(This message may be used as an individual sermon or as part of the series.)



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 Kingdom of God come with power. 

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 40:31But 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! 


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. 


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 9:30-31And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias: [31] Who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem. 

Luke tells us that they talked about the ultimate fulfillment that Jesus accomplished, His sacrificial death for our sins in Jerusalem. 

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.    


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 7:24-27Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: [25] 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. [26] 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: [27] 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? 


(This message may be used as an individual sermon or as part of the series.)



We all face trials and troubles often.  It is what Cole Porter called “Stormy Weather” in a song that he wrote.  

There were a couple of times when the disciples faced storms on the Sea of Galilee.  

As we look at this story about literal storm, we also learn lessons about the figurative storms that cause trials and troubles in our lives.  Let’s see what lessons we can learn this morning about stormy weather. 


Vs. 23 – Think of the boat as our lives.

Although God is present everywhere, there is a special sense in which God is present in our lives.  When He indwells us, He has taken up special residence inside of us. John 14:16-17 

God the Holy Spirit dwells inside of the Christian.

He is there to guide us, protect us, keep us, teach us, and comfort us.

And God has promised the Christian that this presence is unending! Hebrews 13:5-6 

You have heard people say, and might have said yourself, “I wouldn’t want to face this problem without the Lord!”

How true!  If God is willing to take up residence in our lives through his Holy Spirit it would be dumb not to avail ourselves of His presence. 

When you trust Christ as your payment for sins, you are what the Bible calls, born again, by the Spirit of God.  And God the Holy Spirit takes up residence in your life. Romans 8:9    

If you have truly trusted Christ as your Savior, you have God’s presence in your life no matter what the storm may be.  Make sure that you have Christ in the boat that is your life!    


Vs. 23 – The Lord Jesus entered the boat.  The disciples followed Him into the boat. It was the Lord Jesus who decided where they were going. Luke 8:22 

The disciples ended up in a storm on the Sea of Galilee because they were following Jesus in obedience.

Of course, being obedient to God as a Christian and following Jesus’ leadership in our lives is the right thing to do. Luke 9:23-24 

Following Jesus after trusting Him for forgiveness does not mean that it will be an easy life.  In fact, we will have storms. 2 Timothy 3:12, James 1:2-4 

The storms that Jesus leads through will make us strong and mature.  And I’d rather follow Jesus in the middle of a storm than to not follow Jesus.  Being in the center of the Lord’s will is always the safest place to be. 

But you’ll also face storms if you’re not obedient to God. 

Would you rather face storms being in the center of God’s will, or out of God’s will? Which makes the most sense?   


Vs. 24 – I don’t have to tell you how dangerous storms can be.  Just consider last year’s tsunami and hurricanes Ivan and Rita.

This storm was a very violent storm, and even seasoned fishermen like Peter, Andrew, James, and John were having trouble with it. 

The storms of life which we face are also dangerous.

Sometimes we will be in physical danger because of persecution, accidents or illness.

Other times we are in emotional danger with our “storms” threatening to overwhelm us with fear and/or depression.

Other times we are in Spiritual danger, with Satan’s attacks challenging us to give up or to sin. 

And this verse alludes to another danger.  We might be concerned because in the midst of the storm God appears to be asleep.  He does not seem to be responding to our problems during the storm.  He seems to be silent. 

Our Lord Jesus was able to sleep because He had a human body that got tired.  He was also able to sleep because, being sinless, He had a clean conscience.  He was also able to sleep, because He quietly allowed Himself to rest in the hands of His loving Heavenly Father.

If you are doing what is right before the Lord, confessing your sins as a Christian, and striving to live for Him, don’t panic when God appears to be asleep. He’ll show Himself to be very much alive at just the right time. 


Vs. 25 – When storms come we tend to fear. And sometimes when storms come we will go into a panic.  The situation seems to be absolutely hopeless! 

Humans tend to be fearful.  If we didn’t tend to be fearful, God would not have put so many verses in the Bible telling us not to be afraid. I’ll just give you two samples, but there are many more “do not fear” verses in the Bible. Psalm 27:1, Isaiah 41:10 

We tend to fear and worry about what might happen but hasn’t happened.

We tend to fear and worry about the future.

We tend to fear and worry about the opinions of others.

We tend to fear and worry about our children, our parents, our spouses. 

Then comes the times our problems are so real to us that they tend to overwhelm us.  We hit the panic mode. 

Yes, many fears are justified.  But there is a proper way to handle fear.

These seasoned fishermen were literally in over their heads and they knew it, coming to Jesus in panic. 


Vs. 25 – The disciples awoke the Lord Jesus.

Their anxious prayer was an indication that they had come to the end of themselves, and that they had at least a little faith that Jesus could help. 

I personally think that they waited too long to ask Jesus for help.  The moment things got a little stormy, I think they should have come to Him. 

We are like that.  If things seem to be just a little stormy or troublesome, we’ll just worry over it and try to solve it ourselves, instead of bringing it to God right away.

But when problems get full blown, we come in a panic with a little, but not much faith that God can help. Philippians 4:6, James 1:5-8 

Vs. 26 – Note that Jesus did not rebuke the disciples for waking Him up.  Like I said, I feel that He would have welcomed being woken up sooner.    

Notice our Lord’s calm rebuke in the midst of the storm.

He was not in a panic. He’s totally under control.  He can even take the time to rebuke the disciples before He did anything.  He is master of the situation. 

Let’s remember when we give our stormy problems to God He is not in a panic.  He can solve the problem leisurely if He chooses to.  There is no reason to get in a dither or bent out of shape. 


Vs. 26 – Jesus said the word and there was perfect calm. It was like there had been no storm. There was no rocking of the waves that normally follow a storm. There was perfect peace. 

When Jesus speaks the Word there is perfect peace.

Sometimes the problem totally disappears, but more often than not the place where the greatest miracle has occurred is inside of us. 

We are at peace.

God has calmed the ragging in our souls. 

Vs. 27 – The disciples were absolutely amazed!  The Lord Jesus had done what they had never seen before.  A human being told the storm to cease and it did.  The winds obeyed Him! The waves obey Him. 

They had a new appreciation for the power of Jesus!

They had a new appreciation for the glory of Jesus!

And when Jesus calms our storms, we too, should have a new appreciation for the power and glory of the Lord Jesus.

We should be amazed!

We should be filled with praise and worship.

We should be ready to trust Him when an even bigger storm comes.