Matthew 17

Matthew 17 - March 2nd



Each of the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke) contain the narrative of the transfiguration of Jesus Christ. The transfiguration is the revealing of the eternal glory of the second member of the Trinity, the Son of God, before his disciples. Up to this moment, the glory of Christ has been veiled in human flesh, but atop this mountain, His glory is unveiled for them to see. This is the exact truth that Peter will later reference in 2 Peter 1:16, “For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.” Jesus Christ is God, and atop that mountain, a glimpse of the majesty was unveiled.


I would also like to consider the two others that appear alongside Jesus, Moses and Elijah, and their significance. Moses represents the Old Testament Law given on mount Sinai, and Elijah represents the Old Testament prophets. Their appearance alongside Christ shows how Christ is indeed the fulfillment of the Old Testament shadows. This is exactly what Christ says in Luke 24:44, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms  must be fulfilled.” Thus the appearance of Moses and Elijah shows the unity between Christ and the Old covenant.


Jesus Casts out a Demon

Jesus here accomplishes that which his disciples failed to. Jesus had given his disciples power over unclean spirits back in chapter 10, “And he called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction” (Matthew 10:1). What is the reason for their inability to drive this demonic spirit out the boy? “Because of little faith”! Though they were given the power to cast out demons, were it not coupled with faith, then it was worthless. And the faith of the disciples must have been small indeed! For Christ says that even were they to have faith as small as a mustard seed, then they could have moved mountains!


We, as Christians, must live our lives by faith! Faith in what Christ has done and faith in what he will do when he returns. We must have faith that God is still at work, and even our prayers, if they are without faith, are of little consequence. The righteous of God have always been marked throughout history by faith in God (just read Hebrews 11). And what is faith? As it says in Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”