As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them to tell no one what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
Peter, James, and John had just witnessed the greatest experience of their life with Jesus—what we call the “transfiguration,” of which you read about yesterday. The disciples were finally beginning to recognize who Jesus was as He moved toward the climax in Jerusalem (the transfiguration in Matthew 17:1-8 is called the "beginning of the end”).
They must have said to one another, “They will never believe this in Jerusalem. Wow! We have a story to tell.”
Jesus had to tell the fearless threesome to get up and not be afraid. That’s when it rained on their parade (so to speak). Jesus had already said, “Tell no one that I’m the Christ” (Matthew 16:20). And later He said, “Tell no one the vision, until the Son of Man is raised from the dead.”
Can you believe it? Think of the greatest revival you’ve ever gone to, where you’ve seen and felt God's working during the services, where friends and family have believed on Jesus, where the evangelist was the best, but at the end of the service you were told you couldn’t tell anyone about it.
That wouldn’t come across good with most of us. It would be a little harder for the women than the men. (I do love you women, but we love to share good news.)
Peter, James, and John were probably the closest friends Jesus had and spent much time with Him, but they had no clue what this "rising from the dead" meant. It seems they finally realized they didn’t fully understand what Jesus was talking about, but they did better than we do—they kept their mouths shut.
As Jesus and the three came down the mountain, after seeing Jesus with Moses and Elijah, there was discussion about the coming of Elijah again since they’d just seen him with Jesus. The Lord told them Elijah had already come and wasn’t recognized, and that He’d suffer in the last days. The disciples then understood He was speaking of John the Baptist.
Have you ever been so overwhelmed with the Word of God and His Righteousness that you couldn’t even talk about it? You want to tell someone, however, you can’t find the words to speak of the glory in your own soul.
This must have been how Peter, James, and John felt as they left the mountain after the encounter with Jesus, Elijah, and Moses. “And they kept silent and told no one in those days anything of what they had seen.”
May we be as Mary was. After the shepherds visited the baby Jesus, they went away telling all they’d seen, “but Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:19). Some things just can’t be verbalized. May your heart be stirred today to ponder the majesty of our Christ.
- Why were Moses and Elijah the ones on the mountain with Jesus?
- Do you believe you will rise from the dead should Christ not return in your lifetime?
- Is God able to trust you with what He reveals to your heart?
- Does your heart ache when you read of Jesus preparing to die? My answer to this is that "I rejoice sorrowfully" at our precious Lord's death because I have eternal life.