Ethiopian Gospels, Transfiguration. Image by Walter Arts Museum Illuminated Manuscripts via Flickr; public domain.
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Jesus Turns to Jerusalem
Luke 9:28-45 Commentary
by Michal Beth Dinkler
In last week’s story, Jesus’ identity was questioned.
This week’s passage focuses on Jesus’ identity as well. The story of Jesus’ Transfiguration is one of only two instances in Luke’s Gospel in which the divine voice speaks; both cases concern Jesus’ identity.
The first is the scene of Jesus’ baptism in Luke 3.21-22. There, a “voice from heaven” speaks directly to Jesus, calling him, “my beloved Son” with whom “I am well-pleased” (Luke 3:22). We do not know whether others hear the voice; neither does it much matter. The main focus at that moment is the divine voice confirming to Jesus his identity as God’s son.
In Luke 9, the Transfiguration story is directly preceded by a conversation about Jesus’ identity. When Jesus asks who others think he is, the disciples answer, “John the Baptist; but others, Elijah; and still others, that one of the ancient prophets has arisen” (Luke 9:19). Jesus responds with a follow-up question: “But who do you ...
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The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
February 26, 2017
This podcast on Luke 9:28-45, the Narrative Lectionary reading for Feb. 26, 2017, features Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Kathryn Schifferdecker, and Karoline Lewis. Podcast recorded at Luther Seminary, Saint Paul, Minn.