A parental blessing.

(Part two of a reflection on Matthew 17 and Luke 9. Here’s part one. )

Peter, John, and James slept through part of the conversation Jesus had with Elijah and Moses. They woke up as it was ending.

IMG_1069.JPGPeter called out, wanting to build three little huts to celebrate the moment. Luke says that Peter didn’t know what he was saying. But seeing Moses may have reminded him of the feast of the tabernacles where people would camp out, like the people in the wilderness, to remember God’s provision for his people.

And the two men were gone. Or at least they weren’t visible anymore. Because there was a cloud which wrapped around all of them. A bright cloud.

As Peter was ending his speech, there was a voice. “This is my Son. I love him. And I’m well pleased with him. Listen to him.”

It was the affirmation every son longs to hear. A father who expresses his love for and his satisfaction with his son.

I think we can’t underestimate the significance of this blessing. For Jesus, this was a time of encouragement. An opportunity to let down his guard, to let him glory through. An opportunity to talk with people who understood him. An opportunity to be affirmed by his dad.

For the disciples, this was too much. The disciples collapsed to the ground. The two, the cloud, the voice. It was awe-full.

There is no precision of time in this story; we don’t know how long they were on the ground.

“Get up,” Jesus said. “Don’t be afraid.” That’s what he always said to them. But there was something besides the words, something about his tone of voice when he said it that made them lift their heads and look around.

The cloud was gone. There was Jesus, looking like he always did.

“Don’t tell anyone what you have seen,” he said. “Until you have seen the Son of Man raised from the dead.”

And for once, they didn’t.


Part three comes tomorrow. Some lessons.

And if you haven’t purchased Lent for Non-Lent People,  it’s available in paperback and for Kindle (for just 99 cents). If you order the paper version, you can get the Kindle version through the match program for free.