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“This is my Son…. Listen to him!”

February 22, 2023
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Daily Scripture

Mark 9:1-10

1 Jesus continued, “I assure you that some standing here won’t die before they see God’s kingdom arrive in power.”
2 Six days later Jesus took Peter, James, and John, and brought them to the top of a very high mountain where they were alone. He was transformed in front of them, 3 and his clothes were amazingly bright, brighter than if they had been bleached white. 4 Elijah and Moses appeared and were talking with Jesus. 5 Peter reacted to all of this by saying to Jesus, “Rabbi, it’s good that we’re here. Let’s make three shrines—one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 6 He said this because he didn’t know how to respond, for the three of them were terrified.
7 Then a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice spoke from the cloud, “This is my Son, whom I dearly love. Listen to him!” 8 Suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus.
9 As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them not to tell anyone what they had seen until after the Human One [or Son of Man] had risen from the dead. 10 So they kept it to themselves, wondering, “What’s this ‘rising from the dead’?”

Did You Know?

Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of the Christian season of Lent. Click here for information about the ways Resurrection will mark this special day at all locations, including “anywhere.”

Daily Reflection & Prayer

Jesus usually looked like other people. On this day, “his clothes were amazingly bright, brighter than if they had been bleached white.” This “light show” wasn’t random, but a preview of God’s kingdom coming (verse 1). It braced Jesus and his disciples to face the cross (the totally counter-intuitive way to the kingdom). Why would Mark include Peter’s inane idea in verse 5? “Early Christian tradition claims that Mark wrote down the apostle Peter’s memories.” * It’s likely Peter told this story himself.

  • The light, the vision of Moses and Elijah, the dazzling white clothes–all were impressive. But the deepest impression came from the voice that said, “This is my Son, whom I dearly love. Listen to him!” With ups and downs, the disciples obeyed that voice for the rest of their lives. What does it mean for you to listen to and obey Jesus today? Are you willing to do it?
  • Peter said they should stay on the mountain and build three shrines. Mark said Peter’s foolish suggestion came “because he didn’t know how to respond.” But Jesus led them off the mountain, to the hurting people waiting for him. Are there times, in worship or at a beautiful retreat site, when you wish you could just stay there? What forces lead you back into the “real world”? How can you keep God’s presence with you, even off “the mountaintop”?
Prayer

Lord Jesus, so often I just want you to listen to my plans, my wishes, my dreams. Grow in me a spirit willing to obey the divine command: “Listen to him!” Quiet my demands and wishes when I need to listen to you. Amen.

GPS Insights

Shannon Starek

Shannon Starek

Shannon Starek serves as the Director of Discipleship at Resurrection Downtown. She loves to travel and has been to 49 states, 11 countries and lived in Vancouver, Canada for grad school! When not gallivanting all over the world, she lives in Liberty with her husband, Aaron, and two sons, Owen and Porter.

I don’t know about you, but often when I experience something amazing, I don’t want to let go of it. I want to recreate it. I want to hold on to it. I want to experience it again. And I want others to experience it too.

In high school I was part of a Christian retreat called Happening. It completely transformed my life and my understanding of God’s grace. Afterwards, I wanted everyone to experience what I had experienced! I invited my friends, got them registered to go, and couldn’t wait for the next weekend retreat to come. I was so excited for them to encounter God the way that I had.

But here’s the thing–they didn’t experience it the same way I did. I learned that we can’t replicate our personal experiences with God and expect someone else to receive it in the same way. That’s not the way God works.

In today’s passage we see Peter struggle in the same way. He has witnessed God, had a literal mountaintop experience. And how does he respond? By wanting to build a shrine, make it last, keep the holy encounter there. But again, that’s not the way God works.

God is on the move and the powerful experience of God can rarely be replicated or held on to. So may we have hearts open to experiencing new and holy encounters with God while also holding those experiences with open hands for God to continue to move in our hearts and the hearts of others.

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
References

* Suzanne Watts Henderson, Introduction to Mark in The CEB Study Bible. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2013, p. 65 NT.