“This Is My Son”
This passage describes the transfiguration of Jesus and suggests so many questions! What exactly were Jesus, Moses, and Elijah saying about Jesus’ departure? Did they talk about the cross? His ascent into heaven? Other upcoming events? How did the disciples know that it was Moses and Elijah talking with Jesus? The disciples didn’t seem to be awake for the discussion on Jesus’ departure, but they did notice Jesus in his glory! The cloud appears, Moses and Elijah leave, and the disciples are left with Jesus, whom the voice of God names as His Son.
Why is it that “The disciples kept this to themselves, and told no one at that time what they had seen”? Maybe Jesus directed them not to tell, but it went unrecorded. Maybe they thought it was only a dream. Maybe they thought no one would believe them. Maybe they were afraid Jesus would say, “I told you not to say that.” (After all, there are times that Jesus instructs someone to be silent and other times when he tells them to tell others what has happened.) Routinely when we as evangelicals encounter the presence of God in our lives or come to a special understanding of God, more often than not the compulsion (either from within us or from others) is that we should tell people, that we’d better share anything and everything that God is doing in our lives. But the disciples, for whatever reason, kept this encounter with Jesus to themselves. Another example of someone’s silence is when Mary “treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:19).
There seem to be times when it is appropriate to be silent or to keep experiences or revelations to one’s self. This is not to say that we should never tell these things, just that we shouldn’t always feel the compulsion to do so. When we’re in the middle of a discussion, perhaps we should be asking how much to say rather than feeling pressure every time to “close the deal” when sharing our faith with others. If we are open to the leading of the Spirit, there’s no need to feel a compulsion to speak everything every time.