Prepare to Listen. In humility, offer this prayer: Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
Prayerfully Read Matthew 17:1-8
Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves. 2And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white. 3Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. 4Then Peter said to Jesus, ‘Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three dwellings here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.’ 5While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!’ 6When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were overcome by fear. 7But Jesus came and touched them, saying, ‘Get up and do not be afraid.’ 8And when they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus himself alone.
“Six days later.” This is the only time Matthew highlights the time, therefore we can assume it’s significant. Six days earlier Jesus had taught, for the first time, that he would suffer, die and rise again on the third day. Also, for the first time, he taught that those who want to follow him will also suffer (read Matthew 16:13-26). We know that Peter, and presumably the rest of Jesus’ disciples, didn’t believe him. Peter even dared to rebuke Jesus. Six days later, Jesus took Peter, James and John up “a high mountain.” What they saw was an amazing, awe-inspiring sight. It left them speechless until Peter (always Peter) made his dumb comment about building three dwellings. Was he hoping to contain Jesus, Moses and Elijah for all time? What was he thinking? Matthew doesn’t say. Peter’s suggestion is left unanswered and unexplained. What happened next was even more awe-inspiring. A cloud enveloped them, and a voice spoke out from it, assuring them that Jesus was God’s Son and commanding them, “Listen to him.” Listen to his words about his suffering and death; listen to his words about the way of true followers of Jesus. He had said all that needed to be said and they were to listen, that is, hear and obey and be transformed. There is no encounter with Jesus, until his words have been listened to, that is, obeyed and our lives have been transformed.
What do you not understand in this passage? Live with it today, simply listening without the need to know fully.
Respond to Jesus
Living God, you command the disciples to listen to Jesus. Open my ears today that I may listen, hear and obey Jesus and be transformed, bit by bit, into his likeness. Amen.
Go live obediently in the world by listening and obeying Jesus.
Because I believe that Scripture is food for our soul (our entire being) I seek to read it and encourage others to read it in ways that nourish and transform our beings. I invite you to read the Bible with me during Lent and into Easter. I am a Bible teacher, spiritual companion and retreat director. I know the Bile and how to read it for spiritual formation.