February 25, 2001

Luke 9:28-43

About eight days after saying ["Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead.... Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self.] [Jesus] climbed the mountain to pray, taking Peter, John, and James along. While he was in prayer, the appearance of his face changed and his clothes became blinding white. At once two men were there talking with him. They turned out to be Moses and Elijah -- and what a glorious appearance they made! They talked over his exodus, the one Jesus was about to complete in Jerusalem.

Meanwhile, Peter and those with him were slumped over in sleep. When they came to, rubbing their eyes, they saw Jesus in his glory and the two men standing with him. When Moses and Elijah had left, Peter said to Jesus, "Master, this is a great moment! Let's build three memorials: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." He blurted this out without thinking.

While he was babbling on like this, a light-radiant cloud enveloped them. As they found themselves buried in the cloud, they became deeply aware of God. Then there was a voice out of the cloud: "This is my Son, the Chosen! Listen to him."

When the sound of the voice died away, they saw Jesus there alone. They were speechless. And they continued speechless, said not one thing to anyone during those days of what they had seen.

When they came down off the mountain the next day, a big crowd was there to meet them. A man called from out of the crowd, "Please, please, Teacher, take a look at my son. He's my only child. Often a spirit seizes him. Suddenly he's screaming, thrown into convulsions, his mouth foaming. And then it beats him black and blue before it leaves. I asked your disciples to deliver him but they couldn't."

Jesus said, "What a generation! No sense of God! No focus to your lives! How many times do I have to go over these things? How much longer do I have to put up with this? Bring your son here."

While he was coming, the demon slammed him to the ground and threw him into convulsions. Jesus stepped in, ordered the vile spirit gone, healed the boy, and handed him back to his father. They all shook their heads in wonder, astonished at God's greatness, God's majestic greatness.

<The Message >


1. Today we have two different presentations of GOD's glory. There is the ineffable transfiguration. There are those who respond to it. There is the tangible healing. There are those who respond to it. Which of these scenes best connects with your sensibilities?

2. Note the parallels with an earlier sequence in Luke 4. Jesus come from the wilderness and counters the "devil's" attempt at leadership with that of the Creator's. From this leadership training event Jesus comes to Nazareth to be transformed through an encounter with another prophet -- Isaiah -- having ancient words come true in his present. He walks down, rather than being thrown down, and comes to a time of healing a frenzied spirit. The people were amazed.

Is there a parallel in your life of big talk leading to a transformative experience which leads you into service in a dangerous setting?

If not, what do you think is keeping this model of discipleship from happening in your life?

3. A connecting point between the two parts of this passage is the epiphany "This is my Child, a Chosen One!" and "What a generation! No sense of GOD!"

It is this experience of being GOD's which sets the context for transformation. The baptismal revelation (in Luke made only to Jesus) becomes a mountaintop revelation for others. What is lacking in our current day is the sense of the presence of GOD.

Read again Brother Lawrence's The Practice of the Presence of GOD and rejoice.

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