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Focus, Listen, and Obey

A Lent Reflection for Saturday, March 2 by Brandi S. Sanders


Lectionary reading for 3/02/2024: Psalm 19; Exodus 19:16-25; Mark 9:2-8

Selected passage for reflection: Mark 9:2-8 


Read

Mark 9:2-8 The Message

Six days later, three of them did see it. Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up a high mountain. His appearance changed from the inside out, right before their eyes. His clothes shimmered, glistening white, whiter than any bleach could make them. Elijah, along with Moses, came into view, in deep conversation with Jesus.


Peter interrupted, “Rabbi, this is a great moment! Let’s build three memorials—one for you, one for Moses, one for Elijah.” He blurted this out without thinking, stunned as they all were by what they were seeing.


Just then a light-radiant cloud enveloped them, and from deep in the cloud, a voice: “This is my Son, marked by my love. Listen to him.”

The next minute the disciples were looking around, rubbing their eyes, seeing nothing but Jesus, only Jesus.


Reflect 

This passage makes me think about myself, my two younger sisters, and our mom. I mean, I can literally see the scene in my mind. My mother brings my sisters and I to a special moment and my sister (I won’t say which one) just can’t be quiet. The only other thing that would have made it more like my childhood is if Jesus had turned around and told Peter to shut up. I giggle a little every time I read this passage. 


There are two things in this text that stand out to me.


The first thing that stands out to me is God calling down to the disciples. Prior to this moment, the disciples are struggling a bit with who Jesus is and, in this moment, God settles it. He makes things clear, “This is my son…Listen to him.” So, for any of you who are still confused, this is my son. The next thing God says, which is probably the most crucial, is, “Listen to him.” It’s important to note that God was not simply commanding them to hear what Jesus says, but to obey him. I wish God would do something similar with my kids. “Listen up kids, I put your mom in charge. Listen to her.” But I digress. 


The second thing that stands out to me is the moment when the disciples are looking around and no longer see Moses or Elijah. The text says that they see “nothing but Jesus. Only Jesus.” It must have been pretty cool to see Moses and Elijah, but your focus needs to be on Jesus. As a matter of fact, Moses and Elijah, while walking the Earth, were pointing us toward Jesus. Focus on Jesus. I need this type of reminder daily. Brandi, focus on Jesus. I don’t know about you, but I can get so caught up in things – good things that I need to be reminded that ultimately, Jesus is my focus. 


Summary:

  • We are to listen to and obey God.

  • Our focus should be on Jesus.

  • I decided to sneak this one in - Sometimes we need to just shut up (like Peter and my sister).


Respond 

Take a moment and think about what you need to do to focus on God. How can you remove the distractions? In what ways are you listening but not obeying God? Make the decision to be obedient and fight like hell to do it.


Rest 

Gracious and holy God, help me to focus more on you. I desire to not only listen, but to obey your word.  Lord and in the moments when you are trying to speak to me, help me to be quiet so that I can hear your voice. Amen.


About the Author 


Brandi S. Sanders is a minister and podcaster. In October she had her third daughter (and second IVF miracle) and is enjoying the cuddles. Leading worship and working to relaunch her podcast are other things that have her excited. Brandi, her husband and their three daughters live in the Chicagoland area. Follow Brandi on Facebook and find her on Instagram - @mrs.bransan.

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1 comentário


melanie myatt
melanie myatt
04 de mar.

Your writing helped me take a break from work to focus on God today. Thank you for sharing!

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