21 August 2021. Flashback: Transfiguration of the Lord, Cycle A-2021. 6 August 2021. Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14 + 2Peter 1:16-19 + Mark 9:2-10
“And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, as no fuller on earth could bleach them” (Mark 9:2-3). “His face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light” (Matthew 17:2).
Jesus transfigured himself from the Son of Man to the Son of God. The only Son of God [is logically], God (cf. John 1:14, 18). He alluded to His divinity by referring to Himself “I AM,” the same peculiar Name God referred to Himself.
When Moses asked God what His Name was, the LORD replied, “I AM WHO I AM.” He ordered Moses to tell the Israelites, “I AM has sent me to you” (cf. Exodus 3:13-14).
That peculiar name was not a name, indeed, because God could not be named. No finite term that man could imagine would fit the Infinite God. The Israelites even called Him ‘God with no name.’
GOD is, simply, HE WHO GOD IS.
Suggesting His divinity, Jesus ascribed to Himself the mysterious Name of God, I AM, short for I AM WHO I AM.
“When you lift up the Son of Man, you will know that I AM” (John 8:28).
“If you do not believe that I AM, you will die in your sins” (John 8:24).
“Before Abraham came to be, I AM” (John 8:58).
The Israelites, fearing even to pronounce the Name of God, wrote His Name in the unpronounceable transliteration, YHWH. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (206), YHWH is translated as follows:
“I AM WHO I AM.” “I AM [He] WHO [is] I AM.”
”I AM WHO I AM” is also written as “I AM,” or “I AM HE” (New American Bible footnote to John 4:26 and 6:20).
Jesus infuriated the Israelites for not only blasphemously pronouncing the unpronounceable Name of God, but even using the Name for Himself.
The Israelites understood ascribing the Name to oneself, as a claim to be God. A couple of times they tried to stone him to death for claiming to be God (cf. John 8:58, 10:31-33; Leviticus 24:15-16). Eventually they crucified Him for blasphemously claiming to be the Son of God, God. VSS
(Excerpts from my upcoming book, “Jesus is God: The Bible points out“.)
Picture credit: Top: Transfiguration of Jesus, by WordPress.com. Bottom: Jews try to stone Jesus for blasphemy, by pinterest.com.