Don’t Tell Anyone

You can listen to this reflection here. Sunday’s gospel reading is here

What an amazing series of events Peter, James and John experienced on that mountain. They must have been bursting to tell what they’d seen and heard. But Jesus said otherwise: As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them to tell no one about what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead.”

Maybe he did them a favor – what would that story have sounded like? A very, very weird dream?

“Well, all of a sudden Jesus’ face completely changed, and then his clothes became a blinding white, like the whitest white you ever saw…”
“And then two guys were with him – Moses and Elijah!”
“How did you know it was Moses and Elijah?”
“Well, you know, we just knew… Moses had that staff, and Elijah that cloak…. I don’t know. It was obvious.”
“Okay….”
“And then Peter wanted to build three little huts so that Jesus and Moses and Elijah could just stay up there—”
“Oh, but all of a sudden we were in the middle of a huge cloud; couldn’t see anything!”
“But we heard a voice, a booming voice…”
“God’s voice—”
“Saying, “This is my Son, the Beloved! Listen to him.”
“And then it was all gone – everything was back to normal. Just us and Jesus. Like it never happened.”
“Yeah. Right. What were you smoking up there?”

Perhaps more perplexing was Jesus’ bizarre reference to the Son of Man “risen from the dead.” Mark tells us,  “So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what this rising from the dead could mean.” 

Did they think it some figure of speech, a metaphor, perhaps? How could one conceive of someone rising from the dead – until it happened? Perhaps this surreal experience, accompanied by Jesus’ prediction, prepared them to comprehend that incomprehensible when it came about. And once they received the Holy Spirit, they no longer “kept the matter to themselves.” They couldn’t shut up about Jesus and his resurrection.

How about us? This isn’t a bad description of many church-goers today – “…they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what this rising from the dead could mean.”

Those who have trouble “buying” Jesus’ resurrection are more apt to “keep the matter to themselves.” There is always room for questions and even doubts; yet, if we want to grow in faith, there is a point at which we need to accept this spiritual reality we claim as foundational truth for Christians. Our questions can persist beyond that point, but we are also released into greater ministry and faith-sharing.

Our whole Christian story sounds far-fetched on first hearing. That’s why it needs to come from each of us in our own words, as we talk about how our stories have intersected and been enriched by The Story. As we feel settled enough about who Jesus is, and his resurrection from the dead, we can stop keeping it to ourselves and let a thirsty world hear our Good News.

© Kate Heichler, 2024. To receive Water Daily by email each morning, subscribe hereHere are the bible readings for Sunday. Water Daily is also a podcast – subscribe to it here on Apple, Spotify or your favorite podcast platform.

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