Mark Chapter Nine, Matters Of Life & Death...

In our study of Mark chapter nine, we learn of Jesus' teachings about matters of life & death. Everyone wants to know what happens after death and the best place to find the answers is in the words spoken by Jesus Christ. At the end of chapter 8, Jesus began telling His disciples of His coming death, burial and resurrection. Now, He will continue filling in details about what comes after death.

Mark 9:1

"And he said to them, 'I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power.'" NIV translation

Jesus had started to tell His disciples of the things to come including His death, burial and resurrection. Now, He speaks of the fact that He is going to show some of them what resurrection looks like. This verse has been misinterpreted from the beginning as the disciples did not even understand what Jesus was telling them. There are those who say that he was talking about the coming of the Holy Spirit and the Day of Pentecost but it is in this part of Jesus' teachings for a reason as we shall see.

Mark 9:2a

"After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone." NIV translation

We remember that, throughout the Bible, the number six is associated with work and the number three is associated with God's will. We see that Jesus waited six days (until the end of man's work) to take three of His disciples to see God's will for man displayed. Why did Jesus take those three disciples and not others? 

Were they super saints? The simple answer is that they were not super saints but quite the opposite as they were the weakest of the apostles. As we look back on these events, we can clearly see the grace of God put on display. This is the power that Jesus was referring to as man does not have the power to attain the kingdom through our work but only through His work (grace).

Mark 9:2b & 3

"There he was transfigured before them. His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them." NIV translation

The word "transfigured" comes from the Greek word metamorphosis which in modern terms is morphed. Jesus changed in front of their eyes and we see that the light that was inside Him shone out very bright and "dazzling white".  

Many people want to know what we are going to look like when Jesus returns and, here, we see the answer. He was showing the disciples what He would look like and we will be changed to be like Him when He returns.