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September 19, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“As they were coming down from the mountain, He gave them orders not to relate to anyone what they had seen, until the Son of Man rose from the dead. They seized upon that statement, discussing with one another what rising from the dead meant.”—Mark 9:9–10 (NASB)
When a three-year-old asks, “Why is Jesus in heaven?” the best answer to give is, “Because that’s where He lives.” It’s not hiding the truth; it’s just that a child that age can’t fully grasp deep theological truths. Keep it simple. Complex answers are easier to handle once their minds develop.
Peter, James, and John were sort of like three-year-olds—spiritually speaking, that is. According to their level of understanding, Jesus revealed just so much. It’s like He had them drinking from a garden hose, slowly handling the outpour of who He was. So, we’d assume them seeing their friend transfigured would be the catalyst to a fire hose experience—a sudden rush of understanding. At the very least, we’d think Jesus would want them to share what they had seen. But neither happens for two reasons:
On bearing understanding, Oswald Chambers wrote, “Our Lord does not hide these things; they are unbearable until we get into a fit condition of spiritual life. God cannot reveal anything to us if we have not His Spirit. An obstinate outlook will effectually hinder God from revealing anything to us.”
For the apostles, a “fit condition of spiritual life” was realized a year later on the Day of Pentecost. There, that fire hose of spiritual understanding saturated them as they were filled with the Holy Spirit. Their outlook on what the Messiah would do for them surrendered to what He would do for the world. It was this “baptism of the Holy Spirit and fire” (Matthew 3:11; Acts 1:5) that was needed for them to fully grasp the teachings of Christ, empower their testimony, and effectually convey the gospel message.
Jesus no longer conceals His identity. He welcomes all who are thirsty to come to Him and drink, and from them will flow rivers of living water (John 7:37). This living water is the Holy Spirit—the One who occupies our minds with Jesus and the true catalyst to spiritual understanding.
Pause: How does a person gain spiritual wisdom? Is knowledge the same as wisdom?
Practice: Do you hold any preconceived notions of Jesus that hinder you from allowing the Holy Spirit to work through you? Prayerfully read through John 16:13–15 and 1 Corinthians 2:6–16.
Pray: Father, I want nothing more than to be an effective tool in sharing the good news of Jesus Christ. With the help of the Holy Spirit, help me to overcome any area of my life that hinders so I might occupy my life for Jesus. Amen.
Lisa Supp lives in Utah and has served within the CCFL Web and Prayer Ministry since 2011. She also volunteers as an editor on the CCFL Prayer Wall and is a writer on the Communications Team. Retired from teaching, Lisa and her husband Ron volunteer at their local Calvary Chapel and share a passion for Scripture, apologetics, and education.