The disciples, “weighed down with sleep,” look up to see Jesus in dazzling clothes talking with two of the great heroes of the faith. Peter, as is often the case, speaks first. He states enthusiastically that he wants to erect shrines for Jesus and the two visitors. The Gospel writer indicates that Peter has missed the point. So what does God (once again in the form of a cloud as in Exodus) tell the disciples to do as a result of their experience? Listen to Jesus. The heavenly voice identifies Jesus as the Son, just as at his baptism. Now the voice also specifies that they need to listen. But what do they need to hear?
Immediately prior to this passage, Luke’s Gospel recounts Jesus’ prediction of his death and resurrection. Luke does not record the disciples’ response, but Matthew and Mark indicate that the disciples do not understand Jesus’ words or they try to silence him when he speaks of his death.
Is the prediction of Jesus’ death the very thing the disciples have refused to hear? Even as Jesus stands transfigured before them and speaks with the two visitors about his impending departure, do the disciples still not understand? Looking back, we ask how they could have missed this bit of information.
In what areas of our lives do we need to listen to Jesus? What obvious things are we missing? How often have we responded to the Lord with enthusiasm and good intention, as Peter does, without taking time to listen? What might God want to say to us right now, if we would only listen?
Our Father in heaven, just as Jesus was made radiant with your glory, you desire to renew and transform each one of us. May I learn to wait on you and listen so that I may move in step with your Spirit rather than trying to run ahead on my own. Amen.
I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.”
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