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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Since I Am Not Sermon Prepping Anymore

I thought I would take the next passage in Mark and just share some thoughts with anyone here who's interested. My normal process is to spend time during the week mulling over the passage and making some observations. Then, by the end of the week, I try to draw out some memorable principles that can illumine some life-change steps. Who knows how it will work here, but feel free to share thoughts along the way. Up first this week is Mark 9:2-13, the mount of transfiguration.

"���After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he 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. ��� Peter said to Jesus, 'Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters-one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.' (He did not know what to say, they were so frightened.) ��� Then a cloud appeared and enveloped them, and a voice came from the cloud: 'This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!' ��� Suddenly, when they looked around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus. ��� As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus gave them orders not to tell anyone what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead. They kept the matter to themselves, discussing what 'rising from the dead' meant. ��� And they asked him, 'Why do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?' ��� Jesus replied, 'To be sure, Elijah does come first, and restores all things. Why then is it written that the Son of Man must suffer much and be rejected? But I tell you, Elijah has come, and they have done to him everything they wished, just as it is written about him.'"

14 comments:

Robb said...

In Mark's telling of his story, Jesus is on the brink of beginning his march toward to Jerusalem which will culminate with the cross and empty tomb.

His disciples have been hapless at best, with Peter even aligning himself with Satan in the previous scene. Jesus has his work cut out for him getting his disciples to understand what real discipleship is, that it will lead to the cross, not just for Jesus but for them as well.

A said...

Dude, you have to go to the Fellowship website (www.fellowshipnwa.org) and download the talk Robert Cupp did on this passage two Sundays ago. They have podcasts available there. It was awe inspiring. I'd even say he abducted me. I thought about you throughout the sermon, and what we are about to do together. Cupp's perspective is very interesting, and one I had not thought of in relation to this event. I beseech thee brethren, take the time to listen to it. I'd be very curious about your thoughts.

Robb said...

Got it. I will listen to it today. Thanks!

Robb said...

Voices.

Peter's voice.
The Father's voice.
Jesus' voice.
The disciples' voices.
Jesus' voice.

A said...

Random thoughts:

I wonder how the disciples that didn't get to see it felt?

I wonder how hard it was not to say anything as commanded until after the resurrection?

I wonder how many times when things got tough in the following years, one of the three sat back and pictured what they saw that day, took a deep breath, and then said to themselves, "Ok, I can do this . . ."

Robb said...

I think I am going to like collabrative sermon prepping with you.

A said...

Hell yeah . . .

Robb said...

hell yeah?

I am not so sure. I've got to tell you about the latest McLaren book I've been reading.

A said...

Haven't you messed with my head enough in the last few months?

Robb said...

I'm just saying ... it is asking and answering questions I have been too scared to ask and answer ...

klasieprof said...

Robb...It is just hitting me. I"m bawling...I cannot imagine..what life is going to be like without hearing you speak. You better Freekin put your stuff on the internet.
honey..You have meant so much to me personally,Challenged me..encouraged me...I feel like Jack Nicholson when he said in a movie.."I am a better person for having known you."...You have made me be a better person, a better mom, wife, community advocate. You have given me insight for a community..bigger than I had already.
I love you dude. I will forever be glad God brought you and v. into my life.
Even if she doesn't have very big...ummm..you know...double portions...
D.

Robb said...

Thanks, Donna.


One of the things that impresses me about this passage is how what is true of Jesus on the inside finally pushes its way to his outside. To use the Clark Kent - Superman analogy I have used lately, it is like Peter, James, and John don't just see Superman, they get to be in the phone booth with him.

Robb said...

A suffering Savior is not incompatible with a glorious God.

This is an important lesson that Peter, James, and John need to learn. Peter has already rebuked Jesus for saying he was going to suffer and die. James and John are about to argue about what thrones they get in his kingdom. These three in particular need to realize that just because Jesus is the glorious God, the promised Messiah, does not mean that he will not also have to suffer at the hands of sinful men.

This is a lesson I need in my life. So often, I think that the godly path is the easy path. Seldom that is true. Often I think that if I do what God wants me to do, other "spiritual" people around me will be supportive. But often they oppose me. Suffering does not negate the glory of God, in fact, it enhances it.

The same Jesus who on a mountain was transfigured in glory before their very eyes would on a mountain be misfigured on the cross before their very eyes.

Robb said...

One other thought. It would be easy for us to assume that what the disciples see on the mountain is the point. After, they get to be eyewitnesses to divine glory. BUT, more important than what they see is what they hear.

This scene has the earmarks of an exasperated father. It is as if God says, "OK, you want to see something glorious? You want to get a taste of what it will be like? Fine. I'll give it to you. Now, just shut up and listen to Jesus."

(Read 2 Peter 1:12-21. Interestingly, Peter's recollection of this event centers much more on the voice of the Father from the Majestic Glory than the spectacle of Jesus robed in majestic glory.)

The disciples have been (and will continue to) pressing their agenda on Jesus and have not been carefully paying attention to what Jesus has been saying about the nature of his mission on earth. The Father raises his voice here and affirms the authority of his Son to be the one who lays out the agenda for his kingdom on earth.