The Transfiguration of Jesus was an exalted experience, both physically and spiritually. Peter, James, and John were representatives of the apostles Jesus had chosen. They would never forget the glorious experience (2 Pet. 1:16-18). This episode reaffirmed what God has said when Jesus was baptized (Matt. 3:16-17). God was well-pleased with his Son and Jesus would be the voice of the Gospel age. Moses and Elijah were representatives of the Old Testament era, and they were present to speak with Jesus about his upcoming departure. This included his death and his ascension (Luke 9:31). The word “departure” is “exodus” in Greek. The leader of the great Exodus of the Old Testament came to speak with Jesus, who would lead us in the exodus from sin. John had done his job, but he was not the leader of the Gospel age. We must listen to and follow Jesus! He will lead us to the heavenly Promised Land.
Although Jesus had given the Apostles power to cast out demons, they failed to help a certain young boy. Jesus chastised them, saying they were unable to cast out the demon due to their lack of faith. Can we do what Jesus had commanded us to do? Is our faith in Jesus and the Gospel strong enough (Rom. 1:16)? When Jesus paid the Temple tax for himself and Peter, he demonstrated that we must do what is lawfully required of us, and more if need be. This annual tax was expected of every male 20 years old and above. Jesus told Peter that he was exempt as a member of God’s household, but he paid both his tax and Peter’s to avoid controversy. We are children of God, but we are also subjects of our nation and state. As such, taxes must be paid (Rom. 13:1-7). Our greater responsibility is to God, to whom we give back out of gratitude for our blessings.
My comments are not an inspired commentary, but rather a few words to draw attention to the background, context, and dynamic situation of Matthew’s gospel. May God bless your reading of His Word. T.C.