March 5, 2000

Mark 9:2-10 (CEV)

Six days later Jesus took Peter, James, and John with him. They went up on a high mountain, where they could be alone. There in front of the disciples, Jesus was completely changed. And his clothes became much whiter than any bleach on earth could make them. Then Moses and Elijah were there talking with Jesus.

Peter said to Jesus, "Teacher, it is good for us to be here! Let us make three shelters, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." But Peter and the others were terribly frightened, and he did not know what he was talking about.

The shadow of a cloud passed over and covered them. From the cloud a voice said, "This is my Son, and I love him. Listen to what he says!" At once the disciples looked around, but they saw only Jesus.

As Jesus and his disciples were coming down the mountain, he told them not to say a word about what they had seen, until the Son of Man had been raised from death. But they wondered what he meant by the words "raised from death."


1. Just prior to this event Jesus has been speaking about his death. Shortly after they return from the mountain Jesus again speaks of his death. When the voice comes to say, "Listen!" we hear echoes of our death. When we listen to Jesus we cannot escape the words "suffering" and "death."

2. Even as we hear the difficult words we don't want to hear there is yet a word beyond them - "raised." We not only are dealing with suffering and death with are dealing with healing and raising. Neither healing or raising are antidotes for suffering and death. They do however set them within a helpful context.

3. Not Jesus, not me, not you will escape suffering and death. So what is a person to do? Listen more deeply. Suffering and death tend to limit our hearing and lead us into fear, into trying to avoid them. When we can listen further to healing and raising we are able to proceed in the midst of suffering and death. It is such proceeding that is a witness to our belief that nothing can separate us from GOD's love and a sign of hope in the world. Listen deeply and live.

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