Sunday next before Lent 2.3.14 Matthew 17: 1-9

21 02 2014


The story of Jesus transfiguration tends to be seen by Christians in one of two ways – either central and pivotal, a gateway to deep truth, or as somewhat peripheral.  How do you see it: central truth or a bit of a distraction?


To help give shape to the reflection here are three types of question: head questions, heart questions and hand questions. They are about our intellectual response, our emotional response and our practical or behavioural response. I hope that you will want to work at all three levels.

Head Questions

  1. What word would you use if the word ‘transfiguration’ did not exist?
  2. Do you take this passage literally, as a metaphor, or as a misplaced resurrection story?
  3. Why was this to be kept secret?

Heart Questions

  1. How would you have felt, if you had been on the mountain-top with Jesus?
  2. Which moves you most, the shining, overshadowing cloud or the voice?
  3. If you had the choice, would you be in the company or Moses or Elijah?

Hand Questions

  1. If you were taking trek to a mountain top, who would be your chosen companions?
  2. Is there something or someone whom you need to see differently?
  3. The story is in part about affirmation. Who needs an affirming word from you?


These questions are intended to challenge you to engage more closely with the passage and to hear and feel what it has to say to you. That’s more than a five-minute task. And so is the follow-up, working out what you might want to say to others as a result of engaging with the passage with head, heart and hands. Take your time.




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