Transfiguration, mosaic in St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City. Creative Commons image by rich_gibson on Flickr. Sourced from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, Tenn. Original source.
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Who Is the Greatest?
Matthew 16:24 – 17:8 Commentary
by Warren Carter
In this scene, Jesus is somehow transformed.
Moses and Elijah appear and then strangely disappear. Peter is perplexed. James and John are anonymous. God quotes Godself. Disciples are overcome with awe. Jesus tells them to say nothing!
The scene invites preachers to engage the mysterious and puzzling experience of divine presence, hiddenness, and absence in our own lives.
The previous scene contextualizes this strange one. Jesus has made the startling announcement of his impending crucifixion at the hands of the ruling alliance of Jerusalem leaders and Roman power, and his resurrection (Matthew 16:21). Peter has contested the announcement and Jesus has rebuked him (16:22-23). Jesus has declared that the way of the cross is also for disciples (16:24-25). He then announces he will return to overcome Rome’s empire and establish the empire or kingdom of God (16:27-28).
Immediately, the transfiguration follows. God confirms what Jesus has said. Divine presence accompanies suffering and success, pain and power, trial and triumph, ...
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2020-21 Readings (Year 3)
2020-21 Worship Resources
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
NL Podcast 351: Transfiguration
March 03, 2019
Podcast on Matthew 16:24--17:8, the Narrative Lectionary readings for March 3, 2019 (Transfiguration) featuring Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Craig Koester, and Kathryn Schifferdecker. Recorded at Luther Seminary, Saint Paul, Minn., for Working Preacher.