This week we will begin our discussion of Mark 8:22-10:52 which is the transition section between Jesus’ Galilean ministry and his entry into Jerusalem. One of the key passages in this section is the Transfiguration found in Mark 9:2-8. As you look at the Transfiguration, a few things to consider are its placement in the narrative, its Old Testament antecedents, and the disciples.
Mark places the Transfiguration in this transition section immediately after Peter’s Confession and rebuke. Thereby, the voice gives divine confirmation to Peter’s Confession. Additionally, the Transfiguration is the heart of this transition section. The Greek word used by Mark for “transfigure” is “metemorphothe” which is the verb form of the noun metamorphosis. In a metamorphosis, an animal changes its form and its purpose such as from a tadpole to a frog or a caterpillar to a butterfly. Therefore, we can look at Mark’s uses of the Transfiguration or Metamorphosis as showing us Jesus’ transformation from an itinerant preacher and healer in Galilee into the fullness of his purpose and being as the Messianic Son of God to be crucified in Jerusalem.
Another way of looking at the Transfiguration is through the pagan and Old Testament antecedents to the event. I have attached the Anchor Commentary on this background. pp.1108-18. Mark’s telling of the Transfiguration tracks the assent and descent of Moses onto Mt. Sinai/Horeb in his reception of the Ten Commandments (Ex. 24:12-18; 34:29-35) and refers to Elijah’s flight to that same mountain (1 Kings 19). If you have time, read the Commentary and the narratives of Moses’ ascent and Elijah’s escape.
Finally, look at Peter’s role in the Transfiguration. Mark once more highlights the obtuseness of Peter who wants to build shelters for the vision. Notice that Peter misses the content of the conversation between Moses, Elijah, and Jesus because of his concern for the shelters. Think about why Peter wants to build the shelters. Once more, it appears that Peter is seeking to prevent Jesus from going to Jerusalem. Through building the shelters, Peter once more seeks to stay on the mountain with his Messiah. Once more, Peter is trying to avoid the Cross.
Dinner is a 6 on Tuesday. Menu is chicken caciatore. Discussion about 6:45. PARKING – You are welcome to park in the circular driveway of the white brick house next door. Hope to see you here.
The Lord said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain and stay here, and I will give you the tablets of stone with the law and the commandments I have written for their instruction. Then Moses set out with Joshua, his aide, and Moses went up on the mountain of God. When Moses when up on the mountain, the cloud covered it, and the glory of the Lord settled on Mount Sinai. For six days the cloud covered the mountain, and on the seventh day the Lord called to Moses from within the cloud..Exodus 24:13-16