"The disciples asked him, "Why then do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?"
Jesus replied, "To be sure, Elijah comes and will restore all things. But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but have done to him everything they wished. In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands." Then the disciples understood that he was talking to them about John the Baptist."
Something bigger is here today for me in this passage. Jesus' own followers were still questioning the Scriptures and Him as the Messiah. In this chapter Jesus takes Peter, James & John...the brother of James with him to the high mountain. They actually witness Jesus' transformation right before their very eyes. The Word says, "While they watched, Jesus' appearance was changed; his face became bright like the sun, and his clothes became white as light. Then Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Jesus." Matthew 17:2-3).
After this transformation...Peter is trying to tell Jesus, Let us build shelters for them...one for Jesus, one for Moses...and one for Elijah. When Peter was still speaking...Mind you Peter never really shuts up long enough to listen! A cloud covers them and they hear a shout..." "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!" Matthew 17:5. The disciples fall to their faces in fear...and Jesus comes to them to comfort them with His touch.
How perfect this picture is. They have been given a moment to see Jesus as no one else...and they can't stop talking about the things right in front of them...I will build a shelter for you...maybe it was nerves...but, one more thing happens...
When they come back down the mountain...Jesus warns them not to tell anyone what they saw until the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
Then his followers ask Him, "Why do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?" Matthew 17:10 Ok, didn't Jesus already tell them that if they believed...then they would know John the Baptist was Elijah? (Matthew 11:14).
Here in this passage Jesus is telling them once again..."Yes the religious leaders are right in what they say about the coming Messiah. Elijah will come first...but he did...and they rejected him and did what they wanted to do to him. So it will be with the Son of Man. The last verse finally says, "Then the followers understood that Jesus was talking about John the Baptist." They finally got it! Whew!
How long have you been there...you know the Truth. You have surrendered to Him. But you still have doubts? How can all this be? How did deity and humanity coexist in one person? It is beyond my very own understanding...I do know this...If a prince leaves his royal palace to live in the slums, his position has changed, but he is still the same person. He can empty himself of his privileged place and veil his true identity, but he cannot empty himself of his personhood. So it was with the Lord Jesus. He did not consider His position with the Father in heaven something He had to hold on to at all costs. He came as a man so that He might die for humankind.
I hold to the truth that "in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily." (Colossians 2:9), and that means He always possessed all the attributes of deity.
He is the King of Kings!
I ask you to do this one thing today, When did God open your eyes to accept him? Recount the experience when God took your heart and made it new. Thank Him for His grace. In your day today...look for a way to tell someone your story. Yes you have one! Remember that moment where it was just you and Jesus...and you KNEW...your life was changed forever!