Jesus takes Peter, John, and James and ascends a mountain to pray.
While Jesus prays, his face becomes different, and his clothes are white and sparking lightning bolts. Yikes.
In case that wasn't cool enough, Moses and Elijah appear and talk to him. They also are awash with "glory" (9:31), and all three discuss Jesus's upcoming "departure" that will occur in Jerusalem.
Meanwhile, Peter and the others grow sleepy. Seriously, guys? With this show?
After Moses and Elijah leave, Peter suggests to Jesus that they construct three "dwellings" (9:33 NRSV) or "tabernacles" (KJV) to commemorate this incredible religious event. But Peter doesn't know what he's talking about.
While Peter's babbling on about the tabernacles, a cloud blows in that casts its shadow over them.
They start to wet their pants with fear.
A voice echoes forth from the cloud: "This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!" (9:35). Note: whenever you hear a voice echoing from the sky, you probably want to listen.
The voice is talking about Jesus because, by that time, Jesus is alone.
The disciples with him are silent and don't tell anyone what's happened.
When they come down from the mountain the next day, a huge crowd is there to meet them.
A man requests Jesus's assistance with his son, who screams, convulses, and foams at the mouth. Yeah, he's possessed.
He already asked the assistance of the other disciples. Supposedly, they should be able to do this (remember, Jesus gave them the power), but they're not succeeding in this case.
Jesus is fed up with this faithless and twisted generation. How long does he have to put up with this?
But he tells the father to bring his son over to him.
While Jesus prays, the demon rips the boy who's convulsing. But Jesus issues the spirit its marching orders, cures the boy, and restores him to his father.
But wait, Jesus says. He's going to be betrayed. (Gasp! Oh wait, we already knew that.)
The disciples don't get it, but it's not really their fault. After all, "its meaning was concealed from them, so that they could not perceive it" (9:45)—whatever that means.
They're afraid to ask Jesus to explain.
The disciples start to argue about which of them is the greatest. And here Jesus is speaking of his betrayal. Take a sip of thatirony.
But Jesus knows what they're thinking. Simeon was right when he predicted in 2:35 that "the inner thoughts of many will be revealed."
Time for a little demonstration.
Jesus places a child by his side. Welcoming a child who has no status is the equivalent of welcoming Jesus, which in turn is the equivalent of welcoming God, who sent Jesus.
That means the least is the greatest.
The disciple John reports to Jesus that they caught someone daring to exorcize demons in the name of Jesus, but they stopped him because he's not a follower.
Jesus responds that John's logic is all wrong: "for whoever is not against you is for you" (9:50).