Questions for Littles: Some of whom, did Jesus say, would not taste death until they saw the kingdom of God having come with power (v1)? How many days later does v2 occur? Who takes disciples up the mountain? Whom does He take? Who is transfigured before them? What happens to His clothes in v3? Who appear in v4? With whom are they talking? Who jumps into the conversation in v5? What does He suggest they do? Why did he say this (v6)? What comes and overshadows them (v7)? What comes out of the cloud? What does the voice say? What suddenly happens (v8)? Until when does Jesus command that they should tell no one the things they had seen (v9)? What did they question (v10)? What do they ask Him (v11)? And what does He ask them in response (v12)? What does He say happened when the Elijah prophet came (v13)?In the Gospel reading this week, the Lord is still dealing with us about our false expectations of what it will be like to be His disciples. The passage is closely connected to the preceding one in chapter 8, where Peter takes it upon himself to pull Jesus aside and correct Him (!) for saying that He had to suffer and die.
On this particular occasion, Jesus’s glory is revealed in a physical way, and Moses and Elijah appear to them, and they are talking with Jesus. What does Peter do? He says the first thing he can think of: “We should have a campout!”
The Scripture even emphasizes that he said this precisely because he didn’t know what to say. Here’s an idea: if you don’t know what to say, then don’t say anything at all! God takes over the conversation and gives Peter some advice: if the beloved Son of God is in the conversation, you just shut your mouth and listen. “Hear Him!”
What does He say? “I’m going to rise from the dead.” They are so resistant to the idea of His death that they don’t understand what He means by “risen from the dead”!
So, they ask Him a Bible question. The scholar theologians of the day interpreted Scripture to say that Elijah would come before the Christ (cf. Mal 4:5-6). So the disciples, now convinced that Jesus is the Christ, wonder why Elijah hadn’t come.
Notice how Jesus points out their inconsistency before He answers. It’s like He’s saying, “So, you’ll take the Scripture seriously when it says that Elijah comes first, but you’re determined not to take it seriously when it says that the Messiah must suffer?”
I’m afraid we are often like Peter and the others: very intrigued by some fine question in the Scripture, while neglecting other things that are most plain and necessary. This most of all: this glorious Lord Jesus suffered and died for sinners!
Does your attitude toward suffering in the Christian life match up with the passage that led to this discussion in the first place?Suggested songs: ARP46 “God Is Our Refuge and Our Strength” or HB366 “Whate’er My God Ordains Is Right”