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What were Jesus, Moses, and Elijah talking about?

Did you know…

…that in the version of this week's gospel story from Matthew, when Jesus speaks to Moses and Elijah on the mountaintop, it just says that they were standing and talking. This week, though, we hear Luke's version and, as we've seen in recent weeks, the differences between two gospel accounts of the same story are often significant. In Luke's version of the Transfiguration, the author writes not only that Moses and Elijah are talking with Jesus, but that they are standing with him and "speaking of his departure." Isn't it interesting that Luke thought it was important to include what they were discussing in the middle of this miraculous, crazy, mysterious story? So, what exactly is Luke referring to here? Remember that the author of Luke also wrote the book of Acts, so when Luke talks about a "departure" it's possible that the reference is to Jesus’ ascension in the 1st chapter of Acts. Why do you think that Jesus would be talking to Elijah and Moses, two people who symbolize the law and prophets, two important parts of Jesus’ Jewish tradition, about his ascension? What do you think Luke is saying by including this detail?

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