TODAY’S READING: MARK 8-9
“And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became radiant, intensely white, as no one on earth could bleach them…And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, ‘This is my beloved Son; listen to him.'” – Mark 9:2-3, 7
In Romans 12:2, Paul says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind.”
This is arguably one of the most famous verses in the Bible. It is quoted all the time.
But, exactly how is our mind renewed so that we can be transformed?
And, what is the evidence that we are transformed by the renewing of our mind?
The Greek word for renewal in Romans 12:2 is anakainosis. It means a making new, a renewal, a renovation. Paul is talking about an overhaul of our mind.
The only other use of anakainosis is in Titus 3:4-5, which says, “But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.” So, the Holy Spirit plays a role in the renewal of our mind.
Just what does the Holy Spirit do though to renew our mind?
In John 14:26, Jesus says, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring your remembrance all that I have said to you.” The Holy Spirit renews our minds by reminding us of what Jesus said.
The Holy Spirit speaks to us the words of one person, and one person only, Jesus. When the Holy Spirit speaks to us the words of Jesus our minds are renewed and we transformed.
The Greek word for transformed is metamorphoo. This is where we get our word metamorphosis. So, we can instantly understand the word by calling to mind the complete change of appearance of caterpillar goes through in becoming a butterfly.
Metamorphoo is not used often in the Bible. In fact, it is used only four times. We’ve seen one in Romans 12:2. We are to be transformed, to completely change appearance.
One of the other four uses in found in today’s reading. Mark 9:2 (and Matthew 17:2) says that Jesus was transfigured, or transformed. When Jesus was transformed he was clothed in light. Elijah and Moses appeared with Jesus when he transformed.
When Peter saw Elijah and Moses with Jesus, he thought that three tents, or tabernacles. The tabernacle was where the presence of God dwelt among Israel as they journeyed through the wilderness. So, Peter thought he would build a tabernacle for Jesus, Elijah, and Moses because he, James, John, and the other disciples could meet God through each one of them.
But, a cloud overshadowed them. And, a voice spoke from the cloud, “This is my beloved Son; listen to him.”
What happened after this voice spoke?
“And suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone with them but Jesus only.” (Mark 9:8) Elijah and Moses disappeared.
So, Jesus was transformed. Elijah and Moses appeared. A cloud, the Holy Spirit, showed up. God said from the cloud, “This is my beloved Son; listen to him.” And, Elijah and Moses disappeared.
So, Jesus’ transformation resulted in only his voice being left. The voice of Elijah was gone. The voice of Moses was gone.
And, we are transformed when the Holy Spirit speaks the words of Jesus, and Jesus only, in our minds.
So, how are we transformed by the renewal of our minds?
We are transformed when we listen to only the voice of Jesus.
This cannot be stressed enough.
If we do not want to be conformed to the world but transformed, then we can only listen to Jesus.
We are not to listen to Moses. This means we do not listen, or take heed, to the law.
We are not to listen to Elijah. This means we do not listen, or take heed, to the prophets.
Moses and Elijah have disappeared. They are gone.
Moses and Elijah are only useful to the extent that Jesus translates, or interprets, them into his voice. Luke 24:27 says, “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he [Jesus] interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.”
Luke 24:44 says, “Then he said to them, ‘These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.'”
Jesus said “my words that I spoke to you.” We are to listen to his voice. And, the Holy Spirit brings to our remembrance what Jesus said.
Does Jesus say that everything in the law, the prophets, and the psalms would be fulfilled?
No, he does not.
Jesus said, “Everything written about me…must be fulfilled.”
What was written about Jesus in the law, the prophets, and the psalms?
“Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.'” (Luke 24:45-47)
The writing of the law, the prophets, and the psalms that need to be fulfilled, that Jesus had to open our minds to understand, was that Jesus should suffer and rise from the dead the third day.
Therefore, repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed. The word for is not in the Greek, but the word and is there.
So, we are transformed when we listen to Jesus only.
We are transformed when the Holy Spirit renovates our minds to only hear Jesus in the Old Testament.
We only hear Jesus in the Old Testament when we understand the Old Testament to reveal that the Christ would suffer and be resurrected three days later.
We know that we are transformed and only hear Jesus when we proclaim repentance, the call for changed minds, and the forgiveness of sins.
Therefore, if we are proclaiming eternal damnation, eternal torment, and hell, then our minds have not been renewed and we have not been transformed.
If we are proclaiming eternal damnation, eternal torment, and hell, then we are still conformed to the world.
Jesus proclaimed forgiveness from the cross even as we crucified him. And, if we have been transformed then we will proclaim forgiveness too. This is the glory of the Lord, the forgiveness of sin.
2 Corinthians 3:18 says, “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”
We are transformed into light just like Jesus. We partake of his glory. We proclaim forgiveness of sins as he did.
Colossians 1:13 says, “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
We are transformed by the renewing of our minds when we listen to Jesus, and only Jesus.
The evidence of our being transformed and no longer conformed to this world is that we proclaim the forgiveness of sins just as we have heard from Jesus.