Monday 28 August 2023

Matthew 17:1-13

1 After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2 There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. 3 Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.

4 Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.”

5 While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”

6 When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. 7 But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” 8 When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.

9 As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them, “Don’t tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”

10 The disciples asked him, “Why then do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?”

11 Jesus replied, “To be sure, Elijah comes and will restore all things. 12 But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but have done to him everything they wished. In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.” 13 Then the disciples understood that he was talking to them about John the Baptist.

Oh, to be “a fly on the wall” for that conversation! To hear Moses and Elijah speaking with Jesus – wow. The parallel account of this story in Luke 9:31 says that they were discussing, “his [Jesus’] soon departure from this world and the things the Father destined him to accomplish in Jerusalem.” No doubt, these topics would have been at the forefront of Jesus’ mind.

I’ve often wondered why these two guys – why Moses and Elijah? I know they represent the Law (Moses) and all the prophets (Elijah), and I know that Jesus is the inauguration, the fulfilment, of God’s Kingdom to which both these things point (see Matthew 5:17). But why these two men? They were, after all, just human beings like you and me. I often deify ‘great’ men and feel I fail in comparison. But let’s be real for a moment – Moses had an anger problem which led him to commit murder earlier in his life, and would later flare up again costing him the promised land (see Exodus 2:12, 32:19, Numbers 20:10-12). Elijah struggled with depression, at one point hid in a cave, and wanted to die (see 1 Kings 19:3-10). These guys are more like me than I realise. And here’s the point – God still used them, despite their failures. Jesus chose to spend time and talk to those guys before His death and resurrection. He chooses to spend time with the broken and hurting and the contrite of heart – He loves those guys! Does that sound like you? Broken and hurting and contrite? Then let Jesus spend time with you today – He wants to. Let him transfigure you, converse with you, and fill your world with light.

Lord, I never thought I’d be someone you would WANT to spend time with. Please come today – speak with me and fill my life with light. Amen

Written by B van Noppen

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