He’s Baaaaaack

Day 62

Prayer for the day

O LORD, my God, my Savior, by day and night I cry to you. Let my prayer enter into your presence.

Scripture for the day

Numbers 29-31, Mark 9:1-29

For most of the Bible, Moses stays dead. It’s what we as humans excel at. We don’t really come back. Yet in the Second Testament story today, Moses shows up for a cameo. He and Elijah pop up for a time to be with Jesus on the side of the mountain.

We don’t know WHY they showed up. We just know that when they showed up, they appeared to be talking with Jesus. Peter, who usually speaks before thinking, suggests setting up some sort of picnic spot for everyone, but the Scriptures are pretty clear that all of them were flabbergasted. Here is their Rabbi, Jesus, talking with two of the most important figures in Judaism: Moses and Elijah. Moses, the prophet who got it started, and Elijah, the one who carried it on.

While they’re talking with Jesus we get the second instance of the voice of God from heaven: “This is my son, whom I love.” Just like last time. But unlike last time (at the baptism), the Father adds a bit more: “Listen to him.” The former speech included God’s pleasure with His son. This one, rather, includes not pleasure, but authority.

The appearance of Moses and Elijah seal for the disciples the authority of Jesus, given as it was by the Father. Not only is this the Son of God they’ve encountered, worthy to be standing next to two of the big-wigs of Judaism, but they really ought to listen to him! He has the authority of the Father, and that’s a bunch.

The First Testament passage today tells the beginning of the end for Moses. Sure, he’s coming back, but he doesn’t know that. God’s last assignment for Moses before he dies is to do what he’s been doing all along: fight for the purity of the people. Once this is accomplished, God takes Moses away and allows him to rest…at least until he shows up again with Elijah. And together, they act as God’s seal on Jesus, the affirmation of authority, confirming that this is indeed God’s son.

We ought to listen to him.


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