Moses by John August Swanson. Image from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, Tenn. Original source © 1983 by John August Swanson.
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Bearing the Cross
Who Is the Greatest?
Matthew 16:24 – 17:8 Commentary
by Elisabeth Johnson
Truth be told, I have always dreaded preaching on the Transfiguration.
The story of the disciples seeing Jesus in dazzling glory on a mountain top seems so far removed from everyday life that it is hard to know how to connect it with the lives of hearers. The Narrative Lectionary helps the preacher by connecting this story with what immediately precedes it -- the pivotal conversation between Jesus and his disciples about his identity and mission and what it means to follow him.
Peter was right on the mark when he confessed to Jesus, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16), yet he did not have a clue about what the mission of the Messiah entailed. When Jesus began to talk about his impending rejection, suffering, and death, Peter began to rebuke him: “God forbid it, Lord! This must never happen to you.” This in turn earned Peter a sharp rebuke from Jesus: “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; for you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things” (Matthew 16:22-23). ...
| Bible Text
2019-20 Worship resources
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
NL164: Bearing the Cross
February 15, 2015
Narrative Lectionary podcast on readings for Feb. 15, 2015: Matthew 16:24--17:8 (Accompanying text: Psalm 41:7-10).