LIFE OF CHRIST
ZEAL FOR GOD
LIFE OF CHRIST #32
It is good to have zeal or be zealous for God. Of course there are right and wrong kinds of zeal.
True zeal comes from God and God alone.
There are conditions I feel that we must meet to have zeal for God, but ultimately God must be in it for it to be real.
In studying our Lord’s transfiguration I believe that I have found some guidelines for allowing God to develop true zeal for him in our lives.
The old time railroad crossings without any flashing lights or dropping gates gave this simple advice, and it is the advice I share with you for developing zeal for God. The advice is:
In Mark 9:1 we see
a promise from our Lord. He announces that there were some who would not see
death until they saw the
This verse was fulfilled when three of the Apostles witnessed the transfiguration of Christ on the Mount.
Peter gave his testimony of seeing this when he states in 2 Peter 1:16-17.
Peter, James and John became zealous for God because they were eyewitnesses of His majesty!
To develop zeal for God we see that we must first
STOP! – Vs. 2
In order for these men to be witnesses of what God was going to do, they had to be taken apart by themselves.
They left the majority of the disciples.
They left the busy ministry.
They left the multitudes.
It was when they were alone.
It was when they had stopped that God gave them an experience that would ultimately affect their zeal.
Isaiah 40:31 - But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
The ones who wait on the Lord will zealously soar for the Lord!
The ones who wait on the Lord will enthusiastically run for the Lord.
The ones who wait on the Lord will patiently walk with the Lord.
Take time each day with the Lord, and your enthusiasm or zeal just might build.
At the end of verse 2 it says that Jesus was transfigured before them.
Luke tells us that our Lord was praying and the disciples were sleeping.
The word transfigured here is related to our word “metamorphosis”.
According to Dwight Hiebert, the word “…denotes a visible change of the outward form as expressive of the true inner nature.” Dwight E. Hiebert, Mark, A Portrait of the Servant, (Chicago, Moody Press, 1974), p. 213
In other words, what’s inside comes out so you can see it.
As we study this transfiguration, we find some things to look at that will help make us zealous for God!
· LOOK AT HIS GLORY
Vs. 3 – While Matthew and Luke comment on the brilliance of the Lord’s face, Mark tells us about the brilliance of His garments.
His garments were so white that no fuller, who cleaned and dyed woolen garments could get them this white.
These clothes were so white no laundry on earth could have done it.
They were seeing Jesus in His glory as the Son of God.
My friend, we will not have visions of the glory of God but we can look intensely at His glory when we read His Word.
As we search the Scriptures, we can look at His glory as creator.
We can look at His glory as God in the flesh.
We can look at His glory as God’s master teacher.
We can look at His glory as the sinless Son of God.
We can look at His glory as the one who shed his blood for us.
We can look at His glory as the friend that sticks closer than a brother.
We can look at His glory as the resurrected Son of God.
We can look at His glory as the intercessor for the saints.
We can look at His glory as the Son of God, the messiah who coming to earth in power.
We can look at His glory as the ruler of the Millennium.
We can look at His glory as the judge of both the saved and the unsaved.
The more you look at his glory the more you will see his deity. Isaiah 6:1-8
The more you see His deity, the more you will be zealous for Him, because you are serving the living God.
· LOOK AT HIS FULFILLMENT
Vs. 4 – Here we find Moses and Elijah appearing with Jesus in this remarkable scene.
Moses represents the Law which when Jesus came, He fulfilled.
Elijah represents the Prophets, and Jesus came to fulfill the words of the Prophets.
Luke 9:30-31 - And, behold, there talked with
him two men, which were Moses and Elias:  Who appeared in glory, and spake
of his decease which he should accomplish at
Luke tells us that
they talked about the ultimate fulfillment that Jesus accomplished, His
sacrificial death for our sins in
If you want to be zealous for God, look at all that Jesus did on the cross for you!
He made it possible for you to be accepted by God.
He made it possible for you to be forgiven by God.
He made it possible for you to be cleansed by God.
He made it possible for your to have communion with God.
He made it possible for you to live eternally with God.
If you have been born again, all these things are not only possible, but true!
You are accepted by God.
You are forgiven by God.
You are cleansed by God.
You do have communion with God.
You will live eternally with God.
Look at Christ’s fulfillment, and be zealous for the one who has loved you so.
· LOOK AT CHRIST ALONE
Vss. 5-6 – Peter is awakened from sleep.
He is afraid, but felt that he needed to say something.
And he didn’t even know what he was talking about.
He suggested that three tabernacles or booths be made by him and the others. Perhaps he was thinking of prolonging the experience.
I see Peter’s primary mistake as trying to put the men Moses and Elijah on the same level as the Lord. Jesus.
Vs. 7 – The glory of God appears in a cloud, and God attests to the deity of His Son.
Vs. 8 – When the experience was over, and it ended suddenly, there was no one more to look at by Jesus only.
They were back to just being able to see Jesus!
And, that’s just what zeal for the Lord should be, being able to see Jesus only!
H.A. Irsonside – “Moses and Elijah disappeared and Jesus Christ alone remained to be worshipped and adored.”
H.A. Ironside, Expository Notes on Mark, (Neptune, New Jersey, Loizeaux Brothers, 1975), p. 135
LISTEN! – Vs. 7
Have you ever been told, “You should hear this guy preach”?
Or, “You should read this book”?
Or, “You should listen to so and so’s advice”?
What if God gave you a recommendation of someone to listen to?
Going back to our story, right after Peter puts his foot in his mouth, there is the cloud representing the Shekinah glory of God.
This cloud symbolized God’s presence.
God speaks to the three disciples and says, “This is my beloved Son, hear ye him!”
God attests to the deity of Jesus Christ and is saying, “Because this is my Son, hear Him!”
I think of hearing here as having two parts.
The first part is hearing with a desire and a mind to understand what is said.
This is not the type of hearing which lets something “to in one ear and out the other with nothing to stop it in between.”
This is hearing which grasps, which catches on, which learns, which understands.
This is active hearing.
And when you truly hear someone, you do what they say!
You are obedient to the teaching!
So God is saying secondly, “Hear by obeying!”
It is the Christian who hears and obeys who becomes zealous for God.
It is the Christian who hears and obeys who is also a wise Christian.
Matthew 7:24-27 - Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:  And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.  And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:  And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
Would you like to have zeal for God?