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Showing posts from March, 2019

Transfiguring Into Jesus

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Luke 9.28-36 (CEB)
About eight days after Jesus said these things, he took Peter, John, and James, and went up on a mountain to pray. As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed and his clothes flashed white like lightning. Two men, Moses and Elijah, were talking with him. They were clothed with heavenly splendor and spoke about Jesus’ departure, which he would achieve in Jerusalem. Peter and those with him were almost overcome by sleep, but they managed to stay awake and saw his glory as well as the two men with him. 

As the two men were about to leave Jesus, Peter said to him, “Master, it’s good that we’re here. We should construct three shrines: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”—but he didn’t know what he was saying. Peter was still speaking when a cloud overshadowed them. As they entered the cloud, they were overcome with awe. 

Then a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, my chosen one. Listen to him!” Even as the voice spoke, Jesus was found alone. They…

A Quantum of Surrender

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Mark 1.9-13
About that time, Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and John baptized him in the Jordan River. While he was coming up out of the water, Jesus saw heaven splitting open and the Spirit, like a dove, coming down on him. And there was a voice from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I dearly love; in you I find happiness.” 
At once the Spirit forcedJesus out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness for forty days, tempted by Satan. He was among the wild animals, and the angels took care of him.

After the Holy Spirit descends upon him, Jesus makes a beeline for solitude. Look closely at Mark’s language. “AT ONCE the Spirit FORCED Jesus out into the wilderness.” It’s as if Mark senses that as the heaven’s opened and the Holy Spirit descended, Jesus underwent a fundamental change of being

Mark is, of course, playing a bit of a literary game here. By sending Jesus out into the wilderness, he reminds his Jewish readers of their people’s own time in the wilderness. He is also not-so-…