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24 Thu
The King and His Kingdom
[ Mark 9:1 - 9:13 ]
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."
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 enveloped 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.
9. As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus gave them orders not to tell anyone what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
10. They kept the matter to themselves, discussing what "rising from the dead" meant.
11. And they asked him, "Why do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?"
12. Jesus replied, "To be sure, Elijah does come first, and restores all things. Why then is it written that the Son of Man must suffer much and be rejected?
13. But I tell you, Elijah has come, and they have done to him everything they wished, just as it is written about him."

The Kingdom to Come (9:1)
The disciples have a completely different idea of the kingdom of God than the kingdom that Jesus is actually talking about. They are expecting an earthly kingdom that will be established with Jesus as an earthly ruler, so they are completely surprised when Jesus talks about dying and being resurrected and explains that His true disciples must be willing to suffer and take up their crosses. The disciples are short-sighted in their understanding of the kingdom of God. The coming of the kingdom of God that Jesus is talking about is not the result of a victory over the Roman Empire but over the kingdom of evil. He declares and guarantees this promise, which is fulfilled in the transfiguration.

The King Is Affirmed (9:2–13)
Moses and Elijah—arguably two of the most important prophets in Israelite history—both encounter God on mountains as an authentication of their status as true prophets of God. In the same way, the transfiguration is not so much the revealing of the divinity of Jesus, but the authentication of His status as a true prophet of God and confirmation and assurance of the promises He made—that He will truly defeat the forces of darkness and establish His reign. Moses and Elijah each prepared the way, but Jesus will finish the job and bring it to completion. In the end, Jesus death and resurrection will be the means by which the kingdom of darkness and evil will be overthrown and defeated.

- The kingdom of God is not about earthly bliss or minor adjustments in our life, but a clarion call to share in the sufferings of Christ. Do not be reluctant to respond—something greater is coming!

- Are you doubting, tired or weary from following Jesus? Find comfort and assurance in knowing that Jesus is the Christ—proven through the transfiguration and ultimately through the cross.

A Letter to
Jesus, thank you for being not just my Savior, but my King as well. You have brought me out of darkness and into light. Please help me to properly understand what Your kingdom is, and grant me the grace, strength, and courage to live in it. In Your name. Amen.
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