This vision takes two chapters. We’ve seen in the last chapter how Daniel, despite his outward success as a top administrator for the king, is miserable about being displaced. Here he mourns for three weeks before the vision appears.
An angel gleaming in light comes first. It’s so vivid. I read the wikipedia article about Daniel yesterday and it took such an agnostic tone, saying Daniel didn’t actually exist, the book was a compilation of folk tales. But the event describes like a moment in someone’s life. If it wasn’t Daniel, it was someone with some name. It has a documentary feeling.
This time Daniel was walking near the Tigris with an entourage. I’d love to list mundane things the bible says people were doing when God intervenes in their lives. Abraham was with some sheep. The disciples were fishing.
The angel introduces God who is a man. The angels appearance has been extraordinary. This is just “a man”. Christ bells start ringing.
Daniel exhausted and weak as ever when the vision happens, is given time and the touch of God to recover.
But then for so exalted a vision the content starts out very ephemeral… We’re straight into local politics.
The disciples go out in faith – taking nothing for the journey. If they go hungry and without a place to sleep, that is the fault of the town. Their faith makes others also be expected to have faith.
Is time for Jesus to make a big noise… And herod, who we are reminded beheaded John, starts to get reports.
Another big splash, feeding the 5000. The disciples assume it’s a bad thing when the crowds come but Jesus says it’s good. Reminds me of the bridegroom parable… Jesus says his time is party time.
The miracles are all a bit like the first miracle… Making wine from water, Abbott generosity… Feeding and healing. The twist is that it’s designed to get him killed. Jesus is deeply ironic but compassionately so. He wouldn’t make bread for himself while starving when he was tempted, but here he makes baskets left over. Like the first shall be last, listening and not hearing, the bridegroom has to die sacrificially.
Big credential chapter… Who do they/ you say I am? His true identity, messiah, is still a secret for now.
Master, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” (He did not know what he was saying.) One of my favourite ever verses.
The transfiguration is followed by images of failure and illustrations of the toughness of following Christ. Its hard edged. The disciples deeply don’t get it, and this is not spared. I missed the example of them being rebuked for calling down fire on the village that wouldn’t offer them hospitality. Compare “shake the dust”, the cost response. Move on, don’t get retribution for rejection of the word.