Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Fresh Look at Matthew: Transfiguration

Questions I don’t have answers for:

Why did Peter want to put up three shelters?  Was it the time for the Feasts of Booths/ Tabernacles in their culture? 

Moses represented the Law, Elijah the prophets. Jesus represented the completion to which they looked forward.

Did the three apostles obey and not tell anyone until after the resurrection?

What was it about Elijah and the Jews?  Why did he hold such a place?  This is an interesting study and I commend it, because it makes no sense to us as 21st century Christians that Elijah would have pre-eminence over other prophets of the Old Testament period.  But he does.  In terms of “Elijah coming first” it was understood not as a reincarnation but as a prophet with the spirit of Elijah, which was John the Baptist. 

The Transfiguration is one of the multiple times we are told, or someone is told, “Do not be afraid.”  Can we really be commanded to stop being afraid?  It’s not a command.  It is a reassurance, a comfort, not a scold. 

In the next passage the healing of the boy with seizures and demon possession, Jesus is not being unkind, only direct.  Why are they so unbelieving and therefore perverse (wayward from God’s will, not sexual deviant as we mean today).  Was Jesus feeling pressure as a human as the cross approaches?  Usually he is so kind, but here sounds impatient to our ears.  These passages are hard because we want consistent Jesus.  Sometimes being close to God means hearing the blunt message, because we are sensitized to listen to him when others are desensitized and don’t listen. 
He tells them again what will happen, how bad it will get before it gets better. 

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