Saturday, February 25, 2006

Transfiguration -- Mark 9 -- Notes

Right before this – He started to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer.
Who do you say that I am?
Conditions of Discipleship – Transfiguration – Coming of Elijah

Mark 9:2-10
2Six 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, 3and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them. 4And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus. 5Then 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.” 6He did not know what to say, for they were terrified. 7Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, “This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!” 8Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them any more, but only Jesus.
9As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them to tell no one about what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead. 10So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what this rising from the dead could mean.

Verse 2 – paralambano cmp. I Cor 11:23
Same three that were in the garden at the end – witnesses to the healing of Jaius’ daughter earlier. healing, Transfiguration, agony??

How did they know it was Elijah and Moses? Cmp Moses face shining in Exodus 34:29 after being on a high mountain. Jesus an incarnation of the Word – Moses and Elijah incarnations of the Law and the Prophets. OR Resurrection and revelation. Talking WITH Jesus, the eternal Word, spoken himself by God. Then they are gone – leaving only Jesus, the incarnation of God. An unveiling of what IS, but what is now concealed? Are they the two witnesses in Rev 11? Thin Space.

John the Baptist = Elijah, Jesus = Moses in Matthew, but here he is clearly set apart from them.
Not only was Jesus metamorpho, but Peter, James and John were, too.
Witnessed to by 2 Peter 1:16-17 40 years later. And John as well in chapter 1:17
Alluded to by Paul in Rom 12:2? Be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of you minds. Lectionary Text – 2 Cor 3:7
2 Corinthians 3:18 (NIV) 18And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed [same word as Mark 9:2 “transfigured”] into his likeness with ever-increasing glory. . .

Jesus made a statement when he didn’t use a tabernacle – a dwelling. If he was God, then God would stay with us and walk along and among us.

Voice from the cloud.
Cloud as the same as with Moses in wilderness.
Overshadowed – enveloped.
This is my beloved son – cmp. John’s Baptism
Mountain – echos of the mountain in the temptation?
In Luke – during prayer, here as they are apart from the others.

Earth, Air, Fire and Water – elemental
We yearn to be changed – but we also fear it. Earth, Air, Fire and Water can fundamentally change things. From the earth we came to the earth you shall surely return. Air sculpts trees, Fire refines, slow pressure of water can wear away – but there is indeed conservation of matter. – transmutation. Alchemy. As mysterious to us as alchemy.
Two other theophanies in Mark – perhaps? Baptism (voice from heaven) and the “I am” to the High Priest 14:62: Jesus said, "I am; and 'you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power,' and 'coming with the clouds of heaven.'" – this one is both hearing and seeing?

Mark has no sight of the Risen Christ – except for this. Even mentions the resurrection.

Center of Mark’s Gospel. Maybe a disconnect? Jesus talking vertically / conversations with Moses and Elijah – Jesus talking to the doofuses with him / talking horizontally with the disciples. The Sublime to the Ridiculous.

An Exodus – the cloud, the appearance of God, the voice of God – not from Egpyt from from Death? Not via the wilderness but the Via Dolarosa.

Law given on a Mountain -- Transfigured on a Mountain – crucified on a Mountain.
Between Hur and Joshua -- Between two heroes/historical figures of great regard – between two disreputable thieves
Face Shines so that he has to veil himself -- Garments made as white as snow – garments stripped from his body and gambled over
Nation of Israel witnesses --Three witnesses to his glory – Mary and Mary and Salome watch from a distance
Voice from the Burning Bush -- Voice from the cloud – voice of the centurion
Predates Elijah -- Elijah was there – Is he calling to Elijah?

Peter didn’t want to come down off the mountain – but Jesus was all about coming down off the Mountain.

How do we domesticate God? Where do we try to put god in a box?

It changed Jesus – It changed the disciples – it changes us. Gave Jesus the strength to do what had to be done. It gave the disciples an image of the Glory – how does the transfiguration change us?

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