Matthew 17

* The transfiguration of Christ. (1-13) Jesus casts out a dumb

and deaf spirit. (14-21) He again foretells his sufferings.

(22,23) He works a miracle to pay the tribute money. (24-27)

1-13 Now the disciples beheld somewhat of Christ's glory, as of

the only begotten of the Father. It was intended to support

their faith, when they would have to witness his crucifixion;

and would give them an idea of the glory prepared for them, when

changed by his power and made like him. The apostles were

overcome by the glorious sight. Peter thought that it was most

desirable to continue there, and to go no more down to meet the

sufferings of which he was so unwilling to hear. In this he knew

not what he said. We are wrong, if we look for a heaven here

upon earth. Whatever tabernacles we propose to make for

ourselves in this world, we must always remember to ask Christ's

leave. That sacrifice was not yet offered, without which the

souls of sinful men could not have been saved; and important

services were to be done by Peter and his brethren. While Peter

spoke, a bright cloud overshadowed them, an emblem of the Divine

presence and glory. Ever since man sinned, and heard God's voice

in the garden, unusual appearances of God have been terrible to

man. They fell prostrate to the earth, till Jesus encouraged

them; when looking round, they beheld only their Lord as they

commonly saw him. We must pass through varied experiences in our

way to glory; and when we return to the world after an

ordinance, it must be our care to take Christ with us, and then

it may be our comfort that he is with us.
14-21 The case of afflicted children should be presented to God

by faithful and fervent prayer. Christ cured the child. Though

the people were perverse, and Christ was provoked, yet care was

taken of the child. When all other helps and succours fail, we

are welcome to Christ, may trust in him, and in his power and

goodness. See here an emblem of Christ's undertaking as our

Redeemer. It encourages parents to bring children to Christ,

whose souls are under Satan's power; he is able to heal them,

and as willing as he is able. Not only bring them to Christ by

prayer, but bring them to the word of Christ; to means by which

Satan's strong-holds in the soul are beaten down. It is good for

us to distrust ourselves and our own strength; but it is

displeasing to Christ when we distrust any power derived from

him, or granted by him. There was also something in the malady

which rendered the cure difficult. The extraordinary power of

Satan must not discourage our faith, but quicken us to more

earnestness in praying to God for the increase of it. Do we

wonder to see Satan's bodily possession of this young man from a

child, when we see his spiritual possession of every son of Adam

from the fall!
22,23 Christ perfectly knew all things that should befall him,

yet undertook the work of our redemption, which strongly shows

his love. What outward debasement and Divine glory was the life

of the Redeemer! And all his humiliation ended in his

exaltation. Let us learn to endure the cross, to despise riches

and worldly honours, and to be content with his will.
24-27 Peter felt sure that his Master was ready to do what was

right. Christ spoke first to give him proof that no thought can

be withholden from him. We must never decline our duty for fear

of giving offence; but we must sometimes deny ourselves in our

worldly interests, rather than give offence. However the money

was lodged in the fish, He who knows all things alone could know

it, and only almighty power could bring it to Peter's hook. The

power and the poverty of Christ should be mentioned together. If

called by providence to be poor, like our Lord, let us trust in

his power, and our God shall supply all our need, according to

his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. In the way of obedience, in

the course, perhaps, of our usual calling, as he helped Peter,

so he will help us. And if any sudden call should occur, which

we are not prepared to meet, let us not apply to others, till we

first seek Christ.
Copyright information for MHCC