is.  Jesus is not quite ready to have the disciples tell anyone until after He has risen.  This should not be surprising, as none of any of this makes sense unless there is a resurrection of Jesus.  It is this central fact that makes Scripture understandable.

However, we know how the story ends.  So, we should look upon this as another step in the Scriptural story of Jesus, that reveals a little more of who He is.  Since we already know how the story turns out, what are we to take from this, other than this tale simply being a part of the biblical narrative?

It’s About the Change

What I think is important here is the notion of change, or growth.  Yes, Jesus is God’s Son, and He is “one in being with the Father”, as the Creed states.  Yet, Jesus is changed by being on the mountaintop in the presence of the Father.  The implication is clear for us.  We too can be expected to change.  When we hear God’s good and gracious word, we too are “transfigured”.  God has taken us just as we are, but He has not kept us as we were.  The Gospel penetrates our hearts, and we are simply different than before.

What do we do with this new changed self?  We clearly do not stay up on the mountain, as joyful as that may be.  No, we are to live our lives in the valley, or the streets in today’s language.  We are to take our changed selves and live each moment in thanks, praise, and witness to the one who changed us.  Jesus shows us that change is coming for us, as it did for Him, if we but trust in Him and believe in the word.  Then we can boldly come down from the mountain and serve one another the way God intends fully human beings to do.  That is once we believe, we are changed, and then we can obey.

Praise Be to God

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