“After six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up on a high mountain by themselves to be alone. He was transformed in front of them. . .” (Mark 9:2 HCSB)
Computers and the world-wide web offer us tools we can us to enhance our understanding of the Word of G-d and help us in our ministries. For years I’ve received and enjoyed Our Daily Bread. It is a monthly pamphlets containing devotionals by various staff writers of a ministry in Michigan, USA. Our Daily Bread is also available, updated daily, on the internet at http://www.rbc.org/odb/odb.shtml .
The same ministry, RBC Ministries, has pastor resources at http://pastor.resourcesforyourministry.org/ . The sermon outline titled “Mountain of Glory; Valley of Need” caught my attention this morning. It is an expository on Mark 9:1-28 in two parts. The background for the sermon introduces the scriptural connection between a mountain and a need waiting in the valley below. This sermon is based upon a book, Mountains and Valleys, by G. Campbell Morgan. Some examples of mountains and valleys are: after Moses ascended Mt. Sinai, he descended into the valley to face a people in need of discipline; Y’shuaJesus gave the Sermon on the Mount and a very needy man with leprosy waited in the valley below; in the transfiguration story, the glory of the Mount is followed immediately by a great need in the valley below—a demon-possessed boy and his desperate father who hopes for deliverance that the nine other disciples of Y’shuaJesus are unable to give.
The author of this sermon outline takes us through the transformation providing some interesting points about it with some supporting details. The following are key points: 1) The Experience; 2) The Appearance; 3) Celestial Visitors; and 4) The Suggestion. Furthermore, the outline author points to various “affirmations” of the identity of Y’shuaJesus as Messiah. This question is one that is put to the disciples, as told in the preceding chapter of Mark. “Who do people say I am? Who do you say I am?” In the conclusion to part one, we are told: “We need time away from the demands of the ministry to commune with the Lord of glory. It is the only fitting preparation for ministry.”
I don’t think the outline is meant to provide a sermon-in-a-can for us. It is, however, a great way to begin our own thinking process, and it provides references to help us out. For instance, I came to the following conclusion from reading this outline: During the times in which we are refreshed, there is a tremendous communion with Y’shuaJesus, and His identity as Messiah is affirmed to us as well as our identity in Him. It is a transformation of seeing Y’shuaJesus in a different, holy way. Y’shuaJesus isn’t the man we’d seen before. He is elevated into the heavenly realm, made pure and shining white. He is neither the baby in the cradle nor the man dying on the cross. He is G-d. And we stand before Him.
As we too make this connection, this communion with the Apostles who stood on the Mount with Y’shuaJesus, another transformation occurs. It is us who are transformed in the way we see ourselves. We are elevated to a heavenly status, too. We are in the company of angels and martyrs and saints. We are included in the people of G-d, with our names written in the Book of Life.
Finally we are transformed in another way as well. We now see others differently than before our elevation with Messiah. We were in the valley before coming to the Mount. There in the valley were needs. Desperate fathers, demonized sons, poor, outcasts. All were there. But we didn’t see them. We didn’t have the eyes. Then we stood on the Mount with Y’shuaJesus. He was transformed. We saw Him anew. And we, too, were transformed. We come down the Mount and we see the need around us. And now we are empowered by the Messiah to meet that need.
Let us climb the Mount and be transformed with Messiah. Let us see Him anew. Let us be changed, too.
Lord Bless, Keep, Shine. . .