The Transfiguration of Jesus


Are you going to have your own way, or are you going to have God’s way? Because you can’t have both.

Mark 9:1-13


“As for God, His way is perfect,” was the affirmation of David in Psalm 18:30 (KJV). We see the truth of his testimony demonstrated in Jesus’ transfiguration in Mark 9:1-13. Certainly its timing was perfect to meet the needs of the disciples, as it followed on the heels of momentous and unsettling events. From the glory of the revelation of Christ’s deity to the grim foretelling of His death, the disciples had hurtled from the height of joy to the valley of despair as they listened to Jesus’ words. Christ’s supernatural transformation before Peter, James, and John spoke to both responses. It enabled Jesus’ followers to see His earthly mission from a heavenly perspective.

In each case where the story of the transfiguration is presented (here, in Matthew 17:1-13, and in Luke 9:28-36), it is carefully placed in the context of what had happened just before. Though Jesus’ true identity was hidden from many because of their unbelief, the Holy Spirit had revealed to the disciples that Jesus was the Christ (Mark 8:29). This confession in the midst of the world’s unbelief led Jesus to declare what was both inevitable and imperative: “I am going to Jerusalem to die.

I once was the guest speaker at a camp for high school and college–age young people. One session was devoted to a question and answer period. One of the first questions came from a girl who asked, “How do we decide what is worldly and what is spiritual?” There’s the conflict; it comes immediately when one has named the name of Jesus Christ. Are you going to have your own way, or are you going to have God’s way? Because you can’t have both.

I answered, “You know, when a fellow has a date with a girl and he wants to go on a picnic, and she wants to go to the museum, somebody’s got to give. They can’t do both if they want to do something together. In the same way, if we are going to walk with Jesus Christ, there has to be an agreement. Are you going to drag Christ your way, or will you go His way? The great tragedy is that Jesus Christ will allow Himself to be dragged. The Lord Jesus will let you go your own way. He will let you make such a noise that He keeps still; and the moment that you discover that the noise is deafening, and that everything is wrong in your heart, He’ll come and say, ‘My child.’ But if you keep pushing Him back, He must continue to allow you to wreck yourself. That is the whole of the principle.”


  • What does the transfiguration teach us?
  • Why did Peter want to build three tents?
  • How do you know what the will of God is?


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