(07-02-18) The Transfiguration - Luke 9.28-43
About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray. 29As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. 30Two men, Moses and Elijah, 31appeared in glorious splendour, talking with Jesus. They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfilment at Jerusalem. 32Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him. 33As the men were leaving Jesus, Peter said to him, “Master, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters – one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” (He did not know what he was saying.)
34While he was speaking, a cloud appeared and covered them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. 35A voice came from the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.” 36When the voice had spoken, they found that Jesus was alone. The disciples kept this to themselves and did not tell anyone at that time what they had seen.
37The next day, when they came down from the mountain, a large crowd met him. 38A man in the crowd called out, “Teacher, I beg you to look at my son, for he is my only child. 39A spirit seizes him and he suddenly screams; it throws him into convulsions so that he foams at the mouth. It scarcely ever leaves him and is destroying him. 40I begged your disciples to drive it out, but they could not.”
41“You unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you and put up with you? Bring your son here.”
42Even while the boy was coming, the demon threw him to the ground in a convulsion. But Jesus rebuked the evil spirit, healed the boy and gave him back to his father. 43And they were all amazed at the greatness of God.
“Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.
Whoever has ears, let them hear.”
Cerro Chirripó, Costa Rica. Both oceans at the same time. Hard going up, even harder coming down.
Story in its context: Matthew Mark and Luke agree! Peter declares Jesus is the Messiah; Jesus tells His disciples he’s going to die; the Transfiguration then the demon-possessed boy is restored.
Jesus’ mountain-top experiences come closely followed by reminders of what lies ahead of him – and His disciples. The greatest moments of our lives of faith are often if not always followed by the lows.
Chris Cottee – depression
This has lead many to be wary of the highs. Too good to be true. Yet they were true to Jesus, and maybe even essential. His Father’s affirmation as a source of strength for the task at hand.
Tom Wright – understand the mountain-top in the light of the hill-top (Calvary) and vice-versa. Here, glory; there, shame. White clothes; stripped off and gambled for. Moses and Elijah; two criminals. A bright cloud; darkness. Peter glorifies; Peter has denied. God identifies Jesus as His Son; pagan soldier declares Jesus is God’s Son. The same Jesus, two very different situations. Jesus is in both.