Commentaries
English
Matthew
  
n) The Clarification of Elijah’s Promised Coming
(Matthew 17:9-13)
9Now as they came down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, “Tell the vision to no one until the Son of Man is risen from the dead.”10And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?”11Jesus answered and said to them, “Indeed, Elijah is coming first and will restore all things.12But I say to you that Elijah has come already, and they did not know him but did to him whatever they wished. Likewise the Son of Man is also about to suffer at their hands.”13Then the disciples understood that He spoke to them of John the Baptist. (Matthew11:14;14:9-10;16:20, Luke1:17)


When the disciples came down from the towering Mount Hermon to the deep Jordan Valley, their minds wrestled with all the things that Jesus spoke of and with all they had seen.
Jesus ordered His three disciples not to say one word about what they had seen of His glory and not to write of it wait until He had risen from the dead, at which time everyone might realize who He was. But the disciples did not understand what Christ meant by the resurrection, nevertheless, they kept silent about it according to their Lord’s will. They did not comprehend Jesus’ resurrection, because the Holy Spirit had not yet dwelt in them.
The disciples heard from their scribes that Elijah would appear and that his appearance was related to the coming of Christ. They believed that Jesus would then establish His kingdom and bring down fire from heaven, as Elijah had done, and obtain victory as the prophet of Carmel did when he exterminated the lying priests. However Jesus made clear to his disciples that his kingdom was not political and His followers would receive no political power.
Jesus explained to them that John the Baptist preached in the spirit of the promised Elijah. He paved the way for Christ by his call to repentance, and not by a military training of his followers in the wilderness. This one crying in the wilderness died at the hands of Herod, the tyrant.
To deepen this precept, Jesus declared again that He would be oppressed by leaders, abandoned by people, condemned by God and die for our sins. Jesus did not encourage His disciples to make a political rising or an economic development, but assured them of certain brokenness and total failure of their worldly hopes.
The disciples became certain of His glory and holiness, having seen the eternal life, which came to our world. Jesus’ death is not the end. His resurrection transforms us into partners of the life of God. Do worldly aims and transient hopes still nest in your heart? Or have you proceeded towards the life of God that is proclaimed in believers upon the coming of Christ the Savior? Pray to Him to reform your life and fill you with His Holy Spirit that you can stand fast forever.

Prayer
O Holy Son of God, we glorify You because You died under God’s wrath in our place and took away our sins. We thank You because You brought us the life of the Father. Your life will never die, for You are the Most Holy. Our faith unifies us with You, and Your power flows into our weakness. You are the Lasting in our hearts. Keep us at the hour of our death that we may live in You, who died for our sins and forgave us our faults. You are our certain hope and salvation. In You we are glorified!
Question
What is the relation between John the Baptist and the prophet Elijah?