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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Tuesday, July 19, 2016
Today’s scripture reading:
Jesus took the disciples to either Mount Hermon or Mount Tabor. A mountain was often associated with closeness to God and readiness to receive his words. God had appeared to both Moses and Elijah on mountains.
Jesus was not a reincarnation of Elijah or Moses. He was not merely one of the prophets. As God’s only Son, he far surpasses them in authority and power. Many voices try to tell us how to live and how to know God personally. Some of these are helpful, many are not. We must first listen to the Bible, and then evaluate all other authorities in light of God’s revelation.
It was difficult for the disciples to grasp the idea that their Messiah would have to suffer. The Jews who studied the Old Testament prophecies expected the Messiah to be a great king like David, who would overthrow the enemy, Rome. Their vision was limited to their own time and experience.
They could not understand that the values of God’s eternal Kingdom were different from the values of the world. They wanted relief from their present problems. But deliverance from sin is far more important than deliverance from physical suffering or political oppression. Our understanding and appreciation of Jesus must go beyond what he can do for us here and now. (NLT)
Mark 9:2-13 – Six days later Jesus took Peter, James, and John to the top of a mountain. No one else was there. As the men watched, Jesus’ appearance changed, and his clothing became dazzling white, far whiter than any earthly process could ever make it. Then Elijah and Moses appeared and began talking with Jesus.
“Teacher, this is wonderful!” Peter exclaimed. “We will make three shrines—one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” He didn’t really know what to say, for they were all terribly afraid.
Then a cloud came over them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.” Suddenly they looked around, and Moses and Elijah were gone, and only Jesus was with them. As they descended the mountainside, he told them not to tell anyone what they had seen until he, the Son of Man, had risen from the dead. So they kept it to themselves, but they often asked each other what he meant by “rising from the dead.”
Now they began asking him, “Why do the teachers of religious law insist that Elijah must return before the Messiah comes?”
Jesus responded, “Elijah is indeed coming first to set everything in order. Why then is it written in the Scriptures that the Son of Man must suffer and be treated with utter contempt? But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and he was badly mistreated, just as the Scriptures predicted.”
There he was transfigured before them. His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could beach them. –Mark 9:2-3 (NIV)
John Fischer (Washington) titled his story “BLEACHED BRIGHT;” here is a portion of John’s story:
“. . . Jesus is on the mountain with his dearest friends. His appearance and clothing are changed; he glows in glorious light – almost too bright to look at. And God speaks out of a cloud, affirming love for Jesus.
“When we spend time studying scripture, a noticeable change comes over us as well. God’s love can shine through our troubles, and we can carry that assurance to others by sharing our experiences of God’s transforming love.”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – God’s love makes us light for the world.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, make us bright with the light of your love and compassion so that we may share your love with others. Amen.
To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
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