“Tell no one about the vision . . .” Jesus says to the disciples who were with him on the mountaintop.
They certainly had seen a vision—as dictionary.com defines it, ”an experience in which a personage, thing, or event appears vividly or credibly to the mind . . . often under the influence of a divine or other agency”. They had experienced a divine event that would be nearly impossible to explain, so Jesus tells them to keep it to themselves until a later time.
They were profoundly caught up in it as it was happening, though. Peter said “It is good for us to be here” and proposed building “dwellings” so that they could stay there. But they didn’t get to. They went back down the mountain, and had to deal with some difficult and challenging situations. No wonder Peter wanted to stay in the idyllic, magical, glorious vision.
That’s the challenge, isn’t it? Having experienced such a vision, how does one live as a “visionary”—so that it is not an isolated event away from life’s realities but rather an inspiration to incorporate into dealing with life’s realities? Because that’s what they had to do, and that’s what we have to do.
Our experience of Jesus our Savior should not be restricted to “Jesus and me” moments away from everything else. Our experience of Jesus our Savior should not be a compartment of our lives completely disconnected with the rest of our lives. It shouldn’t be an hour on Sunday and not even part of Monday through Saturday. Our experience of Jesus, the vision of who he is and what he has done for us, and our RELATIONSHIP with him, should be the foundational reality of how we live out the rest of the 167 hours in the week. The vision should make us visionary.
GOSPEL Matthew 17:1-27
1 Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves. 2 And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white. 3 Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. 4 Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three dwellings here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 5 While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, “This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!” 6 When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were overcome by fear. 7 But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Get up and do not be afraid.” 8 And when they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus himself alone. 9 As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus ordered them, “Tell no one about the vision until after the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.” 10 And the disciples asked him, “Why, then, do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” 11 He replied, “Elijah is indeed coming and will restore all things; 12 but I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but they did to him whatever they pleased. So also the Son of Man is about to suffer at their hands.” 13 Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them about John the Baptist.
14 When they came to the crowd, a man came to him, knelt before him, 15 and said, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and he suffers terribly; he often falls into the fire and often into the water. 16 And I brought him to your disciples, but they could not cure him.” 17 Jesus answered, “You faithless and perverse generation, how much longer must I be with you? How much longer must I put up with you? Bring him here to me.” 18 And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and the boy was cured instantly. 19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” 20 He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.”
22 As they were gathering in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into human hands, 23 and they will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised.” And they were greatly distressed.
24 When they reached Capernaum, the collectors of the temple tax came to Peter and said, “Does your teacher not pay the temple tax?” 25 He said, “Yes, he does.” And when he came home, Jesus spoke of it first, asking, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do kings of the earth take toll or tribute? From their children or from others?” 26 When Peter said, “From others,” Jesus said to him, “Then the children are free. 27 However, so that we do not give offense to them, go to the sea and cast a hook; take the first fish that comes up; and when you open its mouth, you will find a coin; take that and give it to them for you and me.”