Post by Bill Yates on Apr 21, 2008 23:53:32 GMT -5
What is the purpose of this event? Jesus took Peter, James, and John with him to the mountains; so their witness of the event must of had a purpose personal to the three. I found where later (through commentary) Peter and John testify about what they have seen (2 Peter 1:16-18 and John 1:14). Was this to aid them in understanding the death and resurrection of Jesus; and therefore be able to teach this later to others. In the account in Mathew vs. 13, the disciples understood Jesus to be talking about John the Baptist. Were they mistaken? I don't understand how they thought he was speaking of John the Baptist. At this point in Jesus' ministry (he had been preforming miracles) did they not understand who Jesus was and what his role would be (Mark 9;10)?
Last Edit: Apr 21, 2008 23:54:29 GMT -5 by Bill Yates
Post by Mike Miller on Apr 22, 2008 7:56:09 GMT -5
Another good question, Bill, and one that commentators have debated over for a long time. Why indeed did Moses and Elijah appear on the mountain?
The primary belief is that they represented the law (Moses) and the prophets (Elijah) and that their appearance was something that lended testimony to Jesus. Both the law and the prophets testify to Jesus (see John 1:45), and Moses and Elijah were subordinate to Him.
As for your second question, they were not mistaken. Malachi said that Elijah was coming as a forerunner, and Jesus explains in Matthew 11:10-14 that John the Baptist is the Elijah foretold by Malachi. He wasn't literally Elijah, but an Elijah-like prophet. Elijah wasn't resurrected or broght back, but in John the Baptist, they had their Elijah. Luke helps clear it up when he says that John the Baptist would "go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah," again quoting Malachi.
Now, as to whether they really understood who Jesus was, it seems that their understanding was progressive. You are probably still learning a lot about who Jesus really is, and they were too. We know they didn't understand anything about Jesus' death and resurrection until He appeared to them after the resurrection, so the reference in Mark 9:10 is just another indicator that they still didn't get it. I imagine the fact that God was walking around in the flesh, and that He would die for their sins and then live again was pretty hard to get their minds around.