Did you catch the part in chapter 16 where Jesus told the Disciples that some would not taste death before they see the Son of man coming in His Kingdom? Wouldn’t that get you excited because in your lifetime you would see Jesus coming to restore the Kingdom? Scholars said that the chapter division here between 16 and 17 is unfortunate because it breaks up the point Matthew was making. The disciples of Jesus’ inner circle experienced and witnessed a preview of what Jesus’ second coming would be like when they saw Him transfigured. Jesus was manifested in His glory - in God’s glory.
#1 What do you think Jesus meant when He said some would not see death before the coming of the Son of man?
As they were coming down the mountain Jesus asks the disciples not to share the vision they had with anyone until He had been risen again. Jesus mentioned His resurrection and The disciples move off that topic....Do you think you would have caught and understood what He was speaking of? I don’t think I would have unless the revelation was given to me by God Himself. A revelation was indeed what happened because after they asked Jesus about Elijah they then understood who John the Baptist was as Elijah. Here is where knowledge of the Bible is pretty cool…or maybe having footnotes to help us out - In John the Baptist’s father the Priest Zechariah was told that his son would go before the Lord in the “spirit and power of Elijah”. How awesome to have this knowledge in our time ! We are able to put the pieces together to hopefully grasp the messages in our Bibles. We can know that John was the Elijah the Jews were waiting for to announce the coming of the Messiah. Only problem is the Jews didn’t get it because they had rejected the King.
Jesus reassures the disciples that Malachi’s prophecy was fulfilled in John the Baptist but they were also expecting full restoration of the Kingdom.
#2 Why do you think the Jews still await Elijah?
Because they rejected John the Baptist’s ministry of repentance as soundly as they rejected Jesus.
Jesus and the three disciples are greeted by a crowd led by a man seeking help for his son. We learn that the disciples were not effective in curing the boy.
#3 Why were they unable to heal the boy?
The people of Israel lacked faith and were unable to enter the kingdom, the disciples were also suffering the same condition… the disciples had entered the kingdom through their recognition of Jesus as King, yet they lacked kingdom power for the same reason - lack of faith.