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6 years ago  ::  Jul 13, 2008 - 12:02PM #1
Anesis
Posts: 1,543
Matthew 17 talks about the transfiguration with Jesus, Moses, and Elijah. After the transfiguration, in verse 11, Jesus said that Elijah had already come and 'they' did not recognize him. In verse 13, the disciples who were with him understood that he was talking about John the Baptist.

I do not believe in reincarnation, and John the Baptist could not possibly have been Elijah reincarnated because Elijah never died; he was ascended while alive.

So my question is, then, how did the disciples understand that Jesus was talking about John the Baptist when he specifically used Elijah's name? Was Jesus speaking metaphorically using Elijah's name as simply being a strong and mighty prophet who preached repentance and prepared the way?
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 13, 2008 - 7:47PM #2
birwin4
Posts: 581
[QUOTE=Anesis;622022]Matthew 17 talks about the transfiguration with Jesus, Moses, and Elijah. After the transfiguration, in verse 11, Jesus said that Elijah had already come and 'they' did not recognize him. In verse 13, the disciples who were with him understood that he was talking about John the Baptist.

I do not believe in reincarnation, and John the Baptist could not possibly have been Elijah reincarnated because Elijah never died; he was ascended while alive.

So my question is, then, how did the disciples understand that Jesus was talking about John the Baptist when he specifically used Elijah's name? Was Jesus speaking metaphorically using Elijah's name as simply being a strong and mighty prophet who preached repentance and prepared the way?
An[/QUOTE]

  It was going to take a tong time for the idea of a conquering Messiah to be unlearned; it was so ingrained into the Jewish mind that it was difficult--almost impossible--to alter it. Matt.17:9-13 are a very difficult passage. Behind them there is this idea. The Jews were agreed that, before the Messiah came, Elijah would return to be his herald and his forerunner. "Behold I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes." So writes Malachi, and then he goes on: "And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children, and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the land with a curse" (Mal.4:5-6). Bit by bit this idea of the coming of Elijah gathered detail, until the Jews came to believe that not only would Elijah come, but he would restore all things before the Messiah came, that he would, we might put it, make the world fit for the Messiah to enter into.
The idea was that Elijah would be a great and terrible reformer, who would walk throughout the world destroying all evil and setting things to rights. The result was that both the forerunner and the Messiah were thought of in terms of power.

  Jesus corrects this. "The Scribes," he said, "say that Elijah will come like a blast of cleansing and avenging fire. He has come; but his way was the way of suffering and of sacrifice, as must also be the way of the Son of Man." Jesus has laid it down that the way of God's service is never the way which blasts men out of existence, but always the way which woos them with sacrificial love.
What interests me is that both Elijah and Moses left this earth on a mountain and had no graves. Now they appear talking to Jesus, on a mountain, who also ends up with no grave.
I think it is possible that Jesus was accommodating the current Jewish belief by appearing with both of these. The disciples thought of John the Baptist who denied he was one of the prophets. Better to leave it that the disciples may have been wrong. The real point, as I have said above, is that there would be no world conquering Messiah like Elijah as the Rabbis were teaching. I don't know if this answers your question..
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 14, 2008 - 10:07AM #3
earthrep
Posts: 638

birwin4 wrote:


Jesus corrects this. "The Scribes," he said, "say that Elijah will come like a blast of cleansing and avenging fire. He has come; but his way was the way of suffering and of sacrifice, as must also be the way of the Son of Man." Jesus has laid it down that the way of God's service is never the way which blasts men out of existence, but always the way which woos them with sacrificial love.
What interests me is that both Elijah and Moses left this earth on a mountain and had no graves. Now they appear talking to Jesus, on a mountain, who also ends up with no grave.
I think it is possible that Jesus was accommodating the current Jewish belief by appearing with both of these. The disciples thought of John the Baptist who denied he was one of the prophets. Better to leave it that the disciples may have been wrong. The real point, as I have said above, is that there would be no world conquering Messiah like Elijah as the Rabbis were teaching. I don't know if this answers your question..


I do commend you for your reasoning and logic here. These are very astute observations and I am glad someone here was able to state them. Peace and grace.

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6 years ago  ::  Jul 14, 2008 - 10:41AM #4
Anesis
Posts: 1,543
Birwin, you are shedding a lot of light on this for me, but I have one question. You say:

"What interests me is that both Elijah and Moses left this earth on a mountain and had no graves. Now they appear talking to Jesus, on a mountain, who also ends up with no grave."

But Deut. 34:5-6 says that Moses died and the Lord buried him in Moab. 

I really like what you have to say about the prophecy and the "conquering" Messiah. That makes sense.
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 16, 2008 - 4:28AM #5
birwin4
Posts: 581
[QUOTE=Anesis;623754]Birwin, you are shedding a lot of light on this for me, but I have one question. You say:

"What interests me is that both Elijah and Moses left this earth on a mountain and had no graves. Now they appear talking to Jesus, on a mountain, who also ends up with no grave."

But Deut. 34:5-6 says that Moses died and the Lord buried him in Moab. 

I really like what you have to say about the prophecy and the "conquering" Messiah. That makes sense.
An[/QUOTE]

Thankyou for your comments. What I meant was that there is no place that can be shown for Moses' grave. I did not mean he did not die. Jesus of course did die but did not stay dead. I also meant to add that reincarnation is not really implied by a symbolic return of Elijah, but rather John the Baptist may have been seen as a similar figure to Elijah especially in his clothing,  ministry and wilderness living.
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 16, 2008 - 4:29AM #6
birwin4
Posts: 581
[QUOTE=earthrep;623682]I do commend you for your reasoning and logic here. These are very astute observations and I am glad someone here was able to state them. Peace and grace.[/QUOTE]

Your encouragement is much appreciated.
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 16, 2008 - 4:28AM #7
birwin4
Posts: 581
[QUOTE=Anesis;623754]Birwin, you are shedding a lot of light on this for me, but I have one question. You say:

"What interests me is that both Elijah and Moses left this earth on a mountain and had no graves. Now they appear talking to Jesus, on a mountain, who also ends up with no grave."

But Deut. 34:5-6 says that Moses died and the Lord buried him in Moab. 

I really like what you have to say about the prophecy and the "conquering" Messiah. That makes sense.
An[/QUOTE]

Thankyou for your comments. What I meant was that there is no place that can be shown for Moses' grave. I did not mean he did not die. Jesus of course did die but did not stay dead. I also meant to add that reincarnation is not really implied by a symbolic return of Elijah, but rather John the Baptist may have been seen as a similar figure to Elijah especially in his clothing,  ministry and wilderness living.
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 16, 2008 - 4:29AM #8
birwin4
Posts: 581
[QUOTE=earthrep;623682]I do commend you for your reasoning and logic here. These are very astute observations and I am glad someone here was able to state them. Peace and grace.[/QUOTE]

Your encouragement is much appreciated.
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