Feburary 20, 2018: The Transfiguration

February 20, 2018

Bible Study Session 7: The Transfiguration

This week’s sermon is from Mark 9:2-9, the “transfiguration” of Jesus. In the story, there is a dramatic event on a mountaintop, in which Elijah and Moses appear with Jesus. To commemorate the event, Peter insists they build a monument—a literal dwelling, in this case. Peter suggests that they all stay there, on the mountaintop, with Elijah and Moses. But Elijah and Moses disappear, and Jesus chooses to go down the mountain. Even stranger, Jesus tells his disciples not to speak about this event until after the resurrection.

This is a short text, but it leaves us with many questions. Why the secrecy? Why is Peter singled out, and does this prefigure the church’s historical discussion about Christian institutions? What does this text say about where God dwells? What is Jesus’ connection to Elijah and Moses? Why are Jesus’ clothes transformed and what does that mean? What does this text say about our own desire for structure and perhaps our own need for transformation?

God says again that Jesus is God’s beloved child – what is the significance of repeating this famous line from Jesus’ baptism in this particular moment? I look forward to diving deeper into this text with you next week! This would definitely be an excellent week to join us for Bible study at 11AM on Tuesday! We meet in the Adult Learning Center.

Bible Study Scripture

Mark 9:2-9

New Revised Standard Version

Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them. And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” He did not know what to say, for they were terrified. Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, “This is my child, the Beloved; listen to him!” Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them any more, but only Jesus. As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus ordered them to tell no one about what they had seen, until after Jesus, the Son of Man, had risen from the dead.