Jesus, James, Peter and John are on their way back down the mountain. Our three disciples have just experienced a mind blowing event. They have watched Jesus transformed right before their eyes and have seen Him talking with Moses and Elijah. More than that, they have heard God Himself speak to them. I wonder which one of the disciples is asking the questions now. Is Peter silent after his “foot in mouth” experience?
Jesus has also strictly told them to keep this experience to themselves until after He rises from the dead. They are not sure what this means but they will willingly obey Him. Now they have a question they want to ask. “Why do the scribes say that first Elijah must come” (verse 11)?
Apparently the scribes have been teaching about the coming Messiah and these men were listening. The scribes are in charge of interpreting the scriptures for the people of Israel. They had to be referring to Malachi 4:5-6. Here the prophet clearly states the Elijah must come before the end of time. The scribes were looking for the man Elijah whereas Jesus was referring to the spirit of Elijah. Jesus said that John the Baptist fulfilled this role and this prophecy.
Jesus then half tells and half asks them that the scriptures also say that the Messiah will be persecuted and killed. Jesus had recently told them of His impending death but they were having trouble swallowing it. He doesn’t tell them chapter and verse for these prophecies but my bible points out several in the helps. I’m glad they do because I’m not a scholar and I can use all the help I can get. The one that speaks the clearest to me is Isaiah 53. My bible helps say to see verse 2 but I see the whole chapter as pertinent.
Without Jesus pointing the way to the prophecies, I would be lost. I think that same thing applies for His disciples at this point in their walk. I’m so grateful that He also gave us the Holy Spirit Who completely points the way.
Thank You Jesus for sharing these exciting times with Your disciples and with me too. Thank You for trying to prepare Your disciples beforehand too. They wouldn’t get it until later. They didn’t see what You were talking about during their desire to rush You to the throne. And they were too grief stricken to recognize the good news at Your crucifixion. But after Your resurrection, the joy of the truth broke through. Thank You for that joy today too! I wish I could have seen what they saw that day. I’m sure my reaction would have been just as disappointing. Maybe You will show me a video clip of it when we do our bench time.