Chapter 30

Jesus only
Mark 9:1-13 (ESV)


1 And he said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power.” 2 And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, 3 and his clothes became radiant, intensely white, as no one on earth could bleach them. 4 And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus. 5 And Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” 6 For he did not know what to say, for they were terrified. 7 And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, “This is my beloved Son; listen to him.” 8 And suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone with them but Jesus only. 9 And as they were coming down the mountain, he charged them to tell no one what they had seen, until the Son of Man had risen from the dead. 10 So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what this rising from the dead might mean. 11 And they asked him, “Why do the scribes say that first Elijah must come?” 12 And he said to them, “Elijah does come first to restore all things. And how is it written of the Son of Man that he should suffer many things and be treated with contempt? 13 But I tell you that Elijah has come, and they did to him whatever they pleased, as it is written of him.”


Mark 9:1-3
A glimpse of Jesus in his kingdom

Jesus promises that some of His hearers will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power. After six days, a glorious preview of His kingdom occurs on a mountain to Peter, James and John. Jesus is transfigured before them. He takes on some of His kingdom glory. His dazzlingly radiant clothes are intensely and exceptionally white. Christ’s transfiguration points to the greater glory of Heaven!

Mark 9:4-8
Elijah and Moses-but ‘Jesus only’

With the transfigured Saviour appear Elijah and Moses, talking with Him. Elijah represents God’s prophets and Moses God’s law, previously revealed through him. Together they stand for the Old Testament, later called the Law and the Prophets by Jesus.[1] Peter impetuously suggests that they make three tents, one each for Jesus, Moses and Elijah. He probably blurts this out in his scared confusion. Jesus says nothing. From an overshadowing cloud God the Father declares: This is my beloved Son, listen to Him. His eternal Son is His last word. Only Jesus has His final authority, fulfilling all that Moses, Elijah, and other Old Testament writers wrote or predicted about Him. The disciples no longer see anyone else but Jesus only. God the Father has confirmed the truth He just communicated. Jesus alone remains as His eternal Son. The whole Bible points to Him. We must trust Him as our Saviour, follow Him as our Lord, and listen to His voice through the Holy Spirit, as we daily read the Bible and hear it explained through clear preaching and teaching.

Mark 9:9-13
Warning and prophecy

They descend the mountain. Jesus forbids them to mention this transfiguration experience until after His resurrection. They obey but have no idea what Jesus means by His rising from the dead. They ask Jesus why the scribes say Elijah must come before Messiah suffers. Jesus assures them that the prophecy in no way changes the Messiah’s predicted suffering and death. As Messiah, Jesus has repeated that prophecy about His rejection, suffering, death and resurrection.

Jesus then implies Elijah’s predicted coming was fulfilled in John the Baptist. Although not Elijah himself, John came in what Luke’s Gospel calls the spirit and power of Elijah.[2]

In prayer we should follow the disciples’ good example of putting our questions to Jesus. He will answer us from the Bible. Those answers rarely come immediately. We need patience. Often it takes time to ‘click’!



[1]  .  Luke 16:16.
[2]  .  Luke 1:17.


Questions on Chapter 30
Mark 9:1-13 Jesus only.

A. How does the transfiguration of Jesus on the mountain fulfil the prediction that some will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God coming with power?   Mark 9:1   Mark 9:2-3

B. What do you learn from the fact that only Jesus remains after Elijah and Moses depart? What do Elijah and Moses represent?   Hebrews 1:1-2   2 Chronicles 21:12   Malachi 4:5   John 1:17   Hebrews 3:1-6   John 7:19   Acts 13:39   Romans 10:5

C. What good example do the disciples give when they are confused about understanding what Jesus has said?   Mark 9:11   Acts 17:11   Matthew 7:7-8   James 1:5

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