Today is the Sunday before Ash Wednesday (Lent begins on Ash Wednesday) and we are reflecting on the Transfiguration of Jesus. Scholars down through the ages have discussed
extensively the Transfiguration event. Nearly everyone begins by admitting that they are not sure of exactly what took place. Please note that only the synoptic Gospels – Mark 9:2-9,
Luke 9:28 – 36 and Matthew 17:1-8 and the second letter of Peter, 1:16-18 record the event.
What is the transfiguration story trying to teach/tell us?
Is it trying to tell Christians about the unique Messiahship of Jesus? Is it trying to focus our attention on the disciples who found it hard to believe that Jesus was the Messiah? Is it trying to do both? Or, after all, is it trying to strengthen the faith of the disciples for the road of crucifixion and suffering that was ahead? Even if we resolve these issues of the purpose of the story, the event itself still remains strange. Elijah and Moses carry such great symbolic weight in Jewish tradition and culture that the purpose of their appearance on the mountaintop with Jesus is far from clear. And then, of course, there is the presence of the “cloud,” the “shining garment” of Jesus, and
those “three dwellings” Peter speaks out about. What does the presence of these elements add to this remarkable and mysterious event? In today’s world we do not like to hear about mysterious things – but yes, there is still mystery and mysterious things, even in today’s world there are things we cannot explain by hard cold scientific and logical evidence.
Is there anything mysterious that has ever taken place in your life? What was it! How did you feel?
Your brother in Christ,