Friday, February 11, 2011

An international Sunday school lesson commentary
For Sunday February 13, 2011

(We must acknowledge who JESUS is)
(Mark 9:2-13)

In the biblical Greek, the word used for “affirmation” is “bebaiosis” (beb-ah-yo-sis), and it means “to be steadfast and sure in one’s assertions”. GOD wants us to understand and believe in our hearts that JESUS is HIS only begotten SON, and that no person can enter into the kingdom of Heaven, unless they first, acknowledge WHO HE is, and accept HIM as their personal LORD and SAVIOR. When Peter pondered the question from JESUS, Who do you say that I AM? (Mark 8:29), he already knew that all human categories failed to describe just who JESUS was.
Six days following their visit through Caesarea-Philippi, JESUS’ “Transfiguration” on Mount Hermon (Mark 9:1-10), was staged by GOD, to help place “affirmation” of JESUS’ majesty upon the hearts of men, for all time. GOD spoke from the clouds that day to Peter, James, and John, to forever affirm, to them, and to us, that JESUS truly is the only way to GOD. And HE used the images of Moses and Elijah, the Law and the Prophet, two towering figures in Jewish history, each of whom, no man had seen die, and they were there to bear witness to this distinctive act of GOD, and to represent all of the resurrected Old Testament saints who had gone before them.
And when GOD removed the images of perhaps the two greatest men the Jews had ever known prior to JESUS, with the exception maybe of Abraham, HE was divinely sending a message from above that not even they could hold a candle to JESUS, WHO is, our LORD. From that moment on, JESUS was to be the only ONE that they should listen to. And as I said in the last lesson, for Peter, James, and John, they, in a very special sense, had themselves, become witnesses to the Glory of CHRIST. And now, they had the story of that Glory embedded in, and etched upon their hearts for the remainder of their lives, to use as a testimony to all mankind.
The voice of GOD that came to the ears of the three stunned disciples on that mountaintop overlooking Caesarea-Philippi that day, was the same voice that was heard by the crowd of people who were present at JESUS’ baptism in the River Jordan some time earlier (Mark 1:9-11). These two divine events represent GOD’s personal testimony of JESUS CHRIST’s legitimacy, and the legitimacy of HIS three-year ministry here on earth. In both instances the Heavenly FATHER not only affirms JESUS’ divine Sonship, but HE also testifies of the depth of HIS OWN matchless love for HIM.
On that day, GOD successfully impressed upon Peter, James, and John that they should listen to and obey the commands of the SON, and, in doing so, they would automatically be obeying the FATHER WHO sent HIM. GOD wanted there to be no mistaking that Moses and Elijah could be on an equal plane with JESUS. This Heavenly affirmation confirmed that JESUS held all authority over both the Law (Moses), and the Prophets (Elijah). And after their mountaintop experience had ended, it was now time to descend and to get about the business of defending and advancing the Kingdom of CHRIST.
Through the seemingly hopeless situations that we as a people now find ourselves in on a regular basis, GOD, through HIS unparalleled mercy and benevolence, sent us HIS only begotten SON, so that whosoever believes in HIM, will not perish, but rather, will obtain an everlasting life in Heaven, with HIM. JESUS was sent to provide us with a living example of how we need to live our lives here on earth, in order to achieve and maintain a Heavenly peace, even now, as we wait on CHRIST’ return.
Through JESUS, we can establish a deeper relationship with GOD the FATHER than people could have ever imagined before HE came. GOD wants us to follow JESUS’ command, and examples, and that is all that HE asks of us. And just as HIS, now famous, Transfiguration demonstrates, JESUS really does hold all power in Heaven, and, on Earth, because it has been given to HIM, by GOD the FATHER.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander

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