Message: Reading though Mark 9 I could really see the struggle in disciples’ understanding of what Jesus was trying to prepare them for. He revealed his glory privately to Peter, James and John in a powerful transfiguration with guest appearances from Moses and Elijah and the voice of the father speaking to them through a cloud. This is clearly a moment they didn’t understand, but yet Peter (probably trying to cover up his awkward lack of understanding) recognized that it was a significant moment so he felt the need to say something. Afterward, Jesus firmly instructed them to tell nobody about this encounter… until after he was risen from the dead. Verse 10 tells us that they kept this to themselves and discussed amongst themselves what “rising from the dead” meant. Jesus had told them about this more than once and here again in Mark 31 he was telling them that he was going to be betrayed my men, he would be killed and that after three days he would rise. Verse 32 tells us that they didn’t understand this statement but they were too afraid to ask Jesus about it. Jesus had to have known because he responded to their thoughts constantly, and even redirected them with teaching in response to it. This happened in verse 33 when he asked them what they were arguing about, and then after their guilty silence he began teaching them that being the greatest meant being the servant of all. There are stories all over the place where he healed and performed miracles, and then he told people not to tell anyone about it. They almost never followed his instructions, so I always wondered why he did this. He even silenced demons who recognized him and forbid them from blowing his cover. What I pick up from these patterns is that Jesus was making landmarks for them to remember. He KNEW that they didn’t understand it then, and he didn’t expect them to so he didn’t try to explain it to them. He knew that after the resurrection things would make more sense and they would remember all of these landmarks along the way that he had been pointing out.
Command: Stop trying to understands the things that God does in our lives. We just won’t because we don’t have the proper context of understanding for it to even begin to make sense! Jesus does not expect us to understand things right now. They are landmarks for us to look back on later on.
Promise: Jesus will reveal everything we don’t understand in his perfect timing.
Warning: Jesus does not expect us to understand what we see and when we try to speak to the things we don’t understand, we sound like Peter did on that mountaintop when he blurted something out simply because he was afraid and he felt like the moment called for words. We all have these tendencies, but I have observed a pattern with people who try to figure out the “why” and “how” behind everything in their lives. They struggle and struggle to make sense of what they see and they think their way into an explanation. As soon as they think they have it figured out they speak it out and have this tremendous mountaintop moment where they feel like everything is clear and makes sense to them. As quickly as that moment comes, something else happens that completely busts open their understanding and they crash from that mountaintop moment right back down to complete and utter despair. We weren’t intended to understand everything right now, and there is plenty in the word of God for us to understand right now.
Application: I am fascinated with learning and understanding, but this reminds me of the importance of staying grounded in the truth of the word. There are lots of things to think about and wonder about. Lots of things to speculate about. Things we will never truly understand until the full context is revealed to us. We don’t see the full context of the picture where we are now, so God is placing landmarks in our lives that won’t make sense now, but will light up with understanding when the timing is right.