Godly Purpose


Mark 9:2-13
2 Six days later, Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John, and brought them up on a high mountain by themselves. And He was transfigured before them; 3 and His garments became radiant and exceedingly white, as no launderer on earth can whiten them. 4 Elijah appeared to them along with Moses; and they were talking with Jesus. 5 Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three tabernacles, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 6 For he did not know what to answer; for they became terrified. 7 Then a cloud formed, overshadowing them, and a voice came out of the cloud, “This is My beloved Son, listen to Him!” 8 All at once they looked around and saw no one with them anymore, except Jesus alone. 9 As they were coming down from the mountain, He gave them orders not to relate to anyone what they had seen, until the Son of Man rose from the dead. 10 They seized upon that statement, discussing with one another what rising from the dead meant. 11 They asked Him, saying, “Why is it that the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” 12 And He said to them, “Elijah does first come and restore all things. And yet how is it written of the Son of Man that He will suffer many things and be treated with contempt? 13 “But I say to you that Elijah has indeed come, and they did to him whatever they wished, just as it is written of him.” 

Have you ever wondered what the word “transfigured” actually means?  It comes from the Greek work metamorphoo where we also get the word metamorphosis, and it simply means that Jesus’ form was changed.  Essentially, this transfiguration was a revelation to the three disciples that were with Him of who He really is.  Being surrounded by Moses and Elijah, however, doesn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense…and how did they know it was Moses and Elijah anyway?  In Luke 9 and Matthew 17, we read more detailed accounts of the transfiguration and we discover that Moses and Elijah were speaking to Jesus.  It is quite possible that in this conversation they revealed who they were.  But why would it be these two historical men?

Moses and Elijah were key to this event because of who and what they represent.  Moses was the one in Jewish history through which The Law was given and written.  He was the original intercessor on earth for man and specifically Israel to God.  Jesus was about to become the new and eternal intercessor for all of mankind.  Elijah was important in this instance because of the conversation they had previously had about a good majority of the people thinking Jesus was Elijah.  He couldn’t be Himself and Elijah at the same time and at the very least this revealed that He wasn’t.  This is why the disciples seemed confused upon descending the mountain.  It became clear to them that Jesus was to be killed as was the prophecy of His coming to earth, but now they were confused about who Elijah was and his purpose.  As we read in Take Up Your Cross, John the Baptist was Elijah’s return to announce the coming of the Kingdom of God.  In Matthew’s account of these events, we read in verse 13 that, “the disciples understood that He had spoken to them about John the Baptist.”

Now that we have a better understanding of the transfiguration, how can we apply this to our lives?  We notice that Jesus took His three closest disciples with Him.  It wasn’t the entire group of 12, but just these 3 that were not only closer to Jesus, but also more spiritually mature.  Our spiritual maturity is evident in our acceptance of God’s will and peace with it, regardless of what it is.

There are two things that were taught to me and have remained the focus of my personal seeking of God’s will for my life:


The safest place we could ever be is in the middle of God’s will.
In seeking God’s purpose for your life, go where the peace is.


The second statement is dependent upon the first.  We will find that as we seek safety in God’s will for our lives, we will be at peace.  This isn’t to say we won’t have difficulties, rather that regardless of the turbulent world around us, our souls will feel at rest.  Have you ever been in a situation where you had to move or change something major in your life?  Maybe it was a place to live, a job, a relationship, or your church.  That overwhelming sense of calm you get is an indication that it is “right where you are supposed to be” is God’s peace.  Sometimes I imagine that is what the disciples felt when Jesus calmed the storm on the Sea of Galilee and this is why they were able to recognize who He is in that moment.  God’s purpose overwhelms us in that even though it doesn’t “make sense” the way we think it should; His peace surpasses our human understanding of how things should work.  We know that Peter struggled with the thought of Jesus being tried and killed, but coming down from this mountain he didn’t protest.  Jesus also didn’t seem to have much of an issue with what was going to happen because He knew that is was His earthly purpose.  Even He struggled with what was to come, even though He realized it was His Godly purpose, His flesh warred against the sacrifice.

We spend the majority of our lives looking for purpose.  We feel most happy in our jobs when we are purposeful.  Our relationships have meaning and value when it serves a purpose of fulfilling your life.  The main places we spend the majority of our lives are only as important as they give us some sort of purpose.  When we seek God’s purpose for our lives, we discover a meaning that transcends what we thought our purpose is on this earth.  We realize that the reason we are breathing today far exceeds our jobs, our education, our relationships, and anything else that defines our life.  Our Godly purpose is to recognize Jesus as God’s beloved Son and to listen to Him.

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