Mark 9:2-9 - And after six days Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And He was transfigured before them, and His clothes became radiant, intensely white, as no one on earth could bleach them. And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus. And Peter said to Jesus, "Rabbi, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah." For he did not know what to say, for they were terrified. And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, "This is My beloved Son; listen to Him." And suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone with them but Jesus only. And as they were coming down the mountain, He charged them to tell no one what they had seen, until the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
What have been the major landmarks in your life—your high school or college graduation, your marriage, your first child, your last promotion? These are pivotal points in our lives, aren't they? After they occur, everything else is a little bit different—sometimes a lot different.
How compelling a turning point Jesus' transfiguration must have been for Peter, James, and John. Just before witnessing this mountaintop spectacle, they had seen Jesus in action in some big ways: feeding 4,000 people with a few loaves of bread and fish; healing a deaf man and a blind man; and telling His disciples He was headed for a lot of pain and suffering at the hands of the Jewish elders, chief priests, and scribes.
It was Jesus' announcement that He was to be killed that didn't sit well with Peter. After all, not too long before this, Peter told Jesus he believed Him to be "the Christ," the Messiah, the Anointed King (of the Jews). Now, at hearing of Jesus' pending suffering and death (at the hands of the Jews), Peter took Jesus aside and had some harsh words for Him. To which Jesus told Peter plainly that he was losing sight of the big picture (see Mark 8:27-33).
But I imagine seeing Jesus' transfiguration set a lot of things straight for Peter and the other two disciples. This Man whom they followed and believed in—who silenced storms and condemned hypocrisy, who healed and served and loved—this Man was verified as real and true and worthy of their worship and adoration by God the Father Himself: "This is My beloved Son; listen to Him."
Surely, this was a landmark event in the lives of all three of these disciples, clarifying and affirming who Jesus was and how He had been sent by the Father.
And how does God set things straight of us in these turbulent times? He comes to us in the reading of His Word and through the waters of Baptism and in the blessed celebration of Holy Communion.
He comes to us in the same truth He shared many years ago. He reminds us, as He announced to Peter, James, and John: "This is My beloved Son; listen to Him."
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, may we always listen to Your Son, our Lord and Savior. In His Name we pray. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Paul Schreiber.
1. What is the most recent notable event you've experienced in your life or someone else's?
2. Why do you think Jesus chose only Peter, James, and John from among His disciples to witness His transfiguration?
3. Does it seem possible to not believe Jesus and all He said after seeing something like the transfiguration?
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