Free Bible Commentary

Free Bible Commentary

“Matthew 17:1-13”

Categories: 50 Days with Jesus

“Six days later Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up on a high mountain by themselves. And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. Peter said to Jesus, ‘Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, I will make three tabernacles here, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.’ While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, ‘This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!’ When the disciples heard this, they fell face down to the ground and were terrified. And Jesus came to them and touched them and said, ‘Get up, and do not be afraid.’ And lifting up their eyes, they saw no one except Jesus Himself alone. As they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, ‘Tell the vision to no one until the Son of Man has risen from the dead.’ And His disciples asked Him, ‘Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?’ And He answered and said, ‘Elijah is coming and will restore all things; but I say to you that Elijah already came, and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they wished. So also the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.” Then the disciples understood that He had spoken to them about John the Baptist.”

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Jesus outshines everyone. Peter, James and John must have stood awestruck at the vision they saw on top of the holy mountain. They watched Jesus talking with arguably the two greatest icons of their faith: Moses and Elijah. I have never been able to figure out how they recognized these two heroic biblical characters, and since the Holy Spirit doesn’t tell us, I guess it really doesn’t matter. But as these three privileged apostles stood beholding this spectacle, the deity of Jesus began to shine forth from within. He was transfigured, or metamorphosed before their very eyes. His face shone forth as brightly as the sun and His clothes gleamed with the whiteness of pure light.

Peter speaks his mind. Peter was so impressed by this display that he suggested making a tabernacle, or a tent, to commemorate this great event or for temporary dwelling, for Jesus, Moses and Elijah. I’m not exactly sure what Peter had in mind by making such a proposal, but Luke tells us that Peter really didn’t realize what he was saying either (Luke 9:33). Luke also tells us that Peter said what he said after the disciples had awakened from a very deep sleep (Luke 9:32).

The Father speaks from heaven. Even as Peter was speaking, “a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, ‘This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!’” (verse 5). God directed Peter, James and John to give their full attention to Jesus. No one is on a par with the Only Begotten Son of God. Jesus is greater than the greatest person you could ever read about in the Bible, Moses and Elijah included. When Jesus speaks, it is with the absolute, innate, inviolable authority of God Almighty. We must listen to Him and we must obey His every command if we want to please our Father in heaven.

Please read Matthew 18:1-11 for tomorrow – Jesus teaches about forgiveness.

Have a blessed Day!

-Louie Taylor