February 16, 2015

Mark 9:2  After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain

Mark has a little word he likes to use to connect passages which gets translated “immediately” or “just then” or “after that.” So when we come across the above reference to “six days” in his story of the Transfiguration we have to ask ourselves why bother to be so exact. Maybe that was just the way he got the story and decided to pass it on that way, but numbers have such symbolic meanings in the bible that I think there might be something more. My first guess was that he was making an allusion to the six days of creation passing and that this time atop the mountain was a sort of Sabbath encounter. Then a commentary pointed me back to Exodus 24:15, 16 “When Moses went up on the mountain, the cloud covered it, and the glory of the Lord settled on Mount Sinai. For six days the cloud covered the mountain, and on the seventh day the Lord called to Moses from within the cloud.” This could very easily be a connection that Mark’s readers would have made, placing Jesus in that stream of history with the giving of the 10 Commandments. To the people Mark wrote it simply didn’t get any bigger than that. The people who wrote the bible were no fools. They believed they had encountered something God was doing in their time through Jesus that was every bit as grand and important as what Moses did in his time- Elijah too. How big a deal is Jesus to you? How will you deal with him this week?

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