Posted by on Feb 17, 2021 in Pastor's Blog | Comments Off on Follow, Listen, Tell

Dear Lord…we are going to be looking at your Transfiguration this week. You come to us in so many ways…through friends, through smiles, through words spoken by others as we are listening and learning. Be with us as we continue to work as your disciples…we have chosen to be your followers. We are also being asked to listen to your words…as we read your words in the Bible. You also speak to us in our own thoughts and direct us. Help us know your voice, listen to you and then tell others about your love and forgiveness.

Today, we are celebrating Jesus transfiguration. This event took place just about six days after Jesus had told his disciples about his coming death and resurrection. As usual, Mark has a lot of things that we will be unwrapping as we consider these verses from Mark 9:2-9.

It is important for us to remember that for the gospel writer, Mark, the coming of the Kingdom was not predicting the end of the world, but that it is an ongoing process where God’s words and God’s will are being made known to the world and told to others.

This section of Mark begins just six days after Jesus has told the disciples about his pending arrest, death and resurrection. Can you imagine the feelings of those followers when they heard this? How would you have reacted to being told that the teacher you have been following for 3 years will be arrested, beaten, crucified and then resurrected? It could have been hard to believe and an instance of now wanting to even think about it.

Notice that Jesus took only Peter, James and John with him to the high mountain. These were probably his three “core” disciples, who He knew would help the other continue in their mission, and this experience would eventually be clear to them.

As they all approached the high mountain, Jesus suddenly was clothed in white robes…an indication of righteousness and heavenly existence. Not only did he appear in the white robes, but he changed from within as he was talking with Elijah and Moses. Elijah was an indication of the Law and the Prophets were indicated by the presence of Moses. It is the first time that both the disciples and we…as followers….see Jesus as both human and divine.

The fact that Jesus was the Son of God is reaffirmed by the voice of God, saying “This is my Son, the beloved, listen to him.” This was spoken after Peter, who had rejected Jesus’ words about his impending arrest, death and resurrection in the previous chapter, suddenly, in the awe of seeing Jesus, Elijah and Moses together, wanted to build a temple to each of them. He is thrilled with the display of heavenly glory. He was positive that the Kingdom of God had come.

Look at the important aspects of this transfiguration. This even happened on earth where Jesus will reign. He is the kingdom of God come to earth. The disciples experienced this event almost like a dream…an altered state of consciousness. God speaking to them assured them of Jesus’ divinity and told them to listen to him. Twice now, Mark has used God’s words to declare that Jesus is the Son of God…first at his baptism and now at his transfiguration.

It is important for us to realize that the disciples saw the human Jesus who ate with them, washed his hands, washed their feet, taught the people about what was coming…as well as the divine Son of God. We, too, are seeing this in these verses. We, too are created to be people who work with our neighbors, serve our friends and neighbors and show them the hope we have in Jesus’ divinity.

Jesus called the disciples to follow him. He calls us to also follow him. He knows us and understands us. He experienced much of what we, too, experience in our lives. He calls us to follow…He is one with us.

Imagine that we, too, are on the high mountain and experiencing this marvelous vision of Jesus as both human and divine. We can be confident that we are with him…He is lifting us up to experience the light that He gives to us all.

We, too, hear God saying to us, Listen to Him! To listen means also to stay close to Jesus…to remember that Jesus came to earth to proclaim the Good News of forgiveness of sins and redemption. As we listen to God’s words and to Jesus in our lives, we can grow closer to God and become what God intended us to be.

When we receive God’s love and forgiveness and hear the words, we are to share that love, the forgiveness and the words with others. We have seen in this passage the divinity of Jesus. It is a message to us of God’s love and care for us as humans.

Now, the disciples were asked to be silent…but we are challenged to tell everyone about Jesus and His love and forgiveness. We are being called to follow Jesus wherever He leads us. We are being asked to listen to the one who leads us in our lives, and to tell others about Jesus.

As we follow Jesus in our lives, we are asked to listen to what Jesus wants us to do and where he wants us to go. We are to tell everyone and anyone about Jesus love and forgiveness. We are seeing again that our words and our actions are vital in the mission God gives to us to follow, listen and tell.

May God bless us all, as we continue to do His work in our world.

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