23 Feb. Mark 9:2-9

23 Feb. Jesus shines with the 'Glory of God'

"Six days later, Jesus took Peter, James and John up on a high mountain by themselves. While they watched, Jesus's appearance was changed."

"His clothes became shining white, whiter than any person could make them."

"Then Elijah and Moses appeared to them, talking with Jesus. Peter said to Jesus, 'Teacher, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents ['tabernacles' to house the radiant presence of God] one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah'. Peter did not know what to say, because he and the others were so frightened."

"Then a cloud [symbolising the presence of God] covered them, and a voice came from the cloud, saying, 'This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!'"

"Suddenly Peter, James and John looked around, but they saw only Jesus there alone with them."

          (Mark 9:2-9)

 

 

Six days after Peter's momentous declaration that Jesus was God's 'Messiah' - the 'Christ' or 'anointed one' - Jesus took his three closest disciples – Peter, James and John – onto a high mountain where his appearance was changed or ‘transfigured’.

His face shone brightly and his clothes became dazzling white, while Moses and Elijah (representing the Jewish lawgivers and the prophets) were seen by the disciples talking with Jesus. A cloud enveloped the snow-topped mountain and God’s voice was heard saying, “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!” (Mark 9:7)

The significance of the ‘transfiguration’ of Jesus may appear obscure to modern readers, but to Jewish observers, its meaning was quite clear.

In the Old Testament, the 'glory' of the Lord – the ‘Shekinah’, the radiant, shining presence of God himself – had appeared to Moses on Mount Sinai (see Exodus 24:16), and had later filled the temple in Jerusalem (see 1 Kings 8:11). When Jesus was born, the 'glory' of the Lord – the same radiant, shining presence of God – appeared to the shepherds in the fields outside Bethlehem (see Luke 2:9-20), indicating that God’s presence had come on earth again.

On the high mountain where Jesus took his three closest followers, the 'glory' of the Lord – this same shining presence of God – appeared again to Moses, just as on Mount Sinai. But this time, it was Jesus who reflected the 'glory' of the Lord – the personal presence of God – in himself.

The mountain where the ‘transfiguration’ occurred was probably Mount Hermon, a short distance to the north of Caesarea Philippi – in the area where Jesus asked the disciples, ‘Who do you say I am?' (Mark 8:29).

Mount Hermon (meaning ‘sanctuary’) was the highest mountain in Palestine (at 9233 ft / 2815m above sea level) and had a permanent white snowfield that provided meltwater during the dry spring and summer to feed the River Jordan.

It was a sacred place to the early Caananites and was one of the ‘high places’ of pagan worship often revered during Old Testament times. Jesus chose this special place to show his personal and unique relationship with God, together with his close ties to the most respected early leaders of the Jewish religion, Moses and Elijah.

You can read more about Jesus's 'transfiguration' @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/…/jesus-is-changed-on-the-…/

 


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