King's Business - 1928-03


March 1928

T h e

K i n g ’ s 1 B u s i n e s s

semane, and should have been forearmed by what they beheld on the mount. How few there be who can be counted in the inner circle, and who comprehend the deep things o f Godl The probable location o f this scene, was Mt. Hermon, 10,000 feet high, the highest point in Palestine. Its peaks are covered with snow most of the year, and our text says : "His raiment became exceeding white as the snow.” Nature’s own white is above the whiteness o f art. The word “transfiguration” means a complete and remarkable change. It was not merely an outward change, such as might have been produced by a spot-light thrown upon the three, but a substantial, inner change. The word “metamorphose” comes from the same root. The word “ shining” signifies “glistering” (used only here), a term applied to the gleaming of highly polished metals. It was an interior illumination, not a mere reflection. It was inherent deity shining out. Heaven could not have chosen two moré appropriate companions than “ Elias and Moses” (v. 4). They were the two most admired by the Jews. Both had been ad­ mitted to conference with Jehovah at Mt. Horeb. Both are said to have fasted forty days, as did Christ also. Both were mes­ sengers to kings. A chariot took Elijah away. Michael the archangel strove with the devil over the body of Moses. They talked with Jesus about His ap­ pointed sacrifice on Calvary, the very thing to which Peter had previously ob­ jected. As envoys o f the glory, they audibly affirmed that the purpose for which He had come into the world was to shed His blood. If the idea of the cross was an offense, the Transfiguration should have shown them that they had misread prophecy. There must first be a suffering and dying Messiah. Some seem to be drifting away from the great truth taught by the Transfigura­ tion. It puts the cross in the very center o f the Saviour’s purpose in His first ad­ vent. For that He came into the world. It is surrounded with the radiant firma­ ment of God’s promises and Old Testa­ ment prophecies. The very hand o f God emerges from heaven and points to the cross, as much as to say—“You’re all wrong in looking for the Davidic throne now.” “Hear Him,” who says “I came to give my life d ransom.” An idea struck Peter—âs usual. "Let us make three tabernacles” (v: 5). We find ourselves in some enjoyable situation and wé say : “Let’s make this permanent —let’s have our tomorrow like our today.” It cannot be. Be glad for these.mountain experiences, but never mind about build­ ing tabernacles for them. Down in the valley, the cries of the helpless are ring­ ing out. We must go down and deal with the world as it is. You’ll not .lose your joy by going into the valley o f service. It will become “sweeter as the days go by-” The issue is settled by a voice from heaven: “ This is my beloved Son, hear Him” (literally: “My Son—the beloved” ). Immediately when the Son is pointed out as the Supreme One, the others vanish. "They saiv no man any more save Jesus” (v. 8). How hard it is for us to learn to listen. The world is full o f other voices. Let Jesus settle every- question. As the disciples came down the moun­ tain, they asked : “ Why say the scribes that Elids must first come?” (v. 11). “Elias verily comcth first,” replied Jesus, “and


restoreth all things ( “ sets all things in order” )’. Elias is indeed come.” They had just seen him on the mount in person, and furthermore had failed to see in the person and ministry of John the Baptist, the one coming in “ the Spirit and power o f EUjah?${ci. Jn. 1:19-23; Lk. 1:17). Verses 14-29 tell us of the impotent dis­ ciples who had remained in the valley while these things were taking place on the mount. Here they were surrounded by a crowd o f scoffing people, and “scribes questioning with them” (y. 14). A lad' possessed of an evil spirit had been brought for deliverance and these dis­ ciples had failed to help him. Note Jesus’ words: “ O faithless generation.” It was- not a public rebuke for His disciples, for He spoke with them later in private (vs. 28-29). The greatest hindrance was the unbelief o f the crowd (v. 23). They had too many “ ifs” (v. 22). Jesus put the “if” where it belonged (v. 23). “Lord, I believe; help Thou mine unbe­ lief.” The lad’s father saw the point. He was wrong in challenging Christ’s power or His willingness. When he comes face to face with Jesus he discovers the depths o f unbelief in his own heart. The answer to his prayer came at once. Let us not miss the Saviour’s words o f caution to His own disciples in secret. “ This kir;d cometh forth by nothing but by- prayer and fasting” (v. 29). There will be lack of spiritual power where there is im­ perfect spiritual communion and where the body is allowed too much license. Too- many Christian workers pamper and serve the body. They do not want to curb- their appetites. It means a fettered spirit. They may try to make up by loud preach­ ing and wild gestures, but their efforts mock them all the time. An artist once, wanted to produce a pic­ ture o f the triumphal entry. He got at friend, who was a skillful animal painter, to paint in the ass. Alas, when the picture was done many commented upon the beau­ tiful ass but saw not Jesus. Is not the animal the outstanding thing in the lives of Some Christians? What does the world see? Would they take you for one whc was intimate with Jesus and filled with- His power? —o ~ P ith and P oint . All saints are near to Christ, but some hear His heart-beats (v. 2). If the thought o f the cross worried; Peter, it didn’t offend the champions of the old dispensations, the messengers o f heaven (v. 4). He came to die as, “ Lamb of God,” not to reign as “Lion o f Judah.” ’Tis easy to mistake, a transitory state- of mind for a thought of God (v. 5). God Himself may put an end to some of our highest spiritual enjoyments (vs. 6-7) to send us in the power of a trans­ formed life into the valley of service. Someone is sure to judge Christ by- what we do (v. 14). A jeering crowd is good for us—when it drives us back to Jesus to find out what, is the matter with us. . —o— , S uggestive Q uestions . What is remarkable about Peter being one of those chosen to go to the mount? (8:33.) What was the subject of conversation between Jesus and the heavenly wit­ nesses? ( V. 4; cf. Lk. 9:31.)

R isen T iving ÈDEEMER J—/ORD Ever liveth to make intercession for us.—Heb. 7 :25.

shining angel, they were frightened ¡ they could not understand what had happened. The angel spoke kindly to them and told them not to be afraid. The words the angel spoke to the sad women are our memory verse for today. It made those women very happy and it should make us very happy, too. “He is risen, even as he said.” We know Jesus the Lord rose from the dead and has gone back to heaven to pre­ pare a place for all who take Him as their Saviour. If we belong to Jesus we need have no fear o f death, for it is just going to sleep here and waking up in heaven. That is why Jesus came back to earth that bright Easter morning after He had died on the cross; to show all who love and trust Him, that death is nothing to be afraid of, for it means going to be with Him. Do you belong to Jesus? A pril IS, 1928 Transfiguration and Service T ext: M ark,9:2-29 \ iJ A N Y difficulties will be settled when we see the divine purposes in the Transfiguration. Jesus had just been con­ fessed as “ the Son o f the living God.” this program and that His death would not be the result o f weakness on His part, but a divine victory, the fulfilling o f all Scripture. We learn also from this scene the close.relation between His present king­ dom and the prior dispensations, for here, side by side in perfect unison, are Moses, the representative o f the law, Elijah, rep­ resenting the prophets, and the Son of God, representing the kingdom of grace. God’s kingdom, though revealed in sec­ tions and phases, is but one. We miss the solemnity and instructiveness o f history by dissecting things into too many com­ partments, and assuming that they stand unrelated. We learn also from this scene -the statement that some o f those standing with Him would presently see the king­ dom of God in power. This was fulfilled in what was witnessed on the mount. He takes with Him "Peter, James and John and leadeth them up into a high mountain” (v. 2). The world’s profoundest truths have often been put in the keeping o f a few men. So, in this case, there was an inner circle o f fellowship of those most capable o f understanding. The same three were afterward with Him in Geth- The scene in the mount confirms His newly revealed per­ sonality. Peter had just suggested that Jesus should not go to the cross. The Trans­ figuration shows that all heaven was behind

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