An interview with Peter, James, and John about the Transfiguration, performed March 6, 2011 as the homily.
The morning news show in Jerusalem is interviewing the disciples Peter, James, and John about Jesus’ Transfiguration. Since the news show didn’t pay much attention to Jesus until his trial and death (they never reported his Resurrection, considering it hearsay from biased sources), this interview is happening after Jesus rose from the dead. The disciples could not have talked about it beforehand without breaking Jesus’ command, after all. The interviewer is Benjamin Bar-Reuben of Bethlehem.
Benjamin: (talking to the camera) Welcome back to Wake Up, Jerusalem. I’m your host Benjamin Bar-Reuben of Bethlehem. It’s three weeks after a very eventful Passover here in Jerusalem, and today I’m joined by three special guests who you’ve met before on the show, (gestures to the others) Simon Peter and James and John, the sons of Zebedee. These three fishermen from Galilee were all followers of the late Jesus of Nazareth. (turning to the trio, and voice full of concern) Before I go any further, let me express my condolences for the loss of your teacher. He was by all accounts a great man.
James: Thank you for your kind words, Benjamin. But while we grieved his loss for a few days, something miraculous happened…(Benjamin cuts in)
Benjamin: Now, now…let’s not get into that again. The last time you were on the show, we had to cut the interview short because you three started talking about impossible things. People can’t come back from the dead. Everyone knows that.
James: Don’t be so sure.
Benjamin: I want to talk about something else today. I’ve brought you back on the show to clear up some confusing reports of something that happened several weeks ago before the story got buried by the events of Passover. There were some strange localized weather distortions on the top of the mountain – thunder and strange lights, like lightning – but there was no storm that night. Our viewers want to know what happened on that mountain, and you three seem to be the only ones alive that know the real story.
Peter: If we tell you the real story, you’re likely to cut this interview short as well, Benjamin.
John: That’s true.
Benjamin: Just stick with the facts and we should be all right. (grimaces towards the camera) Okay, so why were you on the mountain in the first place?
James: Jesus asked us to accompany him when he went off to pray. He often did that, but usually he would go off a little ways by himself and we would wait for him.
John: But not on that mountaintop!
Peter: It all happened less than a week from the time I told him that I thought he was the Messiah, the Son of the Living God.
Benjamin: But surely that can’t be true now. The Messiah doesn’t die on a cross. He drives out the Romans with great armies at his back.
Peter: That’s what I thought, too, when Jesus told us he was going to die. I know better now.
John: We all know better now.
Benjamin: Leaving that for the time being, tell me what made the mountaintop different. Why the changes in weather? Our viewers want to know!
James: It may have seemed like strange weather from below. But I assure you, what we saw was stranger still. When I close my eyes, I still see the brightness of the light that your viewers thought was lightning.
Benjamin: What was it then?
Peter: It was Jesus. (Benjamin tries to cut in, but Peter continues) You wanted to know and we’re telling you. This is the truth, no matter how strange it sounds. Jesus looked like I had never seen him before. He was dazzling. He was as bright as a signal fire used to keep ships from running aground.
John: It was like the sun had fallen out of the sky and lodged inside him.
Benjamin: Wait a minute. How can that be? How can a man be filled with light?
James: If Jesus taught me one thing, Benjamin, it’s that we’re all filled with light. We just hide it most of the time.
John: That night, we saw Jesus shining with all the light that God blesses each of us with. He didn’t hide any of it. Never has anyone been able to shine like that. But Jesus did!
Peter: That’s why he’s the Messiah, the Son of God, because he shines with God’s light – unbounded, undiminished, like the lights of a city on a hill. He has no thought to cover up the light.
John: And for years, he’s been teaching us to uncover ours.
Benjamin: You mean, I might have this light inside of me, too?
John: Of course you do. Everyone does. From the smallest child in the street to the Emperor of Rome!
Peter: People have always had God’s light in. Some have let it shine brighter than others. We saw two of them with Jesus when his light was shining!
James: Moses and Elijah were there, standing with him.
Benjamin: You could see Moses and Elijah?
Peter: I know it sounds out of this world, but they were there. You know what? I think they have always been there, near us, surrounding us…
John: …But it has always been too dark to see them…
James: …Until Jesus was shining on the mountain.
Peter: Moses and Elijah – and everyone who God loves – their lights never went out. The light just changed. It spread out, filling the space between things, filling the world!
Benjamin: Fascinating! But tell me, what about the thunder!?
John: That wasn’t thunder. We heard – well, it was so loud that we didn’t really hear it – we felt it in our bones. It was the voice of God.
James: God confirmed that Jesus is God’s son.
Peter: And God told us to listen to Jesus.
Benjamin: This all sounds so strange…strange and amazing…amazing and true…I don’t know why, but I believe you.
John: Maybe you are seeing us shine with some of Jesus’ light.
James: When we listen to what Jesus teaches us, we can begin to uncover the light that we spent so much time hiding.
Peter: And we can shine it all over the world.
Benjamin: How can I find the light in me?
Peter: Start be being quiet…
James: …being still…
John: …and listening.