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  • ALD

Matthew 17: My Study Notes for Line-by-Line

And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain (Moses also went up on a high mountain in Exodus 34:28) by themselves. 2 And he was transfigured (“The verb metamorphoo (‘transfigure,’ ‘transform,’ ‘change in form’ suggests a change of inmost nature that may be outwardly visible.” (Carson) before them, and his face shone like the sun, (Just as Moses’ did on his high mountain: Exodus 34:35 When Moses came down from Mount Sinai, with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand as he came down from the mountain, Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God.) and his clothes became white as light. 3 And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. 4 And Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.”(How would Peter know who these men were? Moses and Elijah had long since been removed from the earth, Moses had lived some 1400 years before; Elijah some 900 years before Peter. Was it divine revelation or did they learn their names afterward and add them in when telling the story to Matthew?) 5 He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud (A shekinah "dwelling" or "settling" and denotes the presence of God, as it were, in a place. We see many examples of this in the Bible.) overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, (Whenever God interacts closely with people on earth, He always cloaks Himself in some way, a natural element or phenomenon) “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” (Peter was corrected by God the Father for unintentionally trying to usurp Jesus’ authority. Jesus never says they will camp or even stay for more than a minute. Peter, in normal Peter fashion, tries with the best intention to control the situation even with Jesus literally 2 feet away from him. We can see it more clearly in Mark and Luke’s recounting of the event.) ( The Hebrew Bible strongly hints, and the Jewish culture believed, that the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot, whereby the building of temporary shelters, Sukkahs, is commanded by God) is directly connected to the End Times. And as I've already explained in past lessons on Matthew, it was taken for granted that Elijah would return in the End Times when the Messiah appeared, and among some substantial segment of Jewish society, it was believed that Moses would return as well. So according to what Peter, as part of that Jewish culture, thought this astounding appearance of Moses and Elijah along with Yeshua as the Messiah meant, for him it verified that this was indeed the End Times that was (as expected) connected with the Feast of Tabernacles. I think Peter was right; it's only that his understanding of the timing was wrong. - Bradford) 6 When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces and were terrified. 7 But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and have no fear.” 8 And when they lifted their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only. (If the disciples fear God so much, despite having His son with them at the time, why do so many in the church push Him aside as an old, irrelevant God of yesterday?)9 And as they were coming down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, “Tell no one the vision, until the Son of Man is raised from the dead.”( Jesus demands silence until He is crucified, buried, and risen from the grave) 10 And the disciples asked him, “Then why do the scribes say that first Elijah must come?” 11 He answered, “Elijah does come, and he will restore all things. (Revelations 11:3-4 And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.” 4 These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. 5 And if anyone would harm them, fire pours from their mouth and consumes their foes. If anyone would harm them, this is how he is doomed to be killed.)

12 But I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, (John the Baptist) but did to him whatever they pleased. So also the Son of Man will certainly suffer at their hands.” (His death on the cross)13 Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist.

14 And when they came to the crowd, a man came up to him and, kneeling before him, 15 said, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he has seizures (It is interesting that the father says his son has seizures and is not demon-possessed. The Greek word used is solemiazomai which literally means moon-struck; in modern English moon-struck means lunatic but in Greek it is understood as possesed.) and he suffers terribly. For often he falls into the fire, and often into the water. 16 And I brought him to your disciples, and they could not heal him.” (The disciples were no different from you and me. Despite our best intentions, skill, and knowledge we fail people from time to time. The disciples would have wanted to cure the boy, they just were unable to. The father, correctly, elevates His request to Jesus, the one who never fails) 17 And Jesus answered, (Jesus speaks to the disciples) “O faithless and twisted (In Greek: apistos kia diastrepho genea which translates more correctly to “faithless and perverse generation”. Jesus is calling his disciples faithless and perverse. It seems that Jesus is frustrated with His disciples. His earthly ministry is coming to an end and His disciples are missing all the signs and marks.) generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him here to me.” (Frustrated) 18 And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and the boy was healed instantly. (Instantly, Jesus rebukes the demon, and it flees, instantly! Jesus will always be able to do more than man can do which is why He leads people to faith, not other people..) 19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” 20 He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” (It was lack of trust that hindered them from doing God’s work just as it can be our lack of trust that hinders us from fully utilizing our spiritual gifts and fulfilling our calling. Many English Bibles translate “faith” in v. 19 as faith or belief but the Greek word used is pistis: which is trust, not faith or belief. Remember, even the demons believe in Christ, they know He is real, and they admit it in several verses, what separates their emotion from ours is that we also “trust” that His way is the right way. Believe is a conscious, intellectual decision, Faith is an overriding hope in someone or something but trust cannot abide in anything other than the knowledge and complete acceptance of an outcome we cannot control)

22 As they were gathering in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men, 23 and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day.” And they were greatly distressed. (Early manuscripts do not include these two verses, there is speculation that they were added post-Matthew by the church to draw a dramatic conclusion to the section as well as to drive home an agenda. I can verify the fact is true, but I cannot verify the motive. I don’t know the trust because I wasn’t there, so I’ll leave that to your investigations)

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