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The coming of Elijah



MATTHEW 17:9a, 10-13

reflectionstodayAs they were coming down from the mountain, the disciples asked Jesus, “Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” He said in reply, “Elijah will indeed come and restore all things; but I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him but did to him whatever they pleased. So also will the Son of Man suffer at their hands.” Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist.


ELIJAH MUST COME FIRST. On the Sabbath, while every Jewish family prays at home, one chair is always reserved for Elijah. The Jews look up to Elijah because of the legendary miracles attributed to him and because of their long-held belief that Elijah’s return will presage the coming of the Messiah.

Upon their descent from Mount Tabor, the disciples ask Jesus why the scribes say that Elijah should come first. Peter, James, and John seem to be intrigued that the Messiah in the person of Jesus has already come ahead of Elijah. Jesus replies, explaining to them that indeed Elijah would come first and has in fact already come, but the Jews do not recognize him. Jesus is referring to John the Baptist.

When Elijah was being pursued by Jezebel’s troops, he ran away and hid himself. Elijah started to nurse doubts about the mission given him by God. He did not find God in the strong wind or in the earthquake. Neither did he find God in the fire. He experienced God’s presence in a tiny breeze. In due time, John the Baptist will introduce Jesus, God who became man, as a meek lamb: “Behold, the Lamb of God.”

Both Elijah and John the Baptist lived for a common mission: to make the Messiah known to all. How can you now make Jesus known to others?

SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2018,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail:; Website:


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