Tell no one until…

After witnessing the Transfiguration of Jesus on the mountain, the Lord commanded his three disciples not to tell anyone what they had seen until after he had been resurrected from the dead (Matthew 17:9 NASB).

Jesus had commanded his disciples to be silent on other occasions (e.g. Matthew 8:4; 9:30; 12:16; and 16:20). Jesus’ reason for this was most probably because of the tendency some people had (and still have) for jumping to an incorrect conclusion.

Many Jews expected God would send a Messiah to engage the Romans in battle and defeat them. They thought the kingdom the prophets had related was an earthly one. If Christ was a military Messiah, then the way to God’s kingdom was through combat. Before he was crucified, Jesus assured Pilate he had the authority to call “twelve legions of angels” to his aid. But combat was not the way God planned for people to be saved.

The apostle Paul wrote, “But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thessalonians 2:13-14 ). From the foundation of the universe, God determined people would be saved into his kingdom by answering the call of the gospel.

This is a call of love, not to war. This is the call of the meek and lowly Lord who gave himself freely for all men. As Paul wrote, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8 ). While we were still vile and ugly sinners, Christ loved us and died for us. Not because we deserved it, but because we desperately needed it!

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