Lastnight in RCIA we read about the transfiguration account in Mark 9. Father prefaced the reading by explaining how our faith comes from the foreshadowing of the Old Testament. He talked about how Mt. Tabor was a very high place. I imagined Jesus & the three on a sort of day hike. This was no ordinary stroll. It would have been something to plan & pack lunch & water for. As we were discussing the significance of the appearance of Elijah & Moses with Jesus on Mt. Tabor, my mind kept going back to the concept of foreshadowing. I wondered if perhaps the transfiguration was a kind of foreshadowing for us. I looked at it from the perspective of representation, as in, how did Jesus, Elijah & Moses correspond to Peter, James & John? I took a sidetrack of thought & decided to look up the meaning of the three disciples' parents first. Bear with me for just a moment as I lay out a few details:
Only Peter's father is listed in the Bible- His name was Jonah, which means "dove". James & John were the sons of Zebedee & Salome, whose names mean "my gift" & "peace".
Peter's name was Simon before Jesus changed it to Peter, or "the Rock". Simon means "to hear or be heard". James is a variation of Jacob, which means "supplanter" & John's name means "God is gracious".
Its my opinion that the transfiguration was more than an some isolated event. I believe it continues the story of redemption by foreshadowing new chapters. It begins with some history- Moses was a type of Jesus who led God's people out from captivity. Elijah was a type of John the Baptist, who proclaimed the coming King. The fact that Peter, James & John were there to see them speaking with Jesus was no accident...
From the dove (whose representation we understand in many ways- the authority of the Holy Spirit, peace, etc.), came one who hears, that is, Peter. He was kind of wishy-washy at first, but eventually lived up to the name Jesus gave him. He became more solid in his faith, the rock upon which the church would be built. Jesus later gave Peter authority in heaven & on earth to be "heard" as a representative of Christ. From the gift of peace came a supplanting & grace from God. I think supplanting is an interesting word to have in the mix because it doesn't sound very spiritual... But wasn't Jesus about to supplant (displace, overthrow) the authority of death & the grave through His own death & resurrection? And don't we have peace with God because we're saved by His gift of grace?
Anybody have any thoughts on this?