In this passage, we learn that on the way down the mountain, Jesus spoke to the disciples of the fact that he would rise from the dead. But we also know from biblical context that the disciples did not understand all that Jesus foretold about his death and resurrection in the days leading up to his crucifixion.
We know this because when it actually happened, they wandered on roads at night in great disorientation and distress, and they locked themselves away for fear of the repercussions of having followed Jesus. They grieved the loss of Jesus, and they were utterly amazed when he appeared again among them.
And so we are challenged to ask ourselves: Will we believe in a God who says things we don’t understand? Will we trust that the royal order of reality puts God’s knowledge far above our own, that God can proclaim as true things we cannot fathom at all and those things can still be true anyway?
Jesus told the disciples he would rise from the dead. God told Abraham, a man one hundred years old, that he would be made into nations and that kings would come from him. The psalmist wrote that every person in all existence will one day worship God, even as history and the news of our times would have us believe otherwise.
What will we choose to believe, a royal order designed and set in motion by a God whose knowledge and capacity is beyond our reckoning, or our own human sight and understanding? The invitation is clear. We’re invited to follow it today.
Dear God, I know that your ways are not my ways, but I often forget it. Help me to trust in your knowledge above my own. Help me to hear the truths you are speaking to me. Amen.
We cannot earn God’s love. Going back to the time of Abraham, God’s blessing has been based on faith. God chose Abraham for a covenant not because Abraham was perfect but because he believed God. The psalmist reminds his audience of their ancient relationship with God and expresses the hope that it will continue through future generations. In Romans, Paul reinforces the centrality of faith. Following the law was not bad, but no one should believe that following the law could earn God’s favor. Some of Jesus’ disciples share with him an experience that mystifies them. Trusting God means surrendering everything in faith.
Read Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16. What is the basis of your relationship with God? How comfortable do you feel in it?
Read Psalm 22:23-31. Where do you find hope in troubling times?
Read Romans 4:13-25. How easily do you live in God’s grace? In what areas do you find yourself “reckoning” your righteousness?
Read Mark 9:2-9. Do you ever find it difficult to believe in things you may not fully understand? What helps you to trust in God?
Respond by posting a prayer.
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