What does the white appearance of Jesus show us?

What does the white appearance of Jesus show us?

Mark 9: 2-3 “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.”

What does the white appearance of Jesus show us?

Daniel 7:9 “As I continued to watch: Thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took His seat. His clothing was white as snow, and the hair of His head like pure wool. His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze.”

Jesus’ clothes were changed! And we are seeing Daniel’s prophetic image of the Ancient of Days (an eternal title for Jesus).
In the middle of teaching the disciples of his suffering, of calling them to the cross, of surrender and coupled with the challenge of resisting Satan’s temptation for an easier route, Jesus is transfigured before them.
He takes off his earthly revelation and the divine remains. Heaven is on the mountain. The big picture.
If you are facing the road marked with suffering today it is important you see the transfigured Jesus meaning it is important to see the big picture that one day you will realise fully you were never of this world. So your suffering makes sense or at least is bearable because you were only passing through.

John would see Jesus’ transfigured body again, this time in a vision.

Revelation 1:14 “The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire.”

In the first century intense persecution of the church it looked like everything was finished. John was isolated on the island of Patmos not knowing truly how things were but realising patient endurance is a virtue that would be needed.
If you are facing uncertainty today and you feel alone then it is important you see the transfigured Jesus meaning it is important to see the big picture that Jesus was, is and is to come, He is Alpha and Omega and that He is the same yesterday today and forever. You may have many questions and you may not understand many things but you know one thing is certain – Jesus is alive!

What does the white appearance of Jesus show us?
Jesus is from another world.
Jesus is eternally alive.

There is one more ….

Matthew 28:3 “His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow.”

This is not Jesus but an angel and believed to be Gabriel. Sitting on the tomb stone he had rolled away and with clothes like that of Jesus. Here is eternity sitting in the garden. It would seem the clothes of heaven are white. Perhaps a staff uniform kind of thing!
The women had arrived to try and get in not realising that Jesus had already broke out! A staff member was on hand dressed in white as snow to explain what had happened.

If you are facing the end today, the obstacles are too huge for you and you realise that you cannot change your situation, then it is important you see the angels appearing like the transfigured Jesus meaning it is important to see that Jesus can roll away any stone even that impossibility in front of you. Heaven is never far from earth.

So what does the white clothes appearance of Jesus show us?
Jesus is from heaven and came to make a way for us to go there too.
Jesus is alive and is to be relied upon in an uncertain world.
Jesus is all-powerful, nothing can stop Him and heavens armies lay testament to that, dressed like Him and declaring His glory they call us too to join the ranks and put on new garments of praise!

Who are your mountaineering colleagues?

Who are your mountaineering colleagues?

Mark 9: 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.”

They were together in the room with Jesus at the raising of Jairus’ daughter. In the garden of Gethsemane they were taken to accompany Jesus whilst he prayed. Here they are led together up a high mountain. Three times, Peter, James and John are brought together by Jesus. It was not of their own choosing.

Often we choose our friends to walk with. But often we choose friends we like or are similar to us. Recently someone said to me they want to be accountable to people they know, they meant people they liked! Jesus chose these 3 disciples, they didn’t choose themselves based on their affection.

Who is walking with you? Perhaps God has already brought to you people that journey with you. If so, praise God! If not, then let me try and help ….

Peter would be restored after his denial of Jesus and be the main leader of the Church at Pentecost. He was known as the ‘rock’.

James, son of Zebedee, was probably older than his brother John, he was reactionary, at times wanted to call fire down on those against them. His enthusiasm for the gospel resulted in him being the first of the 12 disciples to be martyred.

John, would outlive everyone, he was there at the cross and was writing late into the first century having amazing visions on the island of Patmos where he was exiled under the persecution. He was known as the one Jesus loved the most.

So here we have Peter the strong one but who denied Jesus. Make sure who you walk with are broken people who walk with a limp, who are not ultra-victorious but vulnerable but know how to make a come-back.

We have James with his passion but who doesn’t last long. Make sure who you walk with are people with fire in their bones, energetic and enthusiastic so much so they are willing to pay the highest price and lay their lives down for the cause.

We have John who returns to the cross even though had turned away, who knows He is loved by God and can see supernatural things, images, prophetic insights into the present struggle. Make sure who you walk with are people with such love and insight into the things of God.

Pray for such people today, they may be nearer to you than you realise.

 

 

 

Mountaineering

Mountaineering

Mark 9: 2 “After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone.”

Jesus led them up a mountain that was high. It was tough, tiring and it took time!

That’s what we know about mountains.

We also know:

  1. The experience of sacrifice e.g. moments of fasting and giving. God called Abraham to a mountain range to kill his son, Genesis 22:1-2
  2. The experience of phenomena, e.g. the glory on the mountain Moses was called to in Exodus 24:12-18. We have known many manifestations of God’s Spirit.
  3. The experience of prayer and guidance, e.g. the prayer mountain of Jesus in Luke 6:12-13. We have found guidance from the periods of prayer we have spent with God.
  4. The experience of divine call and purpose for living, e.g. the mountain of the great commission in Matthew 28:16-20. And today …
  5. The experience of transformation, e.g. the glory of Christ on the mountain of transfiguration in Matthew 17:1-3. We have known the transformational work of the Spirit in our lives.

All 5 of these mountain experiences were tough, tiring and took time. But it was worth it in the end.

Are you climbing a mountain today?

 

 

Some of you will see it happen!

Some of you will see it happen!

Mark 9:1 “And he said to them, “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see that the kingdom of God has come with power.”

What was Jesus talking about? Many have commentated! Some say the First Advent; others the fulfilment of Daniel 7 and the final judgment at the Second Coming; others Pentecost and still others the Transfiguration.

The Message: Then he drove it home by saying, “This isn’t pie in the sky by and by. Some of you who are standing here are going to see it happen, see the kingdom of God arrive in full force.”

I am not going to write about what Jesus was actually referring to because as you can see above others have done that and still we don’t fully know for sure. But I choose to write about the fact that Jesus gave a promise to some of them standing there, they were “going to see it happen”.

Intercessors and their prayer breakthroughs; Pastors and their churches; Evangelists and the lost; Missionaries and the broken; Worship leaders and their songs; the list is long ….. You are going to see it happen, some of you.

If you are carrying hope and vision in your heart for God to provide, come in power, change things around, open heaven, open doors etc then there are times when you are going to need to hear this simple message … You are going to see it happen, some of you.

We all need cheering on! We all need repurposing, refreshing, reviving and all the other re-words we need!

You are going to see it happen, some of you. Not everyone. For some it was never in the plan of God anyway and for some in every generation they die in faith holding on to faith for what their eyes of faith have seen.

But for some … maybe you, you are going to see it happen!

Full force, full measure, the kingdom of God into your situation and life!!

Now that should pick you up and get you holding on again to the dreams of your heart.

 

 

Your cross and your discipleship

Your cross and your discipleship

Mark 8: 34 – 38 “Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.36 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? 37 Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”

It is your cross. It is on the road of your discipleship.

For Jesus it was his call, the mission of his Father. It was his purpose and destiny.

Your cross is where only you can go.

There are times when God will not be experienced and known until you agree to follow Him on your own. Discipleship can be encouraged in groups but it is always an individual walk.

Your cross will cost you.

Decisions will not cost you but discipleship will. But dead men don’t have any rights anyway. You cannot get to the altar of sacrifice with conditions attached. You have to go in silence like a lamb to the shearer.

Your cross will take you to where you have never been.

Disciples are always empowered by the Spirit when they take up their cross. (You will receive power when the Spirit comes on you and you will be my witnesses …)

 

 

Your cross and your friends

Your cross and your friends

Mark 8: 31-34 “He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again.32 He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. “Get behind me, Satan!” he said. “You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”

Your cross only has room for you.

Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him

Sometimes your friends can take you aside and away from the path of discipleship and become angry with you for the road you have chosen.

But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter

Sometimes you have to take your eyes off your friend and focus on others and become angry over the obstacles that are coming against you.

He rebuked Peter. “Get behind me, Satan!”

Sometimes you have to put your friend behind you because their genuine human concern for you stands in opposition to the concerns of God. Even the most genuine concern can mask a work of Satan which needs to be opposed.

 

Who is Jesus?

Who is Jesus?

Mark 8: 27 – 30 “Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, “Who do people say I am?” 28 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.” 29 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Messiah.” 30 Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him.”

 

They are in the vicinity of Caesarea Philippi in Mark’s account. It was a city full of Greek-Roman culture and importantly the worship of a pantheon of gods and goddesses. Caesar was worshipped there with many statues of him and also Pan, who was half human- half goat like.

It was in this place that Jesus chose to begin to reveal His identity which would be fully disclosed several days later at the Transfiguration. The disciples respond favourably to the question of Jesus. But it wasn’t correct. The people thought of Jesus well but they were wrong. He isn’t John the Baptist, Elijah or one of the prophets; He is far more than these.

Where you are today in your situation, who do people worship? Who are the important identities surrounding their life? Who are the shaping influencers? Who do they think Jesus is?

But then the most important question. In that place of influence, of thought and worship, who is Jesus to you?

You are the Messiah/Christ. In Matthew’s account we know Jesus said this had been a revelation from heaven. But what we also know is that it would be quite some time before Peter came into a full realisation of what the Messiah had come to do and who He actually was. Though Peter had a correct view of the title of Jesus he didn’t fully understand what that meant or the implications it had for him as a follower. He certainly wasn’t the Messiah that the Jews had all been waiting for. They had a very different view of the Messiah. They still do.

What about you?

Who is Jesus? You can answer that question perhaps. But what does this mean for you as a follower?

 

 

Spit

Spit

Mark 8: 22-26 “They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. 23 He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, “Do you see anything?” 24 He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.” 25 Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. 26 Jesus sent him home, saying, “Don’t even go into the village.”

Jesus spits on the man’s eyes, but only once.

This miracle takes place in 2 parts. But why? It has something to do with spit.

For the Jews, spit was unwholesome and unclean. Leviticus 15:8 “If the man with the discharge spits on anyone who is clean, they must wash their clothes and bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening.”

In Deuteronomy 25:9 spitting is an insult, “…his brother’s widow shall go up to him in the presence of the elders, take off one of his sandals, spit in his face and say, ‘This is what is done to the man who will not build up his brother’s family line.”

So when Jesus, the Jewish rabbi spits on his eyes he is following Jewish culture in saying this man is unclean and worthy of nothing but insult. The man receiving spit is reminded what a sinner he is, he is nothing in the eyes of the Jewish world.

Maybe the man receives it this way but perhaps not. For him, from a Gentile culture, spit means the opposite. Spit has healing properties. We grew up on this notion. As children what happened when we ran to our mothers with a grazed knee? She spat on the knee and rubbed it and we felt better instantaneously! For him, perhaps he is thinking, oh good a face full of spit from the healing rabbi, this should do it!

Whichever culture you fall into Jesus demonstrates that He can work within that framework.

For the Jewish culture – So you think this is what spit is? Well I have come to turn judgment into mercy.

For the Gentile culture – So you think healing comes from man? Well it doesn’t actually bring about a complete miracle. The man sees people walking around like trees. Not what he had hoped for.

Once more … but this time no spit, just the laying on of hands.

This time there has to be no judgment and no healing properties found in man.

This time an example that true healing comes from God alone.

Often we walk out our Christian faith through the cultural filter we have been brought up in and we don’t ever think that this amazing cultural belief and practice passed down generationally could be wrong!

The Walk

The Walk

Matthew 8: 22-26 “They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. 23 He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, “Do you see anything?” 24 He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.” 25 Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. 26 Jesus sent him home, saying, “Don’t even go into the village.”

Jesus led him outside the village –

This man was taken by his friends to a man he had only heard about. They begin to beg Jesus for him. He feels so unworthy and sinful as he waits to see if Jesus will agree to their request. Suddenly Jesus takes his hand and he is walking again but this time with the Saviour. There is something comforting when someone takes your hand. A dying patient is held by a reassuring hand, a child is secure when held by the hand, lovers hold hands, a friend holds your hand when you are in despair, and there are many examples like these. As he walks with Jesus the noise of the village slowly disappears, maybe there are just a few people, perhaps disciples, he knows they are there, but actually there is only one person he is focusing on and that is the one who has his hand. Jesus did not want this man to be in the village. He led him out. He also didn’t want him to go back there after the miracle. He insisted he didn’t go back but went to his home. Jesus gives us an insight into the reason in Luke’s gospel, “Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.” Luke 10:13

“For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” Isaiah 41:13

“See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.” Isaiah 49:16

  1. Let Jesus take your hand; trust Him.
  2. Enjoy the walk; let your senses be aware of the new journey.
  3. Come away from what you have known; be ready for change.

 

YEAST

YEAST

Mark 8:14 – 21 “The disciples had forgotten to bring bread, except for one loaf they had with them in the boat. 15 “Be careful,” Jesus warned them. “Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod.” 16 They discussed this with one another and said, “It is because we have no bread.” 17 Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked them: “Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? 18 Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember?19 When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?” “Twelve,” they replied. 20 “And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?” They answered, “Seven.” 21 He said to them, “Do you still not understand?”

I love the Message translation: “Why are you fussing because you forgot bread? Don’t you see the point of all this? Don’t you get it at all?”

Here is a picture of the disciples falling out with each other because no one had thought of bringing lunch. All they had was one loaf. They had all been there at the feeding of the 5,000 and the 4,000 which started with a small amount of food and which resulted in basketfuls left over. But now, later, it is like they had forgotten that whole experience as they argue and discuss what they should do for lunch. Jesus was on board their boat. He is always enough. But for some reason they hadn’t understood that the miracles Jesus did for others, he could do for them.

Throughout the Bible yeast is represented as sin. The celebrating of the Passover was to be done with the Feast of Unleavened Bread with the removal of yeast from their houses for 7 days. It all pointed to Jesus being the Bread of Life who was without yeast/sin. On the boat Jesus warns of the yeast of the Pharisees and of Herod. The disciples begin to argue again about them having no lunch because clearly Jesus was referring to their food, wasn’t he?

No.

In short:

  • The yeast of the Pharisees and of Herod is the hidden sin that pervades throughout their life. On the surface they appear religious and successful but underneath are attitudes and motives that are not true and that are failing. Eventually they will consume the house they are in causing it to collapse.
  • This yeast can cause even the disciples not to see or hear what is right in front of them. They can see the miracles and hear the teachings but fail to see who Jesus is and He is right there in the boat with them.
  • For us today, don’t let the unseen attitudes of the heart, the yeast, block you from recognising the hand of God in your life. He is right here with you, in your boat. Every miracle you have ever known that He has done for others, He can do for you now. So don’t worry about how little you have or what the future may hold. He is here, the Bread of Life, with you!