The Transfiguration

The transfiguration story is found in Mark 9:2-13 and Matthew 17: 1-13. In this story, Jesus took three of his disciples up to a mountain, where he “was transfigured before them.” Elijah and Moses then appeared and had some words with Jesus. The disciples were TERRIFIED. Peter blathered something about building each of them a …

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The Faces of God

Today’s topic is faces. Faces of God, faces of Emperor. The texts are Exodus 33:12-23 (Moses asks to see the Lord, or the Lord’s glory; YHWH concedes); Matthew 22:15-22 (Render unto Caesar). As you might imagine, depictions of God in art tend toward the old man in the clouds imagery, like this one, God the Father, …

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The Feeding of the 5,000

One thing I love about Jesus is his focus on food. His first miracle was to save a wedding party from the perils of having to drink water, by turning it into wine instead. The only miracle story in all four gospels is the feeding of the 5,000, in which Jesus creates a feast for a large crowd.

Jesus carrying a sword

Matthew 10:34-42 includes one of the many seemingly contradictory statements from Jesus about weaponry: “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.” Iconic depictions of Jesus with a sword are rare, but they do exist – interestingly, most of them are modern. But here is one from the 14th century. It is a fresco at the Vysoki Dechani Monastery in Kosovo, Serbia. The Greek says “This Sword is the Cutter of Sins.”

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