Listen to Him!
Translated by Allan Liang
Mark 9:1-13 In verse 7 of today’s Scripture, the Father told the disciples at the time, and too reminds us that, “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!” Through the cross, our Lord Jesus suffered and resurrected for us, ultimately manifesting the glory of God and brought about the expansion of his kingdom. Today, God has entrusted the church a mission to display the glory of God in this world. The splendor of the radiance of the divine nature was made fully manifest in Jesus and today continues to be manifested by the church, which is the body of Christ. As the disciples of the Lord, we must listen to him, serve according to his will, live out Christ and witness Christ. For we must not only be listeners of the Word, but doers of the Word. This way, the name of the Lord will receive the highest glory. Brothers and sisters, in the ups and downs of our walk of faith, whether we experience God is of crucial importance. There are times when we may feel greatly strengthened by the touching testimonies of others, as well as the accounts of God’s work of healing, how families were brought back together, and how our needs were provided for. However, other times, perhaps more often, our experience feels very common: after long periods of praying, our marriage is still without improvement, our job prospects are still low, our relationships are still fractured… We would naturally regard these experiences of “not receiving God’s grace”, as spiritual lows. Is this truly so? Sometimes, not receiving an immediate response to our prayers provides an excellent opportunity to reflect upon our faith, as well as inspect our hearts to see if there are any changes within. Do we rely on God’s grace to walk this path of faith, and do we trust in our faithful Lord to walk this narrow path of the cross? The command, “Listen to him!” bore a special meaning to the disciples who witnessed the transfiguration. Peter just earlier had experienced an act of disobedience. When Jesus said, “The Son of God must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days, rise again.” (Mark 8:31), Peter attempted to use the means of persuasion, or as some versions render, a rebuke to express his disapproval. Here, God the Father commanded the disciples “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!” Of course we know, what was said did not apply only to the three disciples on the mountain, but applies to every believer who desires to follow our Lord Jesus. Brothers and sisters, it is not that our hearts are unwilling to listen to the words of God, but rather, we often choose to pursue our own will rather than the will of God. The Bible tells us: “Those who love according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of the sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace. (Romans 8:5-6) Please meditate and then follow with prayer: May God help us so that we may act in accordance to his good pleasure. Do I choose to follow the flesh or follow the Spirit?