LUKE 9:28-45 TRANSFIGURATION
Bible Background: The transfiguration of Jesus on the mountain is a mysterious and majestic event. In Matthew, Mark, and Luke this marks a turning point: from here on, Jesus will be on his way to the cross, and will not be deterred. It is not easy for disciples (or us!) to understand what this all means. But we do understand we are to “Listen to him” and follow him!
Digging Deeper: 1. Only Luke notes this takes place while Jesus “goes up to the mountain to pray”. Luke characteristically shows Jesus praying: at Baptism, here on the mountain, in Gethsemane. What do you imagine him praying about on this day?
2. Something about this bright, shining event reveals Jesus’ true glory to the 3 disciples. (All along in Luke we’ve been “seeing” bit by bit, who Jesus is and what he’s about!) An experience with bright light, and a cloud on a mountaintop in the Bible is to be read as a “theophany”, an appearance of God. When was a time you ‘saw’ or felt God’s glory or God’s presence in a powerful way? If you haven’t had a moment like that, would you want one?
3. The disciples aren’t exactly awake, and they don’t exactly understand, and they aren’t “terrified” just yet. When Peter does speak for the group, he doesn’t really know what he’s saying. How might that be reassuring for us-when we find it hard to fully understand what Jesus is up to or how we fit into that?
4. When the cloud covers them, the voice from heaven (the voice of God) declares: “This is my Son, my Chosen; Listen to him!” Where did we hear that message prior? What does it take to listen to Jesus? What can you do on your own, or what can we do together to listen to Him? How do we help young people listen to Jesus? How might they help the adults listen?
5. “They kept silent…and told no one!” (In Matthew/Mark Jesus commands them not to tell!) Why the silence? Did they think no one would believe them? Did they not know what to say? Or, considering Matthew/Mark’s command to keep quiet, is it more like: “You can’t understand the Messiah’s true identity and purpose until you see him die on the cross, and until you see him risen from the grave!” As we head into the 40 days of Lent, we are to listen to Jesus. We’re also to journey to the cross and to the empty tomb with him! And, of course, we are to NOT keep silent about him!