Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Part XXXIII: God's Edifying Use Of Recalled Precedents To Offset Present Doubts
(Mark 9:9-13 with 2 Peter 1:15-2:9)
  1. Introduction
    1. Doubt is a troubling problem in the Christian experience, but an inevitable one, nonetheless. We can doubt our Christian faith is true, or that God has led us to the present job or ministry or family or marital situation, or a host of other beliefs or circumstances.
    2. Well, God has promised never to allow us to be tempted above what we are able, but in the test provide a way to escape that we may be able to bear up under it without sinning, 1 Cor. 10:13.
    3. One way He helps us in times of doubt is through recollection of divine precedents as follows:
  2. God's Edifying Use Of Recalled Precedents To Offset Present Doubts, Mark 9:9-13; 2 Peter 1:15-2:9.
    1. After Jesus was transfigured with Elijah and Moses before Peter, James and John, God suddenly removed the glorification and the men saw only Jesus, Mark 9:2-8.
    2. As Jesus led these men down from the mountain, He charged them to say nothing about the event they had witnessed until after His resurrection, Mark 9:9.
    3. Remarkably, this charge came when the disciples had no real understanding at the time of its significance:
      1. When witnessing the transfiguration, Mark 9:6 notes that the three disciples were terrified, and Mark explains Peter's request to build three tabernacles for Jesus and the prophets as an ignorant one, 9:5-6.
      2. After telling the men to keep quiet about the transfiguration until He arose, Jesus saw the men wondering what the resurrection meant, Mark 9:10. In their typically Jewish theological perspective, Messiah was to reign, not die, cf. Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, ftn. to Mark 9:11-13.
      3. In fact, they asked Jesus about the coming of Elijah as Messiah's forerunner, wondering why he hadn't been revealed if Jesus was the Messiah as was indicated by this transfiguration event, Mark 9:11.
      4. Jesus had to explain that John was that Messianic Forerunner, making Jesus the Messiah, Mark 9:12-13.
      5. Summary: thus, Jesus' command and this transfiguration, though impressive to the disciples, failed at the time to communicate any really effective theological insight for their benefit at the time.
    4. However, following Christ's resurrection, this event became not only understandable, but a priceless encouragement to offset doubts of the Christian faith down the road, cf. 2 Peter 1:15-2:9:
      1. While Peter wrote 2 Peter, he was aware of his impending death predicted long ago by Jesus, 1:12-14.
      2. Thus, he earnestly desired to impact his Christian readers of the validity of their Christian faith in view of the coming apostasy that would deny Christ's claims, 2 Peter 1:13 with 2:1-3:
        1. Peter wanted to stir up his readers with a given recollection in view of his impending death, 1:13-14.
        2. The concern behind this desire to admonish them was Peter's awareness of Christendom's apostasy: Peter predicted that false prophets would arise among the believers who would deny Christ and make merchandise of God's people with false doctrines, 2 Peter 2:1-3.
      3. To hammer home the validity of the Christian faith in regards to Christendom's apostasy, Peter testified to his readers of the eyewitness event of the Transfiguration recorded back in Mark 9:
        1. Peter told his readers that they had not followed cunningly devised fables made up by ancient prophets who told of Messiah's glory, 2 Peter 1:16.
        2. The evidence to that fact was that He with James and John were eyewitnesses to Christ's Messianic glory at the Transfiguration, 1:17-18: they actually saw Christ's glory, these great, revered prophets and heard the voice of the Father glorifying Jesus as His huios son, a term for an equal with one's father, cf. John 5:18. Thus, they heard the Father call Jesus God equal to Himself!
        3. Based upon this evidence, the Messianic prophecies of the Old Testament concerning Jesus Christ are made more sure to the Church as being of divine inspiration, and totally true, 2 Peter 1:19-21.
Lesson: Though it really didn't make all that much sense, what had originally been a terrifying, confusing event in the Transfiguration became the strongest support Peter could give for the validity of the Christian faith down the road for Christia ns of all ages.

Application: Handle doubts we have NOW with evidences God has given in PAST PRECEDENTS!