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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

On Your Mark by Dr. George O. Wood


From Argument to Wonder

When they came to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and the teachers of the law arguing with them. As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him. (Mark 9:14,15, NIV)

Sometime earlier Jesus left behind nine disciples and took the inner three — Peter, James and John — to a high mountain where they were alone. There Jesus’ appearance was transformed before their eyes and they listened to a conversation He had with Moses and Elijah.

Upon returning to reunite with the others, Jesus found the nine disciples surrounded by a crowd listening to an argument between them and Jesus’ critics.

Credit the nine! They had been left at the foot of the mountain, but they had not left Jesus. They remained loyal rather than dispersing. They were arguing passionately in His defense even though He had left them behind.

It’s not an easy thing to be excluded, to be outside the inner circle. Did they have feelings like, “Why was I not included?”; “What’s wrong with us?” or “Does Jesus have His pets and we’re not among them?”

Haven’t you felt left out at times as well? Others have their prayers answered “yes” and your answer is either “no” or “delay.” Someone else gets a great new job and you’re terminated from employment. Someone you know testifies they’ve been healed. You try to rejoice in their miracle but find it difficult because you haven’t been healed.

This feeling of being left out happens a lot. The Lord is moving on with others but leaving you behind — or so it seems. They get to see the glory while you are left with a mess.

And a mess it was for the nine! As Jesus walks back into the scene they’re losing a heated argument with religious experts.

What the nine and we need most to understand in such a moment is: 1) Jesus is sovereign and we must respect His choices as to who goes with Him on the mountain; 2) He will always reappear in our valley!

Only later do we understand why He took the three. The disclosure of himself in radiant glory and talking with Moses and Elijah had to be kept secret — the number of witnesses was kept small lest the news leak out before the time. Premature disclosure would only have reinforced the false expectation that Jesus came as a politically powerful ruler. Also, Peter, James and John would subsequently suffer much. James — the first apostle to be martyred. Peter — crucified upside down on a cross in Rome. John — living his final years as an exiled prisoner on Patmos. No doubt the Lord knew that taking them with Him to the Transfiguration would become ballast for each of them in the midst of their own coming storms.

Then, notice a remarkable shift. The crowd was drawn to an argument like children are drawn to watch a fight in the schoolyard. But, when Jesus shows up their attention goes to Him.

There’s a lesson in that. People are not persuaded by argument. Too often argument only reinforces our own opinions. The more we argue the more disagreeable we become. But Jesus is attractive! The church always does well when it remembers that.

May we always be overwhelmed with wonder in the presence of Jesus and run to greet Him!

A prayer of response
Lord Jesus, there are so many things I need to do today. But the most important thing I do is come to You. Be present, Lord, to me today — be with me, in me, for me, through me.

GEORGE O. WOOD is general superintendent of the Assemblies of God.

On Your Mark

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2013 On Your Mark

2012 On Your Mark

2011 On Your Mark

2010 On Your Mark

2009 On Your Mark

2008 On Your Mark

Podcasts of On Your Mark are available in video and audio.
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