Matthew 17:9 MEANING

Matthew 17:9
(9) Tell the vision to no man.--The command obviously included even the rest of the Apostles within the range of its prohibition. For them in their lower stage of spiritual growth, the report of the vision at second hand would either have led them to distrust it or to pervert its meaning. Whatever reasons excluded them from being spectators were of still greater weight for the time against their hearing of what had been seen from others. The Greek word for "vision," it may be noted, means simply "what they had seen," and does not suggest, as the English word does, the thought of a dream-state in the beholders.

Verse 9. - As they came down from the mountain. The Transfiguration is supposed to have taken place at night, and the following conversation to have passed in the early morning of the next day. Tell the vision (τὸ ὅραμα, what bad been seen) to no man. This was a strict and formal command. The chosen three were at present not to mention the occurrence to anyone, not even to their fellow disciples. Possibly these would hardly have believed the marvellous tale, and their unbelief would have hardened their heart; or, if they fully credited it, they might have been jealous of the preference shown to some of their company. At any rate, neither they nor others were prepared to receive the great lesson of the scene - that the old covenant had done its work, that the Law and the prophets were superseded and must make way for the new dispensation. Had the story been divulged to the people generally, they would have stumbled at the cross and Passion, which would seem no fitting sequel to this glory (see on Matthew 16:20). Until the Son of man be risen again (ἀναστῇ) from the dead. When this great event happened and was known to be the fact, there could be no doubt that Christ was God, and the tale of the Transfiguration would no longer be incredible. Thomas's confession, "My Lord and my God," would be echoed in the heart and conscience of all disciples. St. Luke, though he does not mention Christ's injunction, notifies that it was carefully observed, "They kept it close, and told no man in those days any of those things which they had seen." (These last words, οὐδὲν ω΅ν ἑώρακαν, explain what St. Matthew above calls "the vision," τὸ ὅραμα, the objective spectacle.) The compliance with the injunction shows that they understood something of the spiritual nature of the transaction. We may also note that the prohibition itself is presumptive evidence against the supposed mythical character of the vision.

17:1-13 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.And as they came down from the mountain,.... Where all these things had been transacted,

Jesus charged them, saying, tell the vision to no man: by the "vision" is meant, as it is explained in Mark, "what things they had seen"; as Moses and Elias, and the bright cloud that overshadowed them, and Christ transfigured before them, in a surprising, glorious manner. These Christ strictly ordered Peter, James, and John, to speak of to no man whatever; no, not their fellow disciples; who either would be apt to disbelieve them, on account of the greatness of them, as Thomas did the resurrection of Christ afterwards; or lest they should be troubled and displeased, that they were not admitted to the same sight; and especially not to the multitude, or to any other person,

until the son of man be risen again from the dead; meaning himself and his resurrection, when such proof would be given of his mission, authority, and glory, which would make this account more easy to be believed: besides, he had told the Jews, that no sign, that is, from heaven, as this voice was, should be given, but the sign of the Prophet Jonas; referring to his resurrection, which would be a sure testimony of the truth of his Messiahship. This order of Christ was strictly observed by the disciples; for Luke, says, "they kept it close"; to themselves, in their own breasts; it lay concealed between these three; "and told no man in those days, any of those things which they had seen": and Mark says, "they kept that saying within themselves"; only as he adds, they were "questioning one with another, what the rising from the dead should mean": for they were not yet reconciled to the Messiah's dying, which was contrary to their expectation of a temporal kingdom; and therefore could not tell what to make of his rising again, whether this had not some secret, mystical meaning; for of his resurrection from the dead, in a literal sense, they had no notion; though it was foretold in the writings of the Old Testament, and had been so lately affirmed by Christ himself.

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