Cliff-Hanger on the Mount of Transfiguration
The valley of the shadow of death stretches out before us. We are standing on the high slopes of Mount Hermon, looking down upon the Golan, the Jordan, the Sea of Galilee, looking toward Jerusalem.
Heavy clouds, ominous and threatening, tumble in from the west. Lightning flashes in the distance. Far-off thunder growls faintly. Moses and Elijah appear in a gust of wind and a blaze of light. They bear a message from heaven: The fig tree has failed to bear fruit.
The supernatural visitors speak to Yeshua about the manner of his impending departure from Jerusalem. A voice from heaven declares, “This is my Son … listen to him!” Yeshua warns his disciples, “The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day.”
The incident on the Mount of Transfiguration introduces a plot twist and a cliff-hanger. This is the dramatic moment at which season 1 of Jesus, My Rabbi (Torah Club study from 2020-2021) concludes after following the story of Yeshua of Nazareth from his birth to the Mount of Transfiguration.
Torah Club treats the story as if it were an epic novel or a dramatic television show. Season 2, which will begin in October 2021, finishes the story, taking Torah Club students from the transfiguration to the ascension.
But what if you missed the first season?
New students might feel reluctant to join year 2 of Jesus, My Rabbi if they missed the first year. Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered with the following season 1 recap.
Previously in Jesus, My Rabbi
From out of the darkness in the holy of holies, the angel Gabriel appears to an elderly priest offering incense in the Temple. The same angel also appears to a virgin daughter of the house of David in Nazareth. To the priest, the angel declares that the priest’s barren and aged wife will conceive and bear a son in the spirit of Elijah to prepare the way for the Messiah. To the girl, the angel announces that she will miraculously conceive a child who will be the Messiah.
Astrologers from Parthia arrive at Herod’s palace in Jerusalem asking, ‘Where is the one who is born king of the Jews? We have seen his star in the east.” “I am the king of the Jews!” Herod tells himself. He sends soldiers to kill the children of Bethlehem, especially those belonging to the family of David. The angel warns Joseph in a dream, “Quick! Get up. Take the child and his mother and flee to Egypt.”
After Herod’s death, the family returns to their home in Nazareth. They raise Yeshua in a pious Jewish home. While still a boy, he intimates his future destiny during a visit to the Temple: “Did you not know that I had to be in my Father’s house?”
A prophet appears in the wilderness, immersing people for repentance. He is neither a man dressed in soft clothing nor a reed bending in the wind. The sound of his voice calls out in the wilderness, carrying as far as the marble chambers where the Sanhedrin meets in Jerusalem, even as far as the extravagant palace of Herod Antipas in Galilee. John declares, “The axe is at the root. Judgment is coming. Repent; the kingdom of heaven is at hand. The Messianic Era is near. One comes after me who is greater than me.” Yeshua goes from Nazareth to immerse in the Jordan at the hand of John. The Spirit of God descends upon him. A voice from heaven declares, “You are my Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Seeking further revelation, Yeshua undertakes a forty-day fast in the wilderness. Then Satan appears to him and tests him three times.
Yeshua returns to Galilee and begins to gather disciples. An incident at a wedding in Cana indicates that he is more than just another rabbi. In Jerusalem, a secret meeting with a prominent sage initiates an underground following of secret disciples. In Samaria, an encounter with a woman at Sychar begins a following among Samaritans. Only in Nazareth does Yeshua meet with indifference and even hostility, for “a prophet is without honor only in his hometown.”
Yeshua leaves Nazareth and relocates to Capernaum, where he takes residence in the home of his disciple Simon Peter the fisherman. When he hears about the arrest of John the Immerser, he picks up John’s message and begins to proclaim the good news, “Repent; the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” A terrible doom hangs over the nation, but judgment can be averted if the people repent. God is ready to bring the Messianic Era now. Yeshua goes from town to town, proclaiming the message, urging the people to repent.
First Fruits of Zion