Monday, May 22nd. Mark 9:9-13

As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them to tell no one about what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead. So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what this rising from the dead could mean. Then they asked him, ‘Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?’ He said to them, ‘Elijah is indeed coming first to restore all things. How then is it written about the Son of Man, that he is to go through many sufferings and be treated with contempt? But I tell you that Elijah has come, and they did to him whatever they pleased, as it is written about him.’ Mark 9:9-13


Increasingly it seems to becoming the popular view that Jesus’ transfiguration is a “misplaced resurrection narrative” or even Mark’s version of foreshadowing Jesus’ ascension. These arguments are grounded, in part, in the lack of a resurrection or ascension narrative at the end of Mark. I don’t know enough about the arguments to say much more.  But, for me, it is enough to see this story as a turning point.


From here to the end, there will be no more mountaintops for Jesus.  From here to the end, Mark follows Jesus to the cross.


The turning point happens with Jesus, Moses and Elijah on a mountain.  The law and the prophets – the story of what it meant to follow God in our lives – will now be completed by the journey of Jesus to the cross, to the grave, to the right hand of God.


God’s love will be greeted by suffering, contempt, humiliation and rejection.  Elijah (John the Baptizer) has gone the way that the disciples will go as well.  Good news won’t feel so good.


As we have heard again and again in Mark, Jesus tells the disciples not to tell anyone about what they saw on the mountain, until the Son of Man had risen from the dead.  The disciples are clearly confused.  They don’t know yet what you and I have known most of our lives – the good news that Jesus HAS risen from the dead.  That Jesus is our hope, our salvation, our model, our guide, our Lord.


We’re now free to tell, to live, that story.


But do we?  Or is it too hard?


Let us pray:  Dear Lord, we’ve seen the vision of you in your glory.  We’ve heard the story.  We believe, help our unbelief.  Give us, when we falter and slide and choose easy roads, the courage, conviction and compassion we need to live and tell your story in our lives today.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.


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