Matthew 17:9-13 Elijah Comes First

As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them, “Don’t tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”

10 The disciples asked him, “Why then do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?”

11 Jesus replied, “To be sure, Elijah comes and will restore all things. 12 But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but have done to him everything they wished. In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.” 13 Then the disciples understood that he was talking to them about John the Baptist.

Elijah Comes First

Jesus, sometimes we miss what has been unfolding before our eyes.  That John the Baptist was Elijah was a little bit cryptic.  Having a conversation last night, it seems a lot of people are ignorant of the signs of the times at the moment.  In the west we are seeing a lot of teen pregnancy, divorce, and overall moral decline.  What does it mean?  I believe that it means we are moving away from moral absolutes and into the morass of relativism.  Historically, I am not aware of any civilization that adopted a moral relativism and succeeded.

Jesus, how can we prevent this decline?  How can we call people back to a moral absolutism.  I saw that Baroness Thatcher died today.  I really didn’t like her when she was in office, but I see that she stood for strong principles.  It seems so few people have the confidence to stand for something.

Jesus, help us to see the signs and to accept what the signs teach us.


  1. What question did the disciples ask Jesus?
  2. Why did they ask it at this point?
  3. What did Jesus’ answer confirm about himself?
  4. What signs do we see in our present times?
  5. Why do people miss the signs that show our moral condition?

About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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