4th June 2023

The mountain before the valley - Jean Ruland

BGospel Newsletter

Life is not one peak after another.

Marc 9: 2-9

2 Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter, James, and John, and he led them alone apart to a high mountain. He was transfigured before them; 3 his clothes became dazzling, and of such whiteness that there is not a fuller on the earth who can so whiten…

Life is full of ups and downs. A summit is a great thing that happens in your life, something big, something to celebrate and remember: the birth of your child which is a highlight of your life, the day you got married was a Mountain peak. During these times, it is easy to be a Christian. “God is good,” you think to yourself. There is no doubt in your mind God bless you.

But life is not one peak after another

montagneThere are also valleys. The hardships of life, the hard times. When you've been diagnosed with cancer, it's a valley. When a loved one dies, it's a valley.

During these times, it is sometimes more difficult to be a Christian. When you're in the valley, it's hard to say, “God is good. Sometimes your faith is shaken. There are some doubts that arise when you are in a valley.

Mountains and valleys. Where are you now? Are you at the top? Where are you in a valley? Maybe you are somewhere in between. Maybe there is a peak or a valley for you not far away, and you do not even know it.

The followers of Jesus-Christ had no idea that they were about to enter a valley, that they were about to go through a hollow with the Saviour. things with Jesus seemed to be doing so well, he had performed miracles, walked on water, fed over 5000 people. He had been surrounded by a crowd of people, who were listening to his parables.
It was easy to be a disciple of Jesus at this moment. There was no doubt that this man was the Son of God, the Savior of the world. Disciples experience one climax after another with Jesus.

But only a little further on lay the valley of the shadow of death. The crowds would soon turn against Jesus. He will be betrayed and arrested, tortured, publicly condemned and executed in the most shameful manner known to man at this time. The disciples will be filled with fear and doubt. Jesus was he the Son of God. Soon it will be very difficult to be a disciple of Christ. A deep, dark valley was just at the end of the street and the disciples had no idea.

And that's why today, Jesus takes them to the top of a mountain. He lets them experience something amazing, with their own eyes they get a glimpse of his glory. Just before the valley, Jesus takes them to the mountain, to a high point, and he does so to strengthen them for the difficult road ahead.

Today it is good for us to go on this path with the disciples too, and to experience this high point with them.
Until then the disciples saw him in his power, what a great master they said, without a doubt, he is the Son of God the Savior of the world. But now, Jesus descends into the valley of the shadow of death. You read in the scriptures how he was rejected. How weakened he was. How he suffered and died for the sins of the world. In this valley we see him in difficult times.

Our summits also prepare us for something else, for our personal valleys. They prepare us for when we go through our own difficult times.

Marc 9: 2
2 Six days later Jesus took Peter, James, and John with him, and led them alone up a high mountain by themselves. He was transfigured before them;

"The word 'transfigured' means that the appearance of Jesus has completely changed. The other gospels tell us that his face changed. “His clothes became dazzlingly white, whiter than anyone in the world could whiten.” Another evangelist tells us that the clothes of Jesus became "as bright as lightning. " At the moment, Jesus revealed his divinity. He was the holy, almighty God, and the brightness of his appearance was revealed to the disciples. It was good, because soon the disciples would see Jesus dirty and bloody, dying and weak.

Marc 9: 4
4 Elijah and Moses appeared to them, talking with Jesus.

The other gospels tell us that they spoke of his future death, resurrection and ascension. They are the two greatest prophets in the Old Testament.
What an incredible highlight for the disciples. Pierre wanted this moment to last forever. He wasn't really sure what to say or do, so he said:

Marc 9: 5-6

5 Peter answered and said to Jesus : Rabbi, it is good that we are here; let us pitch three tents, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah. 6 For he did not know what to say, fear having seized them.

But this idea was not even a possibility. Instead of that :

Marc 9: 7
7 A cloud came to cover them, and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him!

The disciples were surrounded by a luminous mist, then they heard the voice of God the Father himself. It must have been an amazing thing to hear the voice of God the Father. They heard the father say that Jesus really is the Son, that he was loved, and that they should listen to him. Again, which was good for the disciples to hear. Soon people would say that Jesus was not the Son of God. Soon they will say that God the Father did not love Christ. Religious Leaders Would Say No One Should Listen Jesus. But here it is clear, none of this is true, it is the true Son of God, loved by the Father, whose words are the words we should listen to.
And then, just as quickly as it started, that moment ended:

Marc 9: 8
8 Immediately the disciples looked around, and they saw only Jesus alone with them.

It was a highlight for the disciples, a summit, they saw Christ in all his glory, surrounded by the prophets, and cheered by god the father. This would help strengthen them to continue with Jesus in the valley of the shadow of death. It also helps us as we move through our own personal peaks and valleys of life. I don't know where you are right now, if you are having a high moment, or a low moment. And I don't know where you'll be in two years.
For us today, at this time, it is good that we remember the glory of our Savior, who he really is.
The disciples needed to climb a mountain to see this. Today the Word of God is your mountain to climb. Every time you hear the Word of God, you climb the mountain. There you see Christ, who took your sins on the cross and rose from the dead. There you get a glimpse of his glory, even if it's just for a moment. Your fellowship with Him and the Word of God is your top of a mountain. It is good for you that you are there, because it is there that you are strengthened for the days to come, for all the future valleys.

May that same glory you see today through Jesus, strengthen and transform you. Amen.

Jubau is the founder and CEO of BGospel magazine.


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