Matthew 17:1-13

Three disciples see how great Jesus is

1 Six days after that, Jesus asked Peter and the two brothers, James and John, to go with him. Jesus led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2 Peter, James and John saw Jesus change in front of them. He became different to look at. His face was bright like the sun. His clothes became very white and they shone. 3 Then Moses and Elijah appeared in front of the three disciples. They were talking with Jesus.

17:3Moses had lived a long time ago. He was a leader of God's people. He brought them out of Egypt. He died about 1400 years before Jesus was born. We can read about Moses in Exodus.
17:3Elijah was a prophet of God. He lived about 850 years before Jesus was born. He did not die. God took him up alive to heaven. We can read about him in 1 Kings.

4 Peter said to Jesus, ‘Lord, it is good that we are here. If you want, please let me build three huts. One hut will be for you. One hut will be for Moses and one hut will be for Elijah.’

17:4Peter and his friends wanted to build the huts so that these three important people could stay with them longer. But God had not asked the disciples to build any huts. Many years before, Moses had given the people God's Law. Elijah was an important prophet of God. And Jesus was God's Son. Jesus was showing people something new. This was the kingdom of God.

5 While Peter was still speaking, a bright cloud appeared. It covered them all. A voice spoke from the cloud and it said, ‘This is my Son and I love him. He makes me very happy. Listen to him.’

6 The disciples heard the voice. They threw themselves down to the ground. They were very frightened. 7 But Jesus came to them and he touched them. ‘Stand up,’ he said. ‘Do not be afraid.’ 8 When they looked up, they could not see anyone else. Only Jesus was there with them.

9 While they were walking down the mountain, Jesus said to the three disciples, ‘You must not tell anyone now about the things that you have just seen. One day, the Son of Man will die and then he will become alive again. Then you can tell people about these things.’

10 Then the three disciples said to Jesus, ‘The teachers of God's Law say that God's prophet Elijah must return first, before the Messiah comes. Why do they say this?’

11 Jesus replied, ‘Yes, Elijah does come first. He gets everything ready. 12 But I tell you that Elijah has already come. People did not recognize him. They did to him all the things that they wanted to do. In the same way, they will also give me, the Son of Man, great pain.’ 13 Then the disciples understood that he was really talking about John the Baptist.