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December 6, 2020 3:00 am
“Only Jesus!” is the latest message in our series, The Gospel for Busy People.
Read: Mark 9:1–10
The transfiguration was a significant point in Jesus’ life and ministry.
The Bible teaches there will be a bodily resurrection; our body, our personality, everything we were will live again!
“And they were speaking about his exodus from this world, which was about to be fulfilled in Jerusalem.” —Luke 9:31
It’s Jesus only who can save and keep us.
Friends come and go . . . Jesus comes and stays!
Read: Mark 9:20–24
“Anything is possible if a person believes.” —Mark 9:23
It’s not more mountaintop experiences we need in our Christian life . . . it’s more day to day obedience, walking by faith, not by feeling.
Additional Scriptures Referenced
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Everybody Greg Laurie here. You're listening to the glory podcast and my objective is to deliver hopefully compelling practical insights and faith culture and current events. From a biblical perspective to find out more about our ministry. Just go to our website harvest.org so thanks for joining me for this podcast, but the title of my message for our time together now is simply only Jesus and him to be looking at Mark chapter 9 again the title is only Jesus, let me start with the question have you ever said the wrong thing at the wrong time. I have to admit I've had my share bloopers over the years as a preacher you know I've almost been preaching for 50 years now and that over the years I've made mistakes as I been speaking for instance, one year I was speaking on Peter and Jesus and the conversation they were having and what I meant to say was Jesus said to Peter. Peter do you love me and instead inexplicably I might add, I said Jesus speaking keepers tequila.
The keepers were that come from, but it even gets worse.
One time I was giving an evangelistic message and at the end. I said to the people. Let's P I meant to say. Let's pray.
Thankfully, no one took me up on it and I prayed very quickly. I guess my most well-known blooper and everyone claims to have been there when I did it. I don't think they were all there, but I was. It was one of the first times I preached I was a young man, probably around 18 years old I was speaking on Ephesians 6 and I was talking about spiritual warfare and the fiery darts of the wicked one, you can probably figure out what happened. Instead of saying fiery darts of the wicked one that sting James, I instead said watch out for the diary starts of the wicked one the other. That was hard to recover from that all anyone remembered from that message.
Speaking of saying the wrong thing at the wrong time.
Years ago I was back in North Carolina and I've been a part of the Billy Graham evangelistic Association board for over 25 years now and this is back when Billy was still with us before he went to be with the Lord and does so after the meeting my friend Dennis a good genie and would often call me on the phone and athlete how did it go and he did perfect.
Billy Graham, imitation, and does so. That night they was pretty late. I got a call on my phone and I pick it up and and Dennis says hello this is Billy Graham how are you while I'm I'm good, Billy, and I know it's Dennis so I'm I'm kind of flipping the channels on the TV and and then Dennis and Billy's voices. I was thinking a great deal about what you said to me earlier to not then I would like you to help me with my messages and I'm thinking yeah yeah I'm literally saying yeah whatever whatever.
Then it dawns on me. I did say to Billy that night.
Earlier hey I could help you out with your messages if you like, and he's the only one who would've known that Dennis did know that.
Which means I was blowing off Billy Graham so that was definitely saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. We've all done it in one way shape or form. Well, here's a story now before us in Mark chapter 9, when Peter definitely said the wrong thing at the wrong time.
This happened when Jesus was transfigured, worries shine like the sun with Moses on one side and Elijah on the other. This happened on the mountaintop and then they had to descend down to a valley for a rude awakening. And I think it we whatever we as Christians, we would always live on the mountaintop, we would always be in the state of perpetual blessing in good times and perfect health and no conflict but those times in the mountaintop's preparedness for what is awaiting in the Valley and when I see the Valley I'm talking about the hardships of life.
The reality of life and will to talk about that now. In this text. Let's look at Mark chapter 9 I'm reading from the new living translation and here's what we see Jesus 100 said tell you the truth, some standing here right now will not die before they see the kingdom of God arriving great power. Six days later, Jesus took Peter, James and John, and led them to a high mountain to be alone. As the men watched Jesus was transformed. His clothes became dazzling white far wider than any earthly bleach could make them and then Elijah and Moses appeared and began talking with Jesus. Peter exclaimed it's good that we are here let's make three shelters as memorials one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.
Mrs. first. He said this because he really didn't know what else to say, for they were all terrified, then a cloud overshadowed them in a voice from the cloud said this is my dearly beloved son, listen to him. Suddenly when they looked around Moses and Elijah were gone and they saw only Jesus with them. You might underline those two words.
Only Jesus and they went back down the mountain and he told them not to tell anyone what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead, so they kept it to themselves, but they often ask each other what it meant when he said, rising from the debt. This transfiguration this moment where Jesus shine like the sun is out a significant point in his earthly ministry. It's at the half way point of a very difficult journey.
So Jesus was looking back to the cradle and is looking forward to the cross and he's giving to Peter, James and John a glimpse of glory or a taste of heaven.
We could call it a preview of coming attractions look at when he says, first one I tell you the truth, some standing here right now will not die before they see the kingdom of God arriving a great power so the transfiguration was a sneak peek of what is to come for all of humanity.
When Christ returns.
One day as King of Kings and Lord of lords and sort of like what we used to see when we went to movies. Remember when we actually went the theaters and that they would play all those trailers for all the upcoming films and a lot of times the best bits were in the trailer. Sometimes it trailer was better than the film itself.
Now there are some trailers that I see that I knew were not only bad trailers but the film itself was bad.
I don't want to name names with cats anyway will move on and it's interesting.
It's a film about cats because you know I don't love that much. I don't hate them. I just think dogs are better. We all know that's true don't wink anyway moving on. So here is Jesus being transfigured before them, and Moses and Elijah are right next to him. Now this is the amazing thing he's shining so brightly. Have you ever looked directly at the sun. I highly recommend you do not do that. But who would not be amazed that such a display of glory. And if that wasn't enough to see Jesus shining like that they have Moses and Elijah show up and listen to this, we think the miracle is Jesus shine like the sun that's not the miracle. The miracle is Jesus did not shine like the sun all the time. Remember he was God. God walking among us. And when he walked among us.
He did not void his deity, but he did bail it as a Christmas song says veiled in flesh the Godhead see hail incarnate deity. Jesus never cease to be God.
He always was God. But he sort of restrained that glory from showing on me.
It would've been, hard to hang out with them if he was shining like the sun. All of the time because it's hard to hide. Life isn't it back to movie theaters.
Someone pulls out a cell phone in their checking their messages are looking at their social media feed when the movie is playing. Your eyes are immediately drawn from the screen to the phone because you're drawn the light of months or years ago my son Jonathan who was around nine years old had a little videogame. I gave him it was a Nintendo 64. Remember those and also he played a lot. In fact he wouldn't stop playing it. So I put a little TV in his room with this game system and I said no Jonathan you need to shut it off, it's time to go to bed and he said okay and then a little time past about an hour actually cause my walk by his room and there's like a blue light coming out from beneath the door. I opened the door of their Jonathan play this little game. I said Jonathan I told you to stop playing that game. He said that I can't help myself. I think I'm addicted incentive addicted. He said he was done addicted. I thought that was so funny. There was no punishment so to just turn it off so now fast forward many years, Jonathan has his own daughter Allie. He got her an upgraded version of a modern version of a Nintendo system, but this one was a handheld version, so she did needed TV. He told her to put it away and then he walked by her room, he saw some light coming out. He opened the door and she's under a blanket you can see her silhouette under the blanket plane became sick.
Funny how these things repeat themselves right. It's hard to hide light and Jesus is just shining like the sun.
He could've done that it will when they came to arrest him in the garden of Gethsemane to get it just turn on the light in their faces would've melted like that scene from Raiders of the lost Ark.
Remember that scene but no, he didn't do that, he bailed that light from showing. So the miracle is not that he shine like the sun.
The miracle is that the insurer like the sun all the time and who was with them. It's Moses and Elijah talking with Jesus the Moses and Elijah occupy unique positions in the Old Testament of the Bible speaks of the law and the prophets. You couldn't find a better representative of the law than Moses, the great lawgiver who received the 10 Commandments from God on Mount Sinai, and you couldn't find a better representative of the prophets and Elijah the miracle working prophet who called fire down from heaven and stopped it from raining and they're having a discussion.
Now here's an interesting thing.
How did Peter James and John know it was Moses and Elijah was Moses Dunning. There were 10 Commandments and was a logical and fired and I don't think so did the of little nametags like you get when you go to an event you have to write your name hi my name is Moses. No, I don't think so, but somehow Peter, James and John were able to recognize that that was Moses and Elijah on each side of Jesus which shows that in glory were gonna recognize each other. Sometimes evil as the question will be good. They heaven will we know one another and my responses. Do you think you'll be more stupid and heavens, and you are on earth, you'll know more in heaven.
Unless and so the answer is yes you will know one another and heaven. And here's also a reminder that the Bible teaches there will be a bodily resurrection, does that mean means that our body are personality everything that we are will live again. That means that you will see your loved ones who have died in faith in the ground of the coven before you again, but they'll be in a perfect state and you'll pick up where you last left off when Jesus was crucified and then he rose again from the dead. He greeted the disciples with the words PC with you almost like a guys house is going well. Your your Jesus risen, but he sorta picked up worry less left off and that's how it will be when you see your loved ones again because they're not only a part of your past. There also are part of your future. What an amazing sight. This was a big consider this back Moses at this moment have been dead for around 1400 years and Elijah have been gone for around 900 years, but here they are together.
Other having the discussion. What were they talking about Luke's Gospel fills in the detail here about the conversation. Luke chapter 9 verse 31 says they were speaking about his exit is from this world when she was about to be fulfilled in Jerusalem. I'm sure Moses had quite a few things to say about in Exodus because only go to the book of Exodus, which means departure.
It's a story of how God used Moses to lead the Israelites out of the bondage of Egypt through the wilderness through the parted Red Sea and into the promised land. And you remember as a part of that story, God's judgment came upon the firstborn of Egypt and the Lord told Moses to instruct the Jewish people to take a lamb slay the lamb and apply the blood on the top of them. The sides of their doorpost and God's judgment would pass over and that is still celebrated today as the Passover feast and so this is all going to be fulfilled because everything that Passover lamb was pointing to is fulfilled in Christ. Christ was going to go die for the sins of the world he would fulfill the fact that he would be the Lamb of God who would take away the sin of the world in his blood would be shed for this sin of all of humanity. Remember he brought this topic up earlier at a place called Caesarea Philippi and Peter thought he lost his mind and Peter began to rebuke Jesus when he talked about his impending death, say that's crazy you can't do that.
But here's some another will listen to Jesus and understand it. Moses understood, as did Elijah. As they spoke of these incredible things that were about to happen for this is the reason Jesus came. He was born in a manger and we love to celebrate that the beautiful little baby. There, but don't forget he came with the purpose and their purpose was to go to the cross and die for the sin of all of the world. So this is an amazing moment. You don't to Mrs. Jesus shining like the sun.
Moses and Elijah on each side, talking about his crucifixion and what did the disciples do what it Peter James and John do what they basically fell asleep again. Luke fills in the detail here.
Luke 932, says Peter and those who were with them were heavy with sleep and when they were fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men stood with him.
By the way, that's not the only inappropriate time that Peter, James and John fell asleep.
They also fell asleep in the garden of Gethsemane of this is that moment that Jesus went into the garden and prayed and according to Dr. Luke sweat, as it were great drops of blood and some doctors believe that was the first century description of what we now call Kemah trig process and that's a condition that when you're under intense pressure you perspire blood not pureblood but your blood and your perspiration are mixed together so maybe that's what Dr. Luke was talking about but Jesus had a request for Peter, James and John, which was basically stay with me. Just be with me. You know sometimes when a person is suffering.
They don't need a sermon. They just need a friend.
That's all. The Lord us were just just be with me in your world with the Lord. And then he said to them, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak and he comes back to them after this anguish.
After the suffering. After this prayer to the father and they fell asleep. You know sometimes we fall asleep as well. Heard about a burglar who was robbing the house and he heard a cop car go by, so he took cover on the floor and then he fell asleep and the homeowner got up that morning and saw this burglar asleep on his floor and called the cops. They came and woke the guy up and said body. This is your wake-up call. I wonder sometimes in the church. We need a wake-up call.
I wonder if some of you want to be right now. Need a wake-up call spiritually because you're spiritually asleep. That is why in Romans 12.
Your pulse gives me Romans 13 the apostle Paul says it's high time to awake out of our sleep, because the night is far spent the day is at hand.
Let's be Christ men from head to foot and give no chance for the flesh to have sling wake-up, it's a wake-up call. Will they wake up and there they see Moses and Elijah, and of course Jesus and now Peter says the wrong thing at the wrong time. Verse six. It's good we are here and I love this detail that sounded. He said this because he really didn't know what else to say when you don't know what to say don't say anything. There's an old proverb, not a biblical one, but it has some truth which goes as follows. Better to be silent and thought a fool than to open your mouth and dispel all doubt. It's good we are here says Peter: let's let's memorialize this place about 3/10 one for Jesus, one for Moses and one for Elijah.
Have you ever said something you wish you could take back. For instance, if your driving on the road you break the speed limit, you're pulled over by a police officer in California, there would be the CHP California Highway Patrol, but wherever you are. You're pulled over by cops never say the following things to a police officer was pulled you over a number one man you must be going 120 miles an hour to keep up with me or don't say this sorry officer.
I didn't realize my radar detector was not plugged in. Don't say that about this one to the officer wait. Are you one of the guys in the village people know don't don't don't say that. Ever. Okay, this 10 I saw your lights were on and I just thought you were on your way to get a donut. Don't say that to a cop by the way, I found that on a website posted by cops for cop so I hope I didn't offend any police officers right now. Recently I actually was pulled over by an officer was on the island of Maui.
We have a church there called harvest Kuma money and the speed limits are very slow in Maui. There like 12 mph it seems that way, honestly.
So I'm driving I did. The guy was feeding at all in this couples me over.
Ironically, after the guy who's a local there said slow down their sculpture sometimes that fine people for speeding. I slowed down and he sped up slightly, so I wasn't going 12 mph I was going 13 1/2 mph and we pulls me over. The lights are flashing the comes up in. I said hi officer who was I speeding yes you were your speeding.
Can I have your driver's license and so forth. So I give it so many he came back and I said will officer on the I'm from California. I didn't know and he goes yeah a lot of people from California by fostering the speed limits. I understand you're just doing her job. I'm sorry and I didn't try to get out of it because what was going to give you a warning to yes thank you Lord. So you know when you're with a cop, just tell them the truth are so tired of people lying to say yeah well sorry and you're just doing your job.
That's all they're trying to do. But Peter says it's good we are here that's the operative word here. Hey Lord this is blessing central. We love hanging out with you and Moses and Elijah basking in your glory and let's forget all this crazy talk about going to Jerusalem and dying. Let's stay here and now Peter gets a rebuke, not from Jesus. What from the father in heaven would give her seven then a cloud overshadowed in a voice from the cloud said this is my dearly loved son listen to him. Suddenly when they looked around Moses and Elijah were gone and they saw only Jesus with them. The father steps into the conversation and effectively says Peter of my son says he's going to go to Jerusalem to suffer and die. That's what's going to happen and you need to believe him and of a UV if he tells you to take up your cross and follow them you need to do it now. Moses and Elijah are gone. And there's just Jesus and that's all we need. Only Jesus said, Jesus and the law and the prophets you see animal sacrifices are no longer needed. We don't need a high priest to step in and represent us to God any longer.
Jesus is our high priest, Jesus is the Lamb of God because of the death and resurrection of Jesus. You and I have open access to the father 24 seven you can approach him through Christ. It's an amazing thing.
It's Jesus only is going to save you now Jesus clutched a plus church tradition or Jesus plus moral living, not the US should of moral living, but my point is Jesus is the one who saves you. He does the work and then as a way of honoring him and thanking him. We want to respond by living a godly life, but it only Jesus. Jesus only because sometimes, frankly, friends will disappoint you. Sometimes even family will disappoint you, but the Bible says in Proverbs 1824. There is a friend that sticks closer than a brother and their friend is Jesus pleasant friends come and go but Jesus comes and states and if you basking in your life. He's not going to leave you and is not Jennifer CQ you have his word on that because only Jesus can heal a broken heart. Only Jesus can give you the strength to go on when it's getting hard. As David wrote in Psalm 23 yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil for you are with me. That's how we get through the valleys of life.
That's how we get to the storms of life. That's how we get to the hardships of life.
We realize were not alone.
But God is walking with us through it. Shadrach me shack in the Bendigo discovered that they want to their fiery furnace and there was 1/4 person with them that the king said look like the son of God.
I believe Jesus was walking with those three young teenage Hebrew boys when it's all said and done, it's only Jesus when you're on your deathbed. It's only Jesus who will save you and it's only Jesus that you will stand before so another dissenting from this mountain top. This place of mega blessings to face a crisis to face the conflict in the valley if you will, and they're going to realize that not only Jesus can save them. But only Jesus can overcome the devil go back to Mark chapter 9 and on the reverse is 20 to 24 so there was a father who art a demon possessed boy. He brought his boy to the disciples asking for some help, but they were not able to help this man or this boy sorcery picks up in Mark chapter 9 verse 20 they brought the boy to Jesus the demon saw Jesus in a once held the boy and his power. The boy fell to the ground with spit running from his mouth Jesus as the boys father. How long has he been like this. The father said will from the time he was a child.
Many times it throws them into the fire and into the water to kill them if you can do anything to help us take pity on us and Jesus said why do you ask me that the water was faith can do all things at once and father cried out and said with tears in his eyes, Lord, I have faith, help my unbelief powerful story. Now we come from the mountaintop to the Valley and crisis hits often after the mountaintop there is the Valley going back to the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness. When that happened that happened after the father spoke another time. Remember, Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River by his cousin John the baptizer and the father said this is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased. In the spirit of God came upon Jesus in the form of a dove, and we read immediately he went into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. So after the dove came the devil a lot of times after the blessing comes the challenge after the blessing comes the temptation. We should not be surprised when those things happen. Notice that as Jesus approaches this demon possessed boy. The devil effectively tightens his grip verse 20 says the demon saw Jesus and once held the boy in his power. Listen to this.
When you seek to share the gospel with someone expects Satanic opposition your entering into a time of spiritual warfare. Remember in the parable of the sower.
Jesus said this order went out the sow seed, some seed fell on the roadside and the birds ate it. He said these are they that hear the word of God and Satan comes immediately to take it away. So the devil attacks and were trying to reach people so this boy was coming closer to Jesus and the devil wants to stop him from coming his forefather is at his wits end and he says to Jesus in verse 22. If you can do anything to help us take pity on us and the Lord is a very strong reaction to this a good verse 23 Jesus is. Why do you ask me that the one who was faith can do all things effectively. Jesus is saying what you mean. If I can if I can help you. Course I can. Don't forget I was just transfigured with Moses and Elijah. Don't forget, I walked on water and I healed a blind man and I raised a person from the dead. If I can of course I can. I can handle this. But here's what he's saying you need to have faith right now.
It's a very good idea for us to remember God's faithfulness to us in the past were facing trouble in the moment because we say all God forgot about me God's abandoned me know. Yes, it I love how when you read Psalm 107 and reflects on the faithfulness of God to the nation Israel, and it talked about how the Lord delivered them from the bondage of Pharaoh, how the Lord fed them in the wilderness with manna how the Lord brought them through the Red Sea and then the refrain that is stated over and over again is all dead men would praise the Lord for his goodness and his wonderful works to the children of men, so they wrote it down.
I encourage you keep a journal and write down how God has answered your prayers and then the next time you're facing the challenge reflect back on God's faithfulness to you in the past which will remind you. He will also be faithful to you in the present and the future because Jesus is the same yesterday today and forever. See this man's faith was weak because he put his eyes on his problem.
Instead of putting them on the Lord. The same happens to us when we forget God's word to us. You see the way you build your faith is by reading the word of God. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God, then you will apply.
So that's why we need to know the Scripture, and memorize the Scripture and then Jesus says in verse 23. Anything is possible if a person believes a man have faith right now and I love the honesty of this man's statement in verse 24, with tears in his eyes. He says Lord, I have faith, help my unbelief that that's an honest prayer isn't to just say, Lord, I believe, but my faith is not perfect and I I have unbelief at times and we all have unbelief at times.
We all have lapses of faith, at times, well of momentary doubts this man was honest and guess what Jesus meant him more than halfway and answered the man's prayer in the healed the child. Yeah, I would be nice if we could stay on mountaintops would knit no more problems no more troubles, but we all have to come and live in the Valley of life. The reality of life, but God will be with us in those times, because really those mountaintops are preparing us for reality. It's not necessarily more mountaintops we need in the Christian life. It's more day-to-day obedience or walking by faith and not by feeling there is coming a day in the future when there will be no more temptation no more devil, no more suffering and this is sort of a sneak preview of things to come, but Christ will return to this earth and establish his kingdom. Remember when Jesus was born in a manger. It was so he could die on the cross for your sin, because were separated from the Lord by our sin. Remember Moses and Elijah were having an in-depth discussion with Jesus about his death and why that was so important and there were encouraging him no doubt on that day for him to go through with this. Think how hard it was for Jesus to take the cross and carried to the streets of Jerusalem after he had already had his back ripped open with a woman with an even more to go hard it was for Jesus to bear all the sins of the world see that is what he was contemplating in the garden of Gethsemane being God.
He knew what was ahead, he knew we would have to dig all the corruption all this sin upon himself and he did not want to do it and that is why he said to the father. If it is possible, let this cup pass from me. Nevertheless, not my will but yours be done. But he did.
He went on with that Eddie accomplished it.
It died on the cross for your sin and rose again from the dead and now he offers you the ultimate gift and it's the gift of eternal life. You can reach out and accept this gift you can receive this gift and you can be forgiven of all of your sin. Would you like that to happen. Jesus, who died on the cross and rose from the dead stands at the door of your life right now and he knocks and he says if you hear his voice and open the door.
He will commit. Would you like Jesus to come into your life would you like him to forgive you of your sin. Would you like to receive this gift of eternal life is a yes I would would Roy do you do it in prayer. The Bible says that we will call upon the name of the Lord. We will be saved. So in a moment I would like to lead you in a prayer, a prayer that you could pray along with me where you would be saying to God I need Jesus in my life. I need my sin forgiven. I need a fresh start in life.
I want to know with confidence that one day I will go to heaven, and if you will pray this prayer with me and mean it from your heart. God will hear your prayer and God will answer your prayer. This can be not just a game changer.
This can be a life changer for you right here right now if you want Jesus to forgive you of your sin if you want to go to heaven when you die if you want your guild taken away. Pray this prayer with me. You could even prayed out loud if you like.
Just pray these words. If you would please Lord Jesus, I know that I'm a sinner but I know that you're the Savior who was born in the manger who died on the cross and who rose from the dead that Jesus come into my life.
I choose to follow you from this moment forward.
Thank you for hearing this prayer in answering that in Jesus name I pray, amen. Everybody Greg Laurie here. Thanks for listening to our podcast and the learn more about harvest ministries.
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