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And he said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power.”
2 And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, 3 and his clothes became radiant, intensely white, as no one on earth could bleach them. 4 And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus. 5 And Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” 6 For he did not know what to say, for they were terrified. 7 And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, “This is my beloved Son;listen to him.” 8 And suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone with them but Jesus only.
9 And as they were coming down the mountain, he charged them to tell no one what they had seen, until the Son of Man had risen from the dead. 10 So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what this rising from the dead might mean. 11 And they asked him, “Why do the scribes say that first Elijah must come?” 12 And he said to them, “Elijah does come first to restore all things. And how is it written of the Son of Man that he should suffer many things and be treated with contempt? 13 But I tell you that Elijah has come, and they did to him whatever they pleased, as it is written of him.”
14 And when they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd around them, and scribes arguing with them. 15 And immediately all the crowd, when they saw him, were greatly amazed and ran up to him and greeted him. 16 And he asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?” 17 And someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a spirit that makes him mute. 18 And whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able.” 19 And he answered them, “O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me.” 20 And they brought the boy to him. And when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. 21 And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. 22 And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” 23 And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” 25 And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” 26 And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, “He is dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. 28 And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” 29 And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.”
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Questions to Consider
1. Notice that verse 1 is the concluding statement of Jesus’ remarks at the end of chapter 8. How does verse 1 point to the events in verses 2-8?
2. Who did Jesus take with Him up the mountain? (2) Why do you think He took only these three and not all of the disciples? Why Elijah and Moses? (4) Why not Abraham and David or Isaiah and Noah? Hint- think about the two major categories of Old Testament Scripture, the L__ and the P_______. Which did Moses represent? Which did Elijah represent? How did the Old Testament Law and prophets each point to the coming of Christ? How did Christ fulfill both the Law and the prophets? Considering their upcoming roles in establishing the New Testament church and writing Scripture, why would it have been important for Peter, James, and John to witness the Transfiguration?
3. How does Peter demonstrate the importance of keeping our mouths shut and paying attention to the word of God when we’re ignorant or at a loss for words? (5-7) How do these verses help to show us that God loves, uses, and understands weak and imperfect people?
4. How would the Transfiguration have pointed to the deity of Christ and affirmation of His Messiahship for first century Jews? For Gentiles? For you?
5. Compare verses 11-13 with these Scriptures. How, and in whom, did Jesus say the prophecy of Elijah’s coming had been fulfilled?
6. Compare the private versus public nature of the Transfiguration and the healing of the demon possessed boy. Why would Jesus choose different audiences for these events? Which people/groups were present at the healing of the demon possessed boy? (14-17) Why might the scribes have been arguing with the disciples? (14, 17) Who was Jesus aggravated with in verse 19, and why? We know from verse 19 (and other passages) that Jesus sometimes got aggravated with people, yet we also know that He did so without sinning. Are there any circumstances in which it is possible for us to get aggravated, frustrated, or annoyed with others without being in sin?
7. Describe the effects the demon had on the boy (17-18,20,22,26) and consider how this is a glimpse of the destruction Satan brings to the life and soul of an unsaved person.
8. Think about Jesus’ words to the father (21,23) in light of His omniscience as well as the teaching aspect of His ministry. Did Jesus sometimes say things – not because He lacked knowledge – but in order to elicit a certain response or to get people to think? Do Jesus’ words in these verses indicate that He wasn’t compassionate toward the father and son? What is the father’s response to Jesus in verse 24? What did he mean?
9. The Transfiguration demonstrates Jesus’ power and authority in which spiritual realm? Contrast this with Jesus casting the demon out of the boy, which demonstrates His power and authority in which spiritual realm?
In verse 24, the father says, “I believe; help my unbelief.” Have you ever prayed a similar prayer? Is there an area of your life in which you’re having difficulty trusting God, or a part of Scripture you have trouble believing? This week, spend some time studying what the Bible has to say about it and pray every day that God will strengthen your trust in Him and your belief in His word.
Suggested Memory Verse
“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.”