Matthew 17* The transfiguration of Christ. (1-13) Jesus casts out a dumband 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 ofthe only begotten of the Father. It was intended to supporttheir faith, when they would have to witness his crucifixion;and would give them an idea of the glory prepared for them, whenchanged by his power and made like him. The apostles wereovercome by the glorious sight. Peter thought that it was mostdesirable to continue there, and to go no more down to meet thesufferings of which he was so unwilling to hear. In this he knewnot what he said. We are wrong, if we look for a heaven hereupon earth. Whatever tabernacles we propose to make forourselves in this world, we must always remember to ask Christ'sleave. That sacrifice was not yet offered, without which thesouls of sinful men could not have been saved; and importantservices were to be done by Peter and his brethren. While Peterspoke, a bright cloud overshadowed them, an emblem of the Divinepresence and glory. Ever since man sinned, and heard God's voicein the garden, unusual appearances of God have been terrible toman. They fell prostrate to the earth, till Jesus encouragedthem; when looking round, they beheld only their Lord as theycommonly saw him. We must pass through varied experiences in ourway to glory; and when we return to the world after anordinance, it must be our care to take Christ with us, and thenit may be our comfort that he is with us. 14-21 The case of afflicted children should be presented to Godby faithful and fervent prayer. Christ cured the child. Thoughthe people were perverse, and Christ was provoked, yet care wastaken of the child. When all other helps and succours fail, weare welcome to Christ, may trust in him, and in his power andgoodness. See here an emblem of Christ's undertaking as ourRedeemer. 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 byprayer, but bring them to the word of Christ; to means by whichSatan's strong-holds in the soul are beaten down. It is good forus to distrust ourselves and our own strength; but it isdispleasing to Christ when we distrust any power derived fromhim, or granted by him. There was also something in the maladywhich rendered the cure difficult. The extraordinary power ofSatan must not discourage our faith, but quicken us to moreearnestness in praying to God for the increase of it. Do wewonder to see Satan's bodily possession of this young man from achild, when we see his spiritual possession of every son of Adamfrom the fall! 22,23 Christ perfectly knew all things that should befall him,yet undertook the work of our redemption, which strongly showshis love. What outward debasement and Divine glory was the lifeof the Redeemer! And all his humiliation ended in hisexaltation. Let us learn to endure the cross, to despise richesand worldly honours, and to be content with his will. 24-27 Peter felt sure that his Master was ready to do what wasright. Christ spoke first to give him proof that no thought canbe withholden from him. We must never decline our duty for fearof giving offence; but we must sometimes deny ourselves in ourworldly interests, rather than give offence. However the moneywas lodged in the fish, He who knows all things alone could knowit, and only almighty power could bring it to Peter's hook. Thepower and the poverty of Christ should be mentioned together. Ifcalled by providence to be poor, like our Lord, let us trust inhis power, and our God shall supply all our need, according tohis riches in glory by Christ Jesus. In the way of obedience, inthe course, perhaps, of our usual calling, as he helped Peter,so he will help us. And if any sudden call should occur, whichwe are not prepared to meet, let us not apply to others, till wefirst seek Christ.
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