And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, “This is my beloved Son; listen to him.” Mark 9:7
No one in Mark’s Gospel seems to understand who Jesus is. Let me be more precise, the only ones who seem to know who Jesus is are the demons! The demons say, “Jesus, we know who you are.” And Jesus immediately silences them. In Mark’s Gospel, as we walk through the beginning part of Jesus’ life and ministry, no one really seems to get and understand who Jesus is. Has anything really changed? People were coming from all over to find Jesus, but they all seem to get it wrong. They are amazed by the miracles. They want to see something extraordinary, but they don’t understand what that really means about who Jesus is.
That is why Jesus’ going up on the mountaintop with Peter, James, and John is so significant. Jesus appears to them with Moses and Elijah, He of whom all the Law (symbolized by Moses) and the prophets (symbolized by Elijah) testified. But there on the mountain, He is transfigured before their eyes and the voice of the Father bears witness of who Jesus is to the disciples. “This is my Son.” The disciples of any age still do not understand. We could never know anything about Jesus except what has been revealed to us by the Father in heaven. Apart from God revealing Jesus to us through the Word by the working of the Holy Spirit, we are no different than the world–left with only a wise teacher or a radical revolutionary.
But God the Father has indeed revealed His Son Jesus to us! He is more than a teacher, but true man and true God. He is God’s Son, the only one who pleases the Father. This means that He alone can be the sacrifice for sin because He is declared to be the acceptable substitute offered in our place. No one is capable of understanding this except those to whom the Lord reveals it. That is why in spite of the miracles, no one seems to get it in Mark’s Gospel. It is not until the cross, in His suffering and death, that the necessity of His being the true Son of the Father is revealed, for it is there at the foot of the cross that the Roman centurion confesses, “Surely this man was the Son of God.” For in Christ’s suffering and His death, His true identity was revealed to this man.
Prayer - O God, in the glorious Transfiguration of Your beloved Son You confirmed the mysteries of the faith by the testimony of Moses and Elijah. In the voice that came from the bright cloud You wonderfully foreshowed our adoption by grace. Mercifully make us co-heirs with the King of His glory and bring us to the fullness of our inheritance in heaven; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Fraternally in Christ,
President Lee Hagan