4 November 2019

Matthew 17:1-8

Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. (v. 3)

Psalm: Psalm 95


One of the privileges of my work is to be able to come alongside people in some of the most significant parts of their life. I once went to visit a man who was terminally ill. He had a life-long faith and knew that his days were slowly counting down. During our conversation I mentioned that I was a little concerned that he was on his own and was worried that he might feel lonely or afraid. "No," he told me, "I’m not alone, Jesus is here with me all of the time. He was with me during the night and sang to me. In fact, he’s here right now standing just behind you as we speak."

I will admit that, although part of me was very curious, another bigger part of me was afraid to turn and look!

How amazing it must have been to be on the mountain with Jesus that day. The disciples saw something that was there just for the few of them – and they were terrified!

The nation were waiting, and had been waiting, for centuries for God to fulfil the promises made and for the Messiah, the chosen one, to appear. They knew his coming would be heralded by the reappearance of Elijah, the great prophet of God. And now, these disciples were present when not only Elijah but also Moses the great lawgiver appeared, underlining the importance of Jesus' role, purpose and mission.

Jesus' sonship is revealed and his closest friends are now privy to what is God is doing.

No wonder they were frightened – perhaps they wished they hadn’t looked as well!


To Ponder:

  • Have there been times in your life when God has felt so close that you were afraid to look? What did that feel like?
  • Where can you see God at work in your life or in the lives of others around you?

Bible notes author

The Revd Una McLean

Una is a Methodist minister currently working in Cramlington, Northumberland as part of the South East Northumberland Ecumenical Area. Before becoming a minister she worked as an occupational therapist for 20 years in fields as varied as elderly care, adult mental health and paediatrics.

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