This study features notes from Enduring Word.
1. How does Mark describe the transfiguration?
Through the eyes of Peter (probably). Jesus’ appearance shone forth in glorious, bright light.
2. The transfiguration wasn’t a new miracle. What was the real miracle that was going on here?
Jesus could keep from displaying his glory.
3. How does what Jesus says at the end of Mark 8 explain why he did this?
He just told his disciples that he was going the way of the cross and that spiritually they should follow him in the way of the cross. As Jesus displayed his glory, they knew that Jesus knew what he was doing. Jesus showed that cross bearers would be glory receivers.
4. What do Elijah and Moses represent?
They both represent those who are caught up to God. Moses represents those who die and go to glory and Elijah represents those who are caught up to heaven without death (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). They also represent the law and the prophets.
Future fulfilment of prophecy – they’re likely connected to the witnesses of Revelation 11:3-13.
5. What confidence does this give the disciples?
They saw evidence of life beyond this life. It gave them confidence in Jesus’ claim to resurrection. It seems the disciples just knew that this was Elijah and Moses. It implies we will know each other when we get to heaven.
6. Why is Peter’s offer a bit foolish (v5-10)?
We often get into trouble when we speak like Peter did, not knowing what to say. We say many foolish things without thinking and out of fear. He put Jesus on an equal level with Elijah and Moses – one tabernacle for each.
7. Where has the cloud of God’s glory appeared before?
It was the pillar of cloud that stood by Israel in the wilderness (Exodus 13:21-22)
The cloud of glory that God spoke to Israel from (Exodus 16)
It was from this could of glory that God met with Moses and others (Exodus 19:9, 24:15-18, Numbers 11:25)
It stood by the door of the tabernacle (Exodus 33:9-10)
It was from this cloud that God appeared to the High Priest in the Holy Place inside the veil (Leviticus 16:2)
God appeared to Solomon (1 Kings 8:10-11); the cloud of Ezekiel’s vision (Ezekiel 10:4); it overshadowed Mary when she conceived Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35); it received Jesus into heaven at his ascension (Acts 1:9); it will display the glory of Jesus when he returns (Luke 21:27).
8. What does the voice from the cloud of glory confirm?
Jesus wasn’t on the same level as Elijah and Moses. It assured the disciples that the plan was fine with God the Father.
9. Why did the disciples ask about Elijah (Malachi 4:5-6)?
The coming of Elijah was clearly prophesied so they wondered if Jesus is the Messiah, where is Elijah?
10. What was the prophecy of Elijah’s coming connected to?
Jesus told them that the Elijah prophecy would he fulfilled. It was concerned with Jesus’ second coming, not his first, and Elijah would likely return in connection with one of the two witnesses as Revelation 11:2-13.
There was a sense in which Elijah has also come in the person of John the Baptist. He was not a reincarnation of Elijah but did minister in the role and spirit of Elijah.
11. What were the scribes disputing with the disciples?
It’s reasonable to assume that the scribes criticised the disciples for their inability to help the demon-possessed boy. This particular case of demon possession was too much for the disciples.
12. Who might Jesus be referring to when he describes a faithless generation?
The scribes, the desperate father, or the disciples.
13. How is the father of the boy challenged by Jesus?
Jesus urges him to have faith. He did believe in Jesus’ power to deliver his boy – why else would he have gone to Jesus? But he also recognised his doubts. His unbelief wasn’t a rebellion or rejection of God’s promise.
14. Why were the disciples unsuccessful (v28-29)?
A lack of prayer and fasting.
15. What’s the purpose of prayer and fasting?
They draw us closer to the heart of God and they put us more in line with his power. They are an expression of our total dependence on him.
16. What do we learn about Jesus from these events?
He’s the king of glory and king of power. Have faith and depend on him.