Lenten Devotion: March 16

  • March 16, 2014

Matthew 17:1-9

“[Jesus] was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white” (v. 2).

Peter: Do you see what I see?
James: It looks like Jesus, but…
Peter: What’s happening?
John: Let’s get out of here!
James: No, wait, there’s Moses and Elijah.
Peter: What in the world?

We won’t ever know what was really said that day. Matthew tells us that Peter, ever practical, offers shelter to the three who appear before him. It seems a strange reaction. If I had been there, I would I have been so blown away to be speechless. If I had been one of Jesus’ three BFFs invited up the mountain, I would have anticipated a quiet, private chat, maybe sharing a cup of wine, some bread and cheese, a chance to check in and pray together. Like the other times when we had gone off to get away from the crowds. But, wham, all of a sudden my friend and teacher turns into what looks like a blazing fire. I have to shield my eyes from the bright light of his face. I’m terrified! Is he going to burn up right in front of us?

Then, as quickly as it had appeared, the vision evaporates. Jesus is himself again and, as he has at other times, warns us to keep quiet , at least for a while. I still don’t understand all that just happened to Jesus up there on the mountain, but I think that something has happened to me as well, and that I, too, have been changed.