Affirmation is important to the human mind and heart. While faith demands a trust that can’t always see things we would like to see (Hebrews 11:1), the Lord frequently gives us affirmation of things he has revealed to us, which in turn gives us encouragement, direction, and clarity along the journey of life. Sometimes those things are obvious, sometimes not. But God is always gracious to give us a glimpse of his presence and signposts to guide our walk each day.
- How has God affirmed his presence in your life this week?
READ THE WORD: MARK 9:1-13 (ESV)
1And he said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power.”
2 And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, 3 and his clothes became radiant, intensely white, as no one on earth could bleach them. 4 And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus. 5 And Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” 6 For he did not know what to say, for they were terrified. 7 And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, “This is my beloved Son;[c] listen to him.” 8 And suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone with them but Jesus only.
9 And as they were coming down the mountain, he charged them to tell no one what they had seen, until the Son of Man had risen from the dead. 10 So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what this rising from the dead might mean. 11 And they asked him, “Why do the scribes say that first Elijah must come?” 12 And he said to them, “Elijah does come first to restore all things. And how is it written of the Son of Man that he should suffer many things and be treated with contempt? 13 But I tell you that Elijah has come, and they did to him whatever they pleased, as it is written of him.”
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- What affirmations were given in this passage, and what do you see being affirmed?
- Peter, James, John, and Jesus were on the mountain for this event. How do you see the disciples encouraged and affirmed by what they experienced?
- In what way(s) was Jesus affirmed in this story? Why was that significant to Jesus at that moment? Consider this in light of verse 12, where Jesus described what was about to happen to him.
- What are you going through right now, and how would seeing who Jesus is help you have courage, faith, hope, or perseverance?
- For further reading, consider 2 Peter 1:16-21, where Peter described the events of this story and its meaning in his life and ministry. What impact do you think his affirming experience in Mark 9 had on Peter’s writing and on his life? How can this encourage us today?
RESPOND TO GOD
During Jesus’ earthly ministry, the disciples were given a front row seat to his work and divinity. It took awhile for the disciples to fully understand who he was and to grasp his ways. I love God’s faithfulness and how he constantly reminded them—and us—who he is. In today’s passage, the fearful disciples got a glimpse of the majesty and glory of Jesus, and it changed their lives forever.
- Take a moment to thank Jesus for his divine power and for his desire to allow us to participate in his incredible plan.
- Confess any fears you may have about God’s direction for your life. Ask God for wisdom to move beyond those fears in steps of faith.
- Ask God to give you eyes to see his glory, power, and character.