Saturday, March 2

Saturday, March 2      

Scripture: Luke 9:28-36

28 About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray. 29 As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. 30 Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. 31 They spoke about his departure, [exodus] which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem. 32 Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him. 33 As 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.)

34 While he was speaking, a cloud appeared and covered them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. 35 A voice came from the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.” 36 When 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.

Some thoughts: 

     We have mentioned in previous writings there is not a word or phrase wasted in the Scriptures. Have you ever wondered why it was “eight days later” and why Luke made a point of putting that phrase in Scripture? (Matthew and Mark say it was six days. They counted only full days whereas Luke counted parts of days. Luke also gives us more detail than either Matthew or Mark.) Why not “four days later” or “two weeks later?” Numbers are significant in Scripture. Numbers often have symbolic meaning in Jewish thought. The number seven is related to Creation and the Sabbath. The number eight is the perfect number of completion. For instance, the Tabernacle was dedicated in an eight-day celebration. So when Luke writes that it was eight days after Jesus had told the disciples that some of them would not die before they had seen the Kingdom of God, it signifies the coming completion of Jesus’ ministry on earth. Jesus was raised from the dead on the eighth day.

     Peter, James, and John went with Jesus to a mountain top to pray. As happened later in the Garden of Gethsemane, these same three again fell asleep as Jesus prayed. W and saw Jesus’ body in a glorified state and audibly heard God the Father speak to Jesus from within an engulfing a cloud, “This is my Son, my Chosen One. Listen to him.” Joining them on the mountain were Moses and Elijah, representing the Law and the Prophets. While the trio of disciples were privy to a conversation among Jesus, Moses, and Elijah, the truth is, they fell asleep and missed the whole thing. Can you imagine being there? These two Old Testament prophets talked with Jesus about his “exodus”, (yes, that is the word) from this world. Moses had first-hand experience with an exodus and the redemption of Israel from the bondage of slavery. Jesus’ “exodus” redeemed all of creation from the bondage of slavery to sin. The men also talked about what shortly lay ahead in Jerusalem. Jesus was about to fulfill completely and permanently the Law (Moses) and all that the prophets had foretold (Elijah-representing all the Old Testament prophets).

    As the conversation came to an end, the disciples woke up just soon enough to get glimpses of the Old Testament saints. The completion of Jesus’ journey to bring redemption was nearing an end and God the Father once again audibly affirmed Jesus’ mission. Jesus then told the disciples not to tell anyone what they had seen until after he was raised from the dead. 

     As these disciples learned, traveling close to Jesus puts us off center at times. Rather than speaking up and moving into some action when we don’t understand or know what to do, the Father’s words were to hold still, be quiet, and listen to my Son. Don’t substitute activity and talking for listening to Jesus, a life-long daily endeavor.

Music: “La Transfiguration de Notre Seigneur Jesus-Christ” Messiaen (1:50:50)  (with subtitles)

“Transfiguration” Wren/ Manalo (3:26)

Prayer: As long as Thou art present with us, O Thou whom our soul loveth, we are in the light; all is brightness, all is sweetness. We discourse with Thee, live with Thee and rest with Thee. Arise in our hearts; make Thy light to shine in darkness as a perfect day. Amen.   —Henry Vaughan (1622-1695)