Notes On Mark’s Gospel (75)

“On Your Mark”

The way, the truth and the life!
The way, the truth and the life!


Listen to Jesus (Chapter 9 Verses 2-13)

This is a wonderful visual revelation of Jesus’ divine glory. The testimony of two or three witnesses is sufficient. So Peter, James and John are selected (Deuteronomy 17.6). These men had already testified to his divinity (Mark 8.29; Matthew 16.16), now they would have an unforgettable glimpse of that glory (2Peter 1.16- 18). The experience for John would be repeated (Revelation 1.13-15), and both he and Peter would testify again and again to the facts (2Peter 1.16; John 1.14). Jesus shone with heavenly glory (v3; Revelation 21.23). But why the appearance of these two Old Testament characters (v3)? Moses represents the law, Elijah Old Testament prophecy. Now the disciples conviction was that Jesus was the much promised Messiah spoken of in the Old Testament, by who? Yes, the law and the prophets, and here are their main representatives right before them, giving them further, deeper assurance of the truth they had believed concerning Jesus. The experience is too much for Peter, he just babbles somewhat incoherently (vv5-6). In Luke we are told of the content of the conversation between Jesus and these two prophets. The Cross!

Here we are instructed by the Father to listen, to his beloved Son, the Father’s Elect, chosen One. The servant of the Lord, Moses, gives us the same instruction (Deuteronomy 18.15-19). Then Jesus himself bids us to come to him, and learn from him, or listen to him (Matthew 11.28-30). The two or three witnesses (Deuteronomy 17.6)? Why listen to him? Because the One who would be our instructor is Divine. The confession of Peter (Mark 8.29), confirmed by the Father’s testimony here, seals it. The Father also puts his seal upon every word of Jesus (John 6.63), Divine wisdom, life, and peace everything we need, and cannot do without (Deuteronomy 8.3). The two Old Testament figures are removed (v8), and we are left with the solitary figure of Jesus, God’s last, final word to humanity (Hebrews 1.1-3). They have had the law (Moses), the prophets (Elijah), and now the Son, God has no more to say, if folk will not listen to, and learn of Jesus Christ, then they are sunk, finished as far as God is concerned (John 3.36). He must be honoured, respected, just as the Father (John 5.23-24). “There never was since the beginning any communication between God and men, save only by Christ; for we have nothing to do with God, unless the Mediator be present to purchase his favour for us” (John Calvin). Are you listening to Jesus?

(© James R Hamilton, written September, 1996)

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