Mark 9:1-2 And he said to them, "Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see that the kingdom of God has come with power." And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves; and he was transfigured before them,
The love of God is a remarkable thing, for not only is it mercy and compassion and caring for every need, but it is also about a freedom, that enables us to respond to the love of God. We often take freedom for granted, and when we don't it is likely that we misunderstand its source and origin. So, let me speak plainly, apart from Christ everyone is spiritually blind, dead, and an enemy of God - there is no freedom in being spiritually blind, dead, and an enemy of God. And apart from Christ we are enslaved to sin, death, and the devil - and there is no freedom for those who are bound by the chains of slavery. So every freedom originates in God's promise of salvation in his son, Jesus Christ. And the love of God is, that we are given a taste of that freedom even before we come to faith, this is why people talk about a universal freedom, even if they don't see Christ as the source.
Now we know that it is the will of God for all people to be saved, for Jesus died to free all. And although God wants all people to be saved, he does not compel all people to believe, because God wants us to respond, not because of the law, but because of his love. Here's what I mean, it would be possible for Christ to appear to us in all his glory, and the power of the glory of God would be so great, that we would have no choice but to believe - this is what some people call irresistible grace, for if you were called to faith in this way, you would have no choice but to believe.
The problem is, that such irresistible grace, is no grace, all it is, is the law. Children are often tempted, and they can resist temptation easier, when they know their parents are watching. The test is what you do when you think no one is watching, its when you do the right thing then, that not only does it make your parents proud, its what God wants, that we respond to his love in Christ. After all, what credit is there is driving the speed limit, when the car ahead of you is a policeman?
Faith is responding to the love of God with loyalty that trusts the promise of God's grace and mercy in Jesus blood for the forgiveness of our sins.
So turning to our text, we find it introduced with a promise, Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see that the kingdom of God has come with power. When Jesus took Peter, James and John up a high mountain they already had faith, what Jesus shows them is not to create faith, but to strengthen faith, to show them the power of the Kingdom of God, so they would know, that not even Jesus death could prevent the coming of the Kingdom of God. In other words, the promise is fulfilled in the transfiguration - and it is fulfilled again in the Resurrection - and it will be fulfilled finally when Jesus comes at the last day. The promise of God is bigger than we can imagine, just as the love of God is greater than anything we can think of.
There are many things we could say about the Transfiguration, and how to describe the glory of God, there are many fascinating details, such as why Peter wanted to build booths - but there is one thing we must not loose sight of - that this is the love of God speaking to us, and the voice tells us two things we dare not forget. First it tells us who Jesus is, this is God's beloved Son. And second it quiets us, reminding us that there is something more important that what we say, and that is that we listen to Jesus. For no matter how profound our wisdom and knowledge, there is nothing greater than to listen to Jesus, as he reveals to us the love of God, and that great mercy which is our salvation, the forgiveness of our sins in His blood.