We come to another passage that the children learned before during worship. It is a story about Jesus’s transfiguration. We covered this passage at the beginning of Lent. The children made a craft suncatcher of Jesus to show his bright clothes.
When we were talking about this passage while making the suncatcher, the children made very great observations and asked interesting questions to gives us a better understanding of the passage. One of the children said Jesus and the disciples going up to a mountain reminded him of Mount Sinai where Moses went to meet God. I didn’t expect them to make that kind of correlation! Just like Moses in the Old Testament, Jesus and the disciples meet God who covers the Mountain with a cloud.
The two other people who appears on the mountain are Moses and Elijiah, representing the Law and Prophets respectively (and together, the whole Old Testament). Now, with all three of them there, God speaks. What he says sounds very familiar. The children remember that it is almost the same as what he spoke when Jesus was baptized. The only thing different is that now he says, “Listen to him (Jesus).” God makes an appearance at the beginning of Jesus’s ministry, and now in the middle of his ministry, he talks again, and now with a more specific command. We need to hear what Jesus is saying. What is he saying?
This passage comes directly after Jesus explaining to the disciples what he needs to do. He is going to suffer and die. He is now explaining what kind of a Messiah he is, but the disciples do not understand. Most likely, they aren’t really listening to what Jesus is saying. They are making their own conclusions of who Jesus is. But God is telling them to listen to Jesus.
God is saying the same thing to us, too. We need to listen to Jesus and learn what he is really about. A lot of times, we make up our own conclusions of who Jesus is and what Christianity is. But reading through Jesus’s sermons and his stories, we are many times surprised at what he wants us to do. In his kingdom, there is not outward boasting, as everything is done for God, and he sees our heart. We must deny ourselves and take up our cross. We can’t live for ourselves, for our own self-love and pleasure. It is very hard to do, and that’s why Jesus says we must do this “daily,” since we can’t last even a day without reverting back to our self-love.
But this passage gives us hope. It is not suffering for the sake of suffering. There is transfiguration that is so bright and glorious. Jesus gives his disciples a glimpse of his glory that they are able to hold on to as they go through this journey to the cross. Even after the cross, as they live for Jesus until their death, it is a hope that they hold on to.