March 3, 2018
All DayCategory: Adult Education
Mark 9: 2-8
Listen to Him!
After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them. His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them. And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Peter said to Jesus, "Rabbi, 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 to say, they were so frightened.) Then a cloud appeared and enveloped them, and a voice came from the cloud: "This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!" Suddenly, when they looked round, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus.
Jesus took the 3 disciples who were closest to him to witness this miraculous event. The appearance of the two leading figures of the Old Testament representing the Law and the Prophets is significant. Elijah is the only prophet to have been taken up to heaven without experiencing death and seems to fulfill the Old Testament prophecy:
"Lo, I will send you the prophet Elijah before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes." (Malachi 4:5)
Moses, besides being the great leader appointed by God to lead the Israelites out of Egypt and to teach them the Law, also prophesied about the coming of the Messiah:
“The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers—it is to him you shall listen.” (Deuteronomy 18:15)
In the transfiguration, God repeats the command to listen to Jesus (first mentioned by Moses). God also establishes Jesus’ divinity (as the Son of God). The transfiguration, where Jesus' clothes (Matthew's account also mentions his face) turned dazzling white, is a clear sign of his closeness to God and his divine nature. It reminds us of Moses' close experience with God after which his face shone so brightly that he had to wear a veil. Unlike Moses' case, not only did Jesus' face shine, but his clothes as well, as if unable to contain the power and intensity of the light emanating from the body of the Light of the World.
Clearly the disciples were overwhelmed by this experience and did not know what to say. A glimpse of Jesus' glory and majesty would undoubtedly have overwhelmed us all. However, the message for us is clear: Listen to him