5 November 2019

Matthew 17:9-13

As 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.’ (v. 9)

Psalm: Psalm 96


Sometimes when I read the Bible I try to imagine that I am part of the story I am reading – in the case of this passage I would perhaps be one of the disciples who have just seen Jesus transfigured.

When I do this my head fills with questions about what I had just seen, what I had heard, how I had felt (terrified!) and wondering what it might all mean from this point forward.

I also find myself thinking that one thing I would want to do would be to tell others what I had seen especially once I had had opportunity to ‘compare notes’ with the other tow and ensure I hadn’t just been imagining things!

On the way down the hillside I guess the air was filled with unanswered questions and even the sound of whispered conversation as the disciples tried to make sense of what had just happened.

Jesus steps in and they get a personal lesson in Gods planning. They recall the prophecy which said that Elijah, the prophet who called the people back to God as a nation and who was persecuted for speaking the truth about the situation of his day and age, would return heralding the arrival of the Messiah.

They tentatively draw parallels with the ministry of John the Baptist who came to call the nation, the people back to God and who was arrested and executed because he spoke up for the truth in the situations of his day and age.

If John the Baptist was the anticipated ‘Elijah’ then that would mean that Jesus was the expected Chosen One of God.

Wow! What a thing to share with the others!

But Jesus swears them to silence, now is not the right time and these are not the correct circumstances for such information to begin the rounds – there would come a time for sharing later when the plan came to fruition.

At that point in my imaginings I sense feelings of awe mixed with disappointment and that delicious feeling of knowing something special that is known by a very few!


To Ponder: 

  • If you could ask any question or start any discussion with Jesus what would the subject be?
  • Why would you want to talk about that and could you be a part of the answer or solution?

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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