Matthew 17

The leader of the apostles wrote about “the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Peter, James, and John were “eyewitnesses” of Jesus’ “majesty” at His transfiguration (2 Peter 1:16). They saw His luminescent face and clothing, and heard the voice from the glory cloud of God that “overshadowed them” saying, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to Him.” Such a powerful glimpse of the divine King was formative for the three apostles, yet they were instructed by their Master: “Tell no one the vision, until the Son of Man is raised from the dead.”
Later Peter would write to “the dispersion” of a great community of faith regarding their possession of “living hope” through “the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” There can be no doubt that he had a very credible testimony about our “inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven” for all who put their trust in Jesus (1 Peter 1:3-4).
When they were coming down the mountain, they did not understand many things about the present and the future. Their friends were unable to help a desperate father whose boy had epilepsy. Jesus told them what their problem was: It was “because of your little faith.” The Lord’s time in this world of unbelief was challenging to Him. “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you?” Even so He could not leave before finishing His work. “The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill Him, and He will be raised on the third day.”
Meanwhile Jesus continued to accomplish heavenly miracles, even taking care of Peter’s tax problems through the catch of a fish with a “shekel” in his mouth! “Take that and give it to them for Me and for yourself.” Only the great Lord of the resurrection could defeat both death and taxes! One day the true “sons” of the kingdom will be freed entirely from both.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Father, when our Savior ministered in this place of death, You gave us an amazing glimpse of His glory in the Transfiguration. We long for that vision today! Teach us to see with trusting eyes and to live by Your Word. Move us ahead in works of love according to Your commandments. It is impossible to please You without the gift of faith. Jesus accomplished the highest righteousness through the cross. By His sacrifice we who were in such great need have been made sons and daughters of the Kingdom. What looked like utter failure in the sight of the world was truly the greatest of victories for Your people.