Daily D – Mark 9:1
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.”
The power of the Russian military is on display in Ukraine right now. The weapons of war are unleashed on non-combatants like women, children, and aged and infirm adults attempting to flee the fighting. Residential buildings and hospitals are destroyed along with their inhabitants. This is not the first time President Putin has done this sort of thing. If he is not stopped now, it will not be the last.
When people think of power, they often think about the ability to wage war. This can be large-scale conquests like Russia is attempting now, or it can be personal exertion over individuals, families, coworkers, or companies. Many popular television shows indulge in the nexus of power plays. They show powerful people attempting to gain and deploy ever-more power. The lead characters of the stories alternate between the roles of protagonist and antagonist.
The most powerful man who ever lived said his kingdom was coming in power. Then he demonstrated it.
Jesus took Peter, James, and John “up a high mountain where they were all alone,” (verse 2). Peter, who had recently scored a good, solid 50 on a quiz (8:27-33), was there and his awakening understanding of who Jesus was stretched to the max. John was there and he would again one day years in the future have another experience like this along with an assignment to write what he saw (Revelation 1:9-20). James, who sooner than the others would join Jesus, Moses, and Elijah in that great cloud of witnesses, was there (Acts 12:1, 2).
Once Peter’s eyes adjusted and his heart stopped pounding quite so much, he experienced what life is like in a place of perfect peace. He liked it. He wanted to stay (verse 5). No conflict, no trouble, no worry, no need. Verse 8 begins with a word characteristic of Mark’s writing style. “Suddenly, when they looked around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus.” Where they had seen the two greatest characters of the Old Testament representing the Law and the Prophets, where they were engulfed in a cloud of glory and heard the voice of our Father in heaven, now they saw only Jesus.
If you find yourself in a place or a position where suddenly all you have is Jesus, please know Jesus is more than enough.
Sooner than Peter, James, and John would have liked, they returned to the chaos below. They meet up with the other disciples who were in the big middle of an argument with teachers of the law. A demonized boy lay in the middle of the crowd. Jesus stepped in and brought peace to the boy, his father, his disciples, and the argument.
The presence and power of Jesus solve every problem.
Jesus then told his disciples what was coming. He came down from that mountain to finish the task of saving our souls. He would peacefully resolve the condition separating us from our Father in heaven. He was going to die. He was going to beat death to death.
The disciples then engaged in an argument among themselves about who was the greatest. I wonder if this was because the nine who did not join Jesus in mountain climbing insisted they were just as close to Jesus as Peter, James, and John? Or maybe Peter was a wee bit uppity. Either way, Jesus peacefully resolved their conflict for them (verses 33-37).
Jealousy popped up next (verses 38-41). John exercised a bit of his newfound closeness with Jesus and told how he stopped people who were not in the inner circle from driving out demons. This does seem like something only an elite Jesus follower like Peter, James, John, and you and me should do. Jesus peacefully resolved this conflict.
The final six words of this chapter place a good, solid period at the end of a rather dramatic chapter. Jesus said, “be at peace with one another.”
- Be at peace in the presence of the transfigured brilliance of Jesus.
- Be at peace when people want to argue theology while a father and son are suffering nearby.
- Be at peace when Jesus talks about death because death is about to die.
- Be at peace when a person or people decide they are more important or more powerful than everyone else because you know our all-powerful Savior and King of All Kings.
- Be at peace when others do what you thought only you and Jesus could do because Jesus loves them just as much as he loves you.
- Be at peace because the Prince of Peace extends his rule and reign by removing the kinds of conflicts keeping our guts in knots and minds in turmoil.
- Be at peace because it is evidence of the residence of Jesus in your life.
Peace is powerful.
Real power creates peace characterized by an absence of conflict and a lack of desire to live disagreeably.
Real power saves, delivers, and heals.
I will, as far as it depends on me, live at peace with all people.
Our Father, overflow our lives with your peace. May we bear your peace everywhere we go and bring it to bear in every conflict. Make us peacemakers who show the whole world what true and good power creates. Amen.
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Romans 2:4 Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?
Acts 18:24-26 Meanwhile, a Jew named Apollos, an eloquent speaker who knew the Scriptures well, had arrived in Ephesus from Alexandria in Egypt. He had been taught the way of the Lord, and he taught others about Jesus with an enthusiastic spirit and with accuracy. However, he knew only about John’s baptism. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him preaching boldly in the synagogue, they took him aside and explained the way of God even more accurately.