69 Three disciples see Jesus talk with Moses and Elijah.

Isaiah 53:3; Malachi 4:5; Matthew 17:1–13; Mark 9:2–13; Luke 9:28–36

Why did Jesus take only three of his disciples to climb the mountain with him (Matthew 17:1)?

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What caused Jesus’ appearance to change (Matthew 17:2)?

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Was the appearance of Moses and Elijah physical or spiritual (Luke 9:30)? Why? How did they know who the two men were?

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Why would Jesus need to talk to Moses and Elijah (Luke 9:31)? What would they have discussed?

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If the disciples were asleep, how could they know about the change in Jesus’ appearance, the presence of Moses and Elijah, and what was discussed among them (Luke 9:30–32)?

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Why did Peter think it would be a good idea to build three shrines (Luke 9:33)?

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What impact did the voice from the cloud have upon the disciples (Matthew 17:5–6)?

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How comforting were Jesus’ words to “not be afraid” (Matthew 17:7)?

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Where did Moses and Elijah disappear to (Matthew 17:8)?

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Why were Peter, James, and John not to tell their experience to anyone else, not even the other disciples, until after the resurrection (Matthew 9:9–10)? How obedient do you think they were?

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Why didn’t the disciples understand what Jesus meant about “rising from the dead” (Mark 9:10)?

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Why did the disciples question the promised return of Elijah (Mark 9:11–13)? What might they have anticipated his answer would be?

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How did the disciples connect the fulfillment of prophecy with John the Baptizer and not the Elijah they had just seen (Matthew 17:13)?

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About a week after Jesus told his disciples about his need to die, he took Simon Peter and the two brothers, James and John, to pray alone, high up on the mountain. As Jesus prayed, the three saw his whole appearance change. His face shone bright as the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone could bleach them.

Eyewitness

Matthew 17:1–2 Six days after Jesus told the disciples about his need to die, he took Simon Peter and the two brothers, James and John, to be alone, high up on the mountain. The three saw his whole appearance change. His face shone bright as the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white.
Mark 9:2–3 Six days after Jesus told his disciples about his need to die, he took Simon Peter, James, and John to be alone, high up on the mountain. The three saw his whole appearance change. His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone could bleach them.
Luke 9:28–29 About eight days after Jesus told his disciples about his need to die, he took Simon Peter, James, and John to pray alone, high up on the mountain. As Jesus prayed, the three saw his whole appearance change. His clothes became dazzling white.
King James

Matthew 17:1–2 And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.
Mark 9:2–3 And after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John, and leadeth them up into an high mountain apart by themselves: and he was transfigured before them. And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them.
Luke 9:28–29 And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray. And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering.

Suddenly, Moses and Elijah appeared and talked with him. They also stood in brilliant glory while they talked about his death, which was to take place in Jerusalem. Peter and the others had been overcome with sleep, but when they awakened, they saw Jesus in his glory and the two men with him.

Eyewitness

Matthew 17:3 Suddenly, Moses and Elijah appeared and talked with him.
Mark 9:4 Moses and Elijah appeared and talked with him.
Luke 9:30–32 Moses and Elijah appeared and talked with him. They also stood in brilliant glory while they talked about his death, which was to take place in Jerusalem. Simon Peter and the others had been overcome with sleep, but when they awakened, they saw Jesus in his glory and the two men with him.
King James

Matthew 17:3 And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.
Mark 9:4 And there appeared unto them Elias with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus.
Luke 9:30–32 And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias: Who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem. But Peter and they that were with him were heavy with sleep: and when they were awake, they saw his glory, and the two men that stood with him.

Peter said, “Sir, it is wonderful to be here. If you want, we can build three shrines here—for you, Moses, and Elijah.” He spoke without considering what he was saying. He really did not know what to say, because they were all afraid.

Eyewitness

Matthew 17:4 Peter said, “Sir, it is wonderful to be here. If you want, we can build three shrines here—for you, Moses, and Elijah.”
Mark 9:5–6 Peter said, “Teacher, it is wonderful to be here. Let’s build three shrines here—for you, Moses, and Elijah.” He really did not know what to say, because they were all afraid.
Luke 9:33 Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is wonderful to be here. Let’s build three shrines here—for you, Moses, and Elijah.” He spoke without considering what he was saying.
King James

Matthew 17:4 Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.
Mark 9:5–6 And Peter answered and said to Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. For he wist not what to say; for they were sore afraid.
Luke 9:33 And it came to pass, as they departed from him, Peter said unto Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias: not knowing what he said.

While Peter was still speaking, a brilliant cloud overshadowed them. They were terrified as the cloud enveloped them.

Eyewitness

Matthew 17:5 While Peter was still speaking, a brilliant cloud overshadowed them. A voice came from the cloud. “This is my dearly loved son, in whom I am well pleased. Listen to him.”
Mark 9:7 A cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came from the cloud. “This is my dearly loved son. Listen to him.”
Luke 9:34 While Peter was still speaking, a cloud overshadowed them. They were terrified as the cloud enveloped them.
King James

Matthew 17:5 While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.
Mark 9:7 And there was a cloud that overshadowed them: and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him.
Luke 9:34 While he thus spake, there came a cloud, and overshadowed them: and they feared as they entered into the cloud.

A voice came from the cloud. “This is my dearly loved son in whom I am well pleased. Listen to him.”

Eyewitness

Matthew 17:5 While Peter was still speaking, a brilliant cloud overshadowed them. A voice came from the cloud. “This is my dearly loved son, in whom I am well pleased. Listen to him.”
Mark 9:7 A cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came from the cloud. “This is my dearly loved son. Listen to him.”
Luke 9:35 A voice came from the cloud. “This is my dearly loved son. Listen to him.”
King James

Matthew 17:5 While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.
Mark 9:7 And there was a cloud that overshadowed them: and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him.
Luke 9:35 And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him.

When the disciples heard the voice, they fell facedown on the ground, even more terrified.

Eyewitness

Matthew 17:6 When the disciples heard the voice, they fell facedown on the ground, terrified.
King James

Matthew 17:6 And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid.

Jesus came and touched them. “Get up, and do not be afraid.”

Eyewitness

Matthew 17:7 Jesus came and touched them. “Get up, and do not be afraid.”
King James

Matthew 17:7 And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid.

When they looked around, no one was there except Jesus.

Eyewitness

Matthew 17:8 When they looked around, no one was there except Jesus.
Mark 9:8 When they looked around, no one was there except Jesus.
Luke 9:36 After they heard the voice, they saw that Jesus was alone. They kept the event to themselves, telling no one what they had seen.
King James

Matthew 17:8 And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only.
Mark 9:8 And suddenly, when they had looked round about, they saw no man any more, save Jesus only with themselves.
Luke 9:36 And when the voice was past, Jesus was found alone. And they kept it close, and told no man in those days any of those things which they had seen.

As they came down the mountain, Jesus said, “Do not tell anyone what you saw, not until after the Son of Man has risen from the dead.”

Eyewitness

Matthew 17:9 As they came down the mountain, Jesus said, “Do not tell anyone what you saw, not until after the Son of Man has risen from the dead.”
Mark 9:9 As they came down the mountain, Jesus said, “Do not tell anyone what you saw, not until after the Son of Man has risen from the dead.”
King James

Matthew 17:9 And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead.
Mark 9:9 And as they came down from the mountain, he charged them that they should tell no man what things they had seen, till the Son of man were risen from the dead.

They kept the event to themselves, telling no one what they had seen. But they questioned one another about what rising from the dead might mean.

Eyewitness

Mark 9:10 They kept the event to themselves. But they questioned one another about what rising from the dead might mean.
Luke 9:36 After they heard the voice, they saw that Jesus was alone. They kept the event to themselves, telling no one what they had seen.
King James

Mark 9:10 And they kept that saying with themselves, questioning one with another what the rising from the dead should mean.
Luke 9:36 And when the voice was past, Jesus was found alone. And they kept it close, and told no man in those days any of those things which they had seen.

They said to Jesus, “Why do the teachers of the Law say Elijah must come before the Messiah comes?”

Eyewitness

Malachi 4:5 See, I will send the prophet Elijah before that awesome and fearful day when the Lord comes.
Matthew 17:10 The disciples said to Jesus, “Why do the teachers of the Law say Elijah must come before the Messiah comes?”
Mark 9:11 They said to Jesus, “Why do the teachers of the Law say Elijah must come before the Messiah comes?”
King James

Malachi 4:5 “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes.
Matthew 17:10 And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come?
Mark 9:11 And they asked him, saying, Why say the scribes that Elias must first come?

“They are right,” Jesus said. “Elijah comes first, to prepare for the Messiah’s coming. What does the scripture mean where it says the Son of Man must suffer greatly and be despised? The truth is, Elijah has already come, but people did not recognize who he was. Instead, they chose to abuse him. In the same way, they will cause the Son of Man to suffer, exactly as the prophet said.”

Eyewitness

Isaiah 53:3 He was despised and rejected, a man of sorrows, familiar with suffering. People did not want to look at him and thought he was nothing.
Matthew 17:11–12 “They are right,” Jesus said. “Elijah comes first, to prepare for the Messiah’s coming. The truth is, Elijah has already come, but people did not recognize who he was. Instead, they chose to abuse him. In the same way, they will cause the Son of Man to suffer.”
Mark 9:12–13 “They are right,” Jesus said. “Elijah comes first, to prepare for the Messiah’s coming. What does the scripture mean where it says the Son of Man must suffer greatly and be despised? The truth is, Elijah has already come, and they chose to abuse him, exactly as the prophet said.”
King James

Isaiah 53:3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Matthew 17:11–12 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them.
Mark 9:12–13 And he answered and told them, Elias verily cometh first, and restoreth all things; and how it is written of the Son of man, that he must suffer many things, and be set at nought. But I say unto you, That Elias is indeed come, and they have done unto him whatsoever they listed, as it is written of him.

Then they understood that he was talking about John the Baptizer.

Eyewitness

Matthew 17:13 Then they understood that he was talking about John the Baptizer.
King James

Matthew 17:13 Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.