Sermon Summary and Discussion Questions | "The Transfiguration"


This week, CJ pointed us to the drama of the Transfiguration text in Mark 9:2-13. In this passage we see the revelation of the concealed majesty of Jesus, the Son of God. Moreover, throughout this account Mark describes the Transfiguration of Jesus with a proliferation of Old Testament allusions. The mention of "after six days" likely alludes to Moses (Ex 24:1-9), again suggesting a new exodus is taking place. Also, the mention of "a high mountain" commonly refers to a place of revelation (e.g., Sinai). The appearance of Elijah and Moses seems to represent the prophetic tradition as a whole, which bears witness to the majesty and glory of Jesus as the Son of God.

Peter's response to make three tents for Jesus, Elijah, and Moses, may suggest that he thought the second exodus and God's kingdom had already fully arrived. However, God the father interrupts Peter's proposal by commanding him to "listen to" Jesus, the Son. This command likely alludes to the promise of a prophetic successor of Moses, whom the people should obey (cf. Deut 18:5). The Transfiguration shows the uniqueness of Jesus alone. Additionally, Jesus makes clear that the fulfillment of the new Exodus and Sabbath requires the suffering of both an Elijah-like figure and the messiah. He states that the return of Elijah (cf. Mal 4:5-6) has already come (in John the Baptist) and that the Son of Man must suffer (cf. Isa 53:3).

From this passage, CJ showed us that we can learn two things. First, we see Jesus' care for the disciples. His Transfiguration was for them and their comfort amidst their confusion. His passion prediction anticipates the ultimate act of love, his death on the cross. But, his Transfiguration also anticipates his victory over death and his resurrection. Secondly, this passage shows Jesus' care for us. Even though we were not there to experience the Transfiguration, Peter later tells us that we have a greater comfort and assurance, namely God's prophetic word (cf. 2 Pet 1:16-21).


Discussion Questions:

1. CJ mentioned that the narrative of Jesus' Transfiguration was one of the most popular stories of the Gospels but also one of the least understood. How did CJ's sermon help you better understand this narrative?

2. From this passage, CJ suggested that this text applies to us today as we contemplate Jesus' care for both his disciples and for us. How does this passage encourage you as you think about God's care and love for you?

3. This passage has a lot of allusions to the Old Testament. Why do you think Mark uses so many references to the Old Testament? How does this passage about Jesus connect both the Old and New Testament?