The Transfiguration – The Case, The Place, & The Face I
I never thought I’d come up with a catchy title for a homily, but there it is. The Case has to do with Peter, James, John, you, and me. The Place is the mountain. The Face… well, you get that.
The Case: Peter, James, & John are a case. Yep. Why did Jesus take them up the mountainside? (And, where’s Andrew?) Sibling rivalry. Seems to me that these three were vying for ascendancy among the Twelve. “Who’s number ONE? Who’s favored? Who’s special? Who’s top dog? Who’s the smartest, the best, the best looking, best dressed…?” We all know this, don’t we? We all do this, right?
Here’s what it looked like:
Chapter 16: Immediately before this passage, Jesus asked, “Who to YOU say that I am?” Peter got it right and was named, Rocky, the cornerstone of the church. THEN, Jesus taught about rejection, suffering, death, and resurrection. We know what Peter said then — “No way!” Jesus put him in his place as a disciple – behind him. What do you think James & John thought about all this?
Chapter 18: “At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, ‘Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’ He called a child, whom he put among them, and said, ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Soon after, the disciples spoke harshly to children keeping them away from Jesus.
“Then Peter came and said to him, ‘Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.” Whom do you think he referred to, Hmmm?
Chapter 20: “Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to him with her sons, and kneeling before him, she asked a favour of him. And he said to her, ‘What do you want?’ She said to him, ‘Declare that these two sons of mine will sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.’ … When the ten heard it, they were angry with the two brothers.” Hmmm.
This is our case. This is how we pray every day, every Sunday. Am I number one? If slighted, I get resentful. Heck of a way to pray, eh?
This is their context, our context into which Jesus’ revelation happens.