Mark 9:7-13
Then a cloud overshadowed them. A voice came out of the cloud and said, “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!” Suddenly, as they looked around, they saw no one with them but Jesus.On their way down the mountain, Jesus ordered them not to tell anyone what they had seen. They were to wait until the Son of Man had come back to life. They kept in mind what he said but argued among themselves what he meant by “come back to life.” So they asked him, “Don’t the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” Jesus said to them, “Elijah is coming first and will put everything in order again. But in what sense was it written that the Son of Man must suffer a lot and be treated shamefully? Indeed, I can guarantee that Elijah has come. Yet, people treated him as they pleased, as Scripture says about him.Jesus took Peter, James and John up to a mountain top where they saw him transfigured into his glory. They also saw Moses and Elijah. They received a special command from God, This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!” They’ve witnessed something that no one else in all of history has seen or ever will see and Jesus tells them to not tell anyone … until he comes back to life.And what is their reaction to this amazing revelation? They argue and debate whether Jesus was being literally or speaking figuratively. It is a debate that still goes on.

I read the Bible and accept it literally with applied reason. When Jesus walked on the water (Mark 6:48-51) I take that to mean he walked on the water and was seen by the disciples. It is a historical event. When Jesus said in Matthew 18:8-9 to pluck out your eye or cut off your hand if they caused you to sin, he was speaking figuratively. I apply reason here because your eyes or hands do not literally cause you to sin. Your eyes and hands do not operate independently of your will. It is your willful disregard of God’s will that causes you to sin.

PrayerPrecious God, center our hearts and minds on you and not let the Deceiver lead us away in endless debates and arguments. Guide our hearts and minds by your Holy Spirit to the things that are important. Amen.

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All content (except quotations) ©2019 Thomas E. Williams

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