Sunday, February 15, 2015

Peter's prattle

The Transfiguration 
- Alexandre Bida

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Mark 9:2-13

TO CHEW ON: "Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, 'Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah"—because he did not know what to say, for they were greatly afraid." Mark 9:5,6

Tradition says that the Gospel of Mark is actually Peter's version of the life of Jesus. ("The earliest witness to Marcan authorship stems from Papias bishop of the church at Hierapolis [about A.D. 135-140] .... Papias describes Mark as 'interpreter of Peter'" - J. Lyle Story, "Introduction to Mark," New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 1346).

That is borne out by the little aside we are focusing on today. It's as if Peter was recalling to Mark, his scribe, 'I remember saying this (about the tabernacles...) but I was just prattling, not knowing what I said or why I said it, because I was so frightened.'

The Bible talks about many kinds of speech. Peter's here might fall into the category of "vain words" of the sort spoken of in Job 16:3: "Shall words of wind have an end? Or what provokes you that you answer?"

What these words of Peter's illustrate is that sometimes it's better to say nothing than to fill the uncomfortable silence with proof of our ignorance. After the vision ended and the disciples were descending the mountain, Jesus said as much: "He commanded them that they should tell no one the things they had seen till the Son of Man had risen from the dead" - Mark 9:9.

I think there are things that we would also be wise to hold our counsel about till we see them in their larger context. As the writer of Proverbs said: "Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue" - Proverbs 17:28

PRAYER: Dear God, please help me to consider the necessity and appropriateness of my words before I say them. Help me to be comfortable with uncertainty, questions, silence. Amen.

Bible Drive-Thru

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...