This story moves from a revelation in the presence of saints to a revelation in the presence of a demon. The disciples understood neither revelation. The first revelation took place when Moses and Elijah stood near Jesus, whose appearance was a dazzling white. The presence of the prophets indicated that Jesus was a prophet at least as important as them. But the disciples were frightened and didn’t know what to make of the whole scene. In their fear, they kept silent. The second revelation occurred just after Jesus had an encounter with a demon. On casting it out, Jesus revealed that “the Son of Man is going to be betrayed into human hands.” Again, they did not understand and they remained silent.
People can have things of Jesus revealed to them at times and places that they don’t at the moment understand. And yes, often we keep those revelations silent so as not to sound crazy. Maybe it’s ok to let those things that are hard to understand remain close to our hearts for a while. The disciples certainly didn’t see the truth of Jesus’ words until much more had happened in all of their lives. Perhaps we can hold tight to the things we don’t understand until a time when much more has happened in our lives. Jesus’ revelations can become clear to us when we have grown so that we are capable of understanding.
Now about eight days after these sayings Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly they saw two men, Moses and Elijah, talking to him. They appeared in glory and were speaking of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. Now Peter and his companions were weighed down with sleep; but since they had stayed awake, they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. Just as they were leaving him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah” —not knowing what he said. While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were terrified as they entered the cloud. Then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!” When the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and in those days told no one any of the things they had seen.
On the next day, when they had come down from the mountain, a great crowd met him. Just then a man from the crowd shouted, “Teacher, I beg you to look at my son; he is my only child. Suddenly a spirit seizes him, and all at once he shrieks. It convulses him until he foams at the mouth; it mauls him and will scarcely leave him. I begged your disciples to cast it out, but they could not.” Jesus answered, “You faithless and perverse generation, how much longer must I be with you and bear with you? Bring your son here.” While he was coming, the demon dashed him to the ground in convulsions. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, healed the boy, and gave him back to his father.
And all were astounded at the greatness of God. While everyone was amazed at all that he was doing, he said to his disciples, “Let these words sink into your ears: The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into human hands.” But they did not understand this saying; its meaning was concealed from them, so that they could not perceive it. And they were afraid to ask him about this saying.