Today in Mark, Jesus is transformed in front of Peter, James and John. His clothes became dazzling white, such as no on on earth could bleach them. Now that's white and bright! Mark is making multiple points with this phrase, chief among them is that Jesus is different from those who surround him.
We lose a bit in the translation from the Greek for Mark's description. The word in Greek is egastrapon (transliteration) which literally means lightening bolts shooting out. Think about how bright white lightning is, how blindingly bright. We can't help but look at it, yet it blinds us and leaves an after-image almost burned onto our retinas. It is unearthly and doesn't hang around long but that lightning bolt is something burned into our memory.
That is what Jesus is like when we experience his presence: ethereal, immediately demanding our attention, blinding us to everything else around us, leaving an after-image burned onto our hearts and souls, and it is dangerous. Because we see and understand the world differently after. We are different.
Copyright 2009, John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.