Mark 9:2-8 - Listen to Him!
Jesus was not just a prophet in the line of prophets, but He's the chief prophet of God
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Read Mark 9:2-8
2 After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them. 3 His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them. 4 And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus.
5 Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” 6 (He did not know what to say, they were so frightened.)
7 Then a cloud appeared and covered them, and a voice came from the cloud: “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!”
8 Suddenly, when they looked around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus.
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Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 31
Q. Why is he called “Christ,”
A. Because he has been ordained by God the Father
and has been anointed with the Holy Spirit
our chief prophet and teacher
who perfectly reveals to us
the secret counsel and will of God for our deliverance;
our only high priest
who has set us free by the one sacrifice of his body,
and who continually pleads our cause with the Father;
and our eternal king
who governs us by his Word and Spirit,
and who guards us and keeps us
in the freedom he has won for us.
Jesus’s earthly life is usually described as His time of humiliation until His resurrection and ascension to heaven, which is then His exaltation. The transfiguration was a unique moment when a few of Jesus’s disciples glimpsed His divine glory. It is also a confirmation of His office as the chief prophet of God.
Mark mentions in verse 2 that “after six days,” the transfiguration occurred. Six days prior, Jesus was with His disciples in Caesarea Philippi, and Peter had testified that Jesus is the Christ (Mark 8:29). Then, on this mountain, Peter, James, and John saw Jesus speaking with two prominent Old Testament prophets, Moses and Elijah. Plus, Jesus radiates such a pure light, reminiscent of Moses’ encounter with meeting the Lord on the mountain. It's recorded in Exodus that “When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, his face was radiant, and they were afraid to come near him (34:30).”
Next, a cloud overshadowed them, just like the pillar cloud would descend over the tabernacle in the Israelites’ time in the wilderness to show God’s presence.
All these elements on the mountain point to the fulfillment of Jesus as the Messiah. The voice in the cloud confirms He speaks for God, “This is my beloved Son, listen to him.” This is divine approval that Jesus, the Son of God, would declare the Word of God to His people, fulfilling His office as a prophet.
At the close of this event, the other prophets disappear, and only Jesus is in front of them. Jesus was not only a prophet but the chief prophet and the one the other prophets prophesied of and pointed to (cf. Deut 18:15; Mal. 4:5).
Jesus would confirm His prophetic message throughout His ministry by performing miracles, making predictions of things to come, and preaching and teaching with authority. As we learned yesterday, He did not just quote Scripture but was an embodiment of it and fulfillment before their eyes. As He states within the sermon of the mount in Matthew 5:17, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”
The way Jesus spoke was different from an ordinary teacher or prophet. Taken at His Word, He cannot merely be another prophet in a line of religious prophets or a great moral teacher. Even today, the Father’s voice calls us to listen to what Jesus says throughout Scripture. As Heidelberg Catechism QA31 notes, He perfectly reveals God’s secret counsel and will for our deliverance to us. He shows us the power of God to save: “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ (John 1:17).”
The plan to rescue His people was made visible and fulfilled through the person and work of Jesus Christ. He is the prophet representing God to His people and God for His people.
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Jesus is our chief prophet and teacher, the Word who became flesh who revealed the glory of God full of grace and truth (John 1:14)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Jesus, as a prophet, spoke words of warning and promise. Listen to Him in whatever He tells you in His Word.
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED:
Read the New Testament in a year, a chapter a day - Hebrews 13