Matthew 17 – Jesus, Moses and Elijah

by Jill

In this episode, we look at the book of Matthew 17. We reflect on the transfiguration of Jesus and the appearance of Moses and Elijah. This was a significant event for Peter, James, and John. 

We also discuss Peter’s reaction to the sight and his offer to build a tent so this can go on the road and everyone can see it! God’s voice urges them to listen to Jesus. The narrative continues with the disciples’ fear, Jesus’s reassurance, and a reminder not to disclose the vision until after his resurrection.

Moses and Elijah were chosen to appear alongside Jesus. We consider Moses the lawgiver, the initiator of the law that Jesus completes, and Elijah a prophet devoted to God.  We talk about the expectations around Elijah’s arrival before the Messiah and how John the Baptist played that role. We address the confusion around this, considering that if John were a reincarnation of Elijah, people would have recognized him. 

The discussion moves on to the confrontation with a demon-possessed boy and the disciples’ inability to heal him. Jesus attributes their failure to a lack of faith, reminding us of his role as the power source and the need for unwavering faith.

The narrative then shifts to the prediction of Jesus’s death, which distresses the disciples, and the tax collection incident in Capernaum. Jesus presents a thought-provoking question about kings and their children’s tax obligations, implying that as the son of his Father in heaven, he shouldn’t have to pay the temple tax. However, he chooses not to cause a dispute over it and instructs Peter to find a fish with the tax money in its mouth.

We also contemplate the themes of faith and choosing battles wisely and the idea of sharing the power of faith with others. 

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