1462.) Matthew 17

“Transfiguration of Christ” by Raphael, 1519 (The Vatican). Two stories are painted: the Transfiguration, above, and the healing of the demon-possessed boy, below.

Matthew 17   (NRSV)

The Transfiguration

Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves. 2And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white. 3Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him.

Moses and Elijah were the two greatest prophets in the Old Testament.  Moses represents the law, or the old covenant.  He wrote the Pentateuch, and he predicted the coming of a great prophet (Deuteronomy 18:15-19 — The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him.  For this is what you asked of the LORD your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly when you said, “Let us not hear the voice of the LORD our God nor see this great fire anymore, or we will die.”  The LORD said to me: “What they say is good.  I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him.  If anyone does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name, I myself will call him to account.”).

Elijah represents the prophets who foretold the coming of the Messiah (Malachi 4:5-6 — “See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes.  He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse.”).

Moses’ and Elijah’s presence with Jesus confirmed Jesus’ Messianic mission — to fulfill God’s law and the words of God’s prophets.

–from the notes of the Life Application Bible

4Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three dwellings here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”

5While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, “This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!”

M17 how
How good, Lord, to be here!
Your glory fills the night;
Your face and garments, like the sun,
Shine with unborrowed light.

How good, Lord, to be here!
Your beauty to behold
Where Moses and Elijah stood,
Your messengers of old.

Fulfiller of the past
And hope of things to be,
We hail your body glorified
And our redemption see!

–Joseph A. Robinson, 1858-1933

6When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were overcome by fear. 7But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Get up and do not be afraid.” 8And when they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus himself alone.



HERE  is “Beautiful Savior” sung by Deborah Liv Johnson.


9As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus ordered them, “Tell no one about the vision until after the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”

10And the disciples asked him, “Why, then, do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?”

11He replied, “Elijah is indeed coming and will restore all things; 12but I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but they did to him whatever they pleased. So also the Son of Man is about to suffer at their hands.” 13Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them about John the Baptist.

Jesus Cures a Boy with a Demon

14When they came to the crowd, a man came to him, knelt before him, 15and said, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and he suffers terribly; he often falls into the fire and often into the water. 16And I brought him to your disciples, but they could not cure him.”

17Jesus answered, “You faithless and perverse generation, how much longer must I be with you? How much longer must I put up with you? Bring him here to me.”

Mat17 come to Jesus

from Whispers of His Power,
by Amy Carmichael


Have you a “him” about whom you are anxious?  Bring him to Me.  Have you a “her”?  Bring her to Me.  We can even turn the pronoun to “it” — this crushing burden of the state of the world, the grief and misery that overwhelms us if we think at all — Bring it to Me.  We can turn the word to “all” — the problems of our work with its cares and its questions, and more personal cares and anxieties, too — Bring all to Me.

And there are joys, too.  Don’t let us bring only griefs and anxieties, but also thanks and praises.

Bring him to Me.

Bring her to Me.

Bring it to Me.

Bring all to Me.

18And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and the boy was cured instantly.

Acts 10:38 (New Living Translation)

And you know that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. Then Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.

19Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?”

20He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.”

Jesus Again Foretells His Death and Resurrection

“Let me not boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Galatians 6:14

22As they were gathering in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into human hands, 23and they will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised.” And they were greatly distressed.

Jesus and the Temple Tax

“Temple Tax” wall painting by Bertrand Bahuet, 1995 (St. Peter’s Chapel at Curbans in the southern French Alps)

24When they reached Capernaum, the collectors of the temple tax came to Peter and said, “Does your teacher not pay the temple tax?”

25He said, “Yes, he does.” And when he came home, Jesus spoke of it first, asking, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do kings of the earth take toll or tribute? From their children or from others?”

26When Peter said, “From others,” Jesus said to him, “Then the children are free. 27However, so that we do not give offense to them, go to the sea and cast a hook; take the first fish that comes up; and when you open its mouth, you will find a coin; take that and give it to them for you and me.”

Lunch of St. Peter’s fish at the Ein Gev kibbutz restaurant, Israel. The fish I ate was delicious — but no coin in its mouth for me!


The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
Raphael.     http://arthistoryfacts.com/TransfigurationByRaphael.jpg
Transfiguration circle.   http://revtucher.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/b-28-transfiguration-mk-9-2-9.png
Come to Jesus.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2014/12/607a4-jesus.jpg
Bahuet.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/17-temple-tax.jpg?w=450
St. Peter’s fish.     http://travelerfolio.com/tf3/photos/2012/08/st-peter-fish-redbelly-tilapia-israel.jpg

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