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Commentary on Mark Chapters 9 to End

Commentary on Mark Chapters 9 to End

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Published by glennpease
BY REV. G. A. CHADWICK, D.D.,




CHAPTER IX.

THE TRANSFIGURATION.
BY REV. G. A. CHADWICK, D.D.,




CHAPTER IX.

THE TRANSFIGURATION.

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Published by: glennpease on Sep 13, 2013
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COMMETARY O MARK CHAPTERS 9 TO EDBY REV. G. A. CHADWICK, D.D.,CHAPTER IX.THE TRASFIGURATIO." And after six days Jesus taketh with Him Peter, and Jamrs, saaJohn, and bringeth them up into a high mountain apart by themselves :and He was transfigured before them : and His garments becameglistering, exceeding white : so as no fuller on earth can whiten them.And there appeared unto them Elijah with Moses : and they weretalking with Jesus. And Peter answered and saith to Jesus, Rabbi, itis good for us to be here : and let us make three tabernacles ; one forThee, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah. For He wist not whatto answer ; for they became sore afraid. And there came a cloudovershadowing them : and there came a voice out of the cloud, THs isMy beloved Son : hear ye Him. And suddenly looking round about,they saw no one any more, save Jesus only with themselves." — Mark ix. 2-8 (R.V.).THE Transfiguration is an event without a parallelin all the story of our Lord. This breaking forthof unearthly splendour in a life of self-negation, thismiracle wrought without suffering to be relieved orwant supplied, and in which He seems to be not thtGiver of Help but the Receiver of Glory, arrests ou$attention less by the greatness of the marvel than byits loneliness.But if myth or legend had to do with the making of our Gospels, we should have had wonders enoughwhich bless no suppliant, but only crown the sacredhead with laurels. They are as plentiful in the falseGospels as in the later stories of Mahomed or Gautama.Can we find a sufficient difference between these
 
Mark ix. 2-8.] THE TRASFIGURATIO. 229romantic tales and this memorable event — causesenough to lead up to it, and ends enough for it toserve ?An answer is hinted by the stress /aid in all threenarratives upon the date of the Transfiguration. Itwas " after six days " according to the first two.St. Luke reckons the broken portions of the first dayand the last, and makes it "about eight days afterthese sayings." A week has passed since the solemnannouncement that their Lord was journeying to acruel death, that self pity was discordant with thethings of God, that all His followers must in spiritendure the cross, that life was to be won by losing it.Of that week no action is recorded, and we may wellbelieve that it was spent in profound searchings of heart. The thief Iscariot would more than ever beestranged. The rest would aspire and struggle andrecoil, and explain away His words in such strangeways, as when they presently failed to understand whatthe rising again from the dead should mean (ver. 10).But in the deep heart of Jesus there was peace, thesame which He bequeathed to all His followers, theperfect calm of an absolutely surrendered will. Hehad made the dread announcement and rejected theinsidious appeal; the sacrifice was already accomplishedin his inner self, and the word spoken, Lo, I come to doThy will, O God. We must steadily resist the notionthat the Transfiguration was required to confirm Hisconsecration ; or, after six days had passed since Hebade Satan get behind Him, to complete and perfectHis decision. Yet doubtless it had its meaning forHim also. Such times of more than heroic self-devo-tion make large demands upon the vital energies.
 
\nd He whom the argels more than once sustained,ajo GOSPEL OF ST. MARK.now sought refresiiment in the pure air and solemnsilence of the hills, and above all in communion with HisFather, since we read in St. Luke that He went upto pray. Who shall say how far-reaching, how all-embracing such a prayer would be ? What age, whatrace may not hope to have shared its intercessions,remembering how He once expressly prayed not forHis immediate followers alone. But we need notdoubt that now, as in the Garden, He prayed also forHimself, and for support in the approaching death-struggle. And the Twelve, so keenly tried, would beespecially remembered in this season. And evenamong these there would be distinctions ; for we knowHis manner, we remember that when Satan claimedlo have them all, Jesus prayed especially for Peter,because his conversion would strengthen his brethren.ow this principle of benefit to all through the selectionof the fittest, explains why three were chosen to bethe eye-witnesses of His glory. If the others had beenthere, perhaps they would have been led away intomillennarian day-dreams. Perhaps the worldly aspira-tions of Judas, thus inflamed, would have spread far.Perhaps they would have murmured against that returnto common life, which St. Peter was so anxious topostpone. Perhaps even the chosen three were onlysaved from intoxicating and delusive hopes by thesobering knowledge that what they had seen was toremain a secret until some intervening and mysteriousevent. The unripeness of the others for special reve-lations was abundantly shown, on the morrow, by theirfailure to cast out a devil. It was enough that theirleaders should have this grand confirmation of theirfaith. There was among them, henceforth, a secretfountain of encouragement and trust, amid the darkest

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