Both Ups and Downs with Jesus

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Both Ups and Downs with Jesus

(Mark Mark 9:2-13)

Mari Ikeda

A. The mountaintop experience (2-8)

2 After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them. 3 His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them. 4 And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus. 5 Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters―one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” 6 (He did not know what to say, they were so frightened.) 7 Then a cloud appeared and covered them, and a voice came from the cloud: “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!” 8 Suddenly, when they looked around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus.  

B. On the way down (9-13)

9 As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus gave them orders not to tell anyone what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead. 10 They kept the matter to themselves, discussing what “rising from the dead” meant. 11 And they asked him, “Why do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?” 12 Jesus replied, “To be sure, Elijah does come first, and restores all things. Why then is it written that the Son of Man must suffer much and be rejected? 13 But I tell you, Elijah has come, and they have done to him everything they wished, just as it is written about him.”continually.

C. We only follow Jesus both at the mountaintops and on the-way-downs


God knows that we need the experience of feeling His presence real. But that kind of sensuous, supernatural experience is inadequate. We need to meet Jesus, who died on the Cross and rose again, in order to understand who God really is. Although we repeat the cycle of understanding and not understanding, suffering and rejoicing, one after another, Jesus is with us wherever we may be in the cycle. He is the one and only reliable guide.   

For Discussion

1) Share your mountaintop experience, when you could feel God’s presence real.
2) Why can’t we understand who God truly is, unless we meet Jesus of the Cross and the resurrection?