The Spirit and Power of Elijah

Matthew 17:6-13

From Exegetical Commentary on Matthew, 2006, AMG Publishers.

The disciples had just witnessed the transfiguration of the Lord Jesus Christ, and were awed by the glimpse of His glory shown to them, the presence of Moses and Elijah, and the voice of God the Father from heaven. Upon being comforted by Jesus, however, they ask Him to interpret the preceding event and the prophecies concerning Elijah.

[6] The bright cloud and the voice frightened the three disciples: "And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid (ephobēthēsan, the aorist passive tense of phobéō [5399], to fear)." The passive tense reflects the cause of their fear; they were made fearful or frightened by the bright cloud that appeared instantaneously and the booming sound of the Father's voice that interrupted Peter's speech. Fear is not an action we initiate, like taking a walk. Nor is it something we choose, as if any of us would want it. God imposes fear on both unbelievers (Ex. 23:27; Isa. 2:19; Rev. 6:16) and believers (Ps. 85:9; Jer. 32:40; Acts 5:5, 11).


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