This year for the Blogging from A to Z in April Challenge I have chosen a single word for each letter of the alphabet. Each of these words is important in the Bible. I am including a story in each post. Links from biblical references go to Bible Gateway.
A search of the Bible for the word love also counts loved, lovely and loves. From the NKJV there are 267 references in the Old Testament and 237 in the New Testament, which is much shorter. Love features strongly in the New Testament.
To jump to the story The disciple John tells of a memorable day click here.
Last year in the A to Z Challenge I suggested that the Easter story is the greatest story about love ever told. This year Easter day (Resurrection Day) was celebrated on Sunday 4 April in the west. It will be celebrated on Sunday 2 May by the Eastern Orthodox Christians.
The Bible includes stories about love within families, romantic love, God’s love and (in the New Testament) how love is acted out between believers.
Here are some links to passages about love in the New Testament:
The disciple John tells of a memorable day
It was quite unusual for the Master to take a few of us apart from the rest of the twelve disciples. On what started out as an ordinary day, with people coming to us to be healed, he called three of us to one side and led us up a mountain. There was Simon Peter and my brother James. We weren’t known as the quietest disciples, but that day we didn’t know what to say.
At the top of the mountain the Master began to look quite different from usual. His face shone and his clothes looked whiter than anything I have ever seen. It was as if light was coming from them. Then we saw Moses and Elijah talking with him.
Peter always had to say something.
‘Lord, it is good that we are here. Would you like me to build three shelters – one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah?’
While he was speaking a bright cloud came and hid the Master, Moses and Elijah from our view. Then we heard a voice from the cloud.
‘This is my Son, whom I love and with whom I am pleased. Listen to him!’
We were terrified and fell to the ground. Then we felt his gentle hand as he told us to get up. ‘Don’t be afraid.’
The three of us were alone with Jesus on the mountain top.
As we came down from the mountain, he told us not to tell anyone what we had seen until after the Son of Man had been raised from the dead.
We were puzzled about many things. We asked him why the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first. He replied that Elijah had already come, but not been recognised. He had been treated just as people wished and the same would happen to the son of Man.
We realised he was speaking about John the Baptiser, who had been killed. Later we linked what we had heard on the mountain to Jesus’ baptism by John, when there was also a voice from heaven.
We didn’t have more chance to talk as Jesus had to help the other disciples straight away; there was a difficult healing they had not managed on their own. We kept his secret until after he had died and been raised form the dead.
Moses received the Law whereas Elijah and John the Baptiser were prophets, so this was an endorsement of Jesus’ statement that he was fulfilling the Law and the prophets.
My retelling of this story of the transfiguration is based on Matthew 17: 1-23