Saturday in the Twelfth Week of Ordinary Time

Matthew 17:9-13; Mark 9:9-13

The One Who Restores All Things

Having heard the Father’s voice on the mountain, the disciples fell on their faces for fear, but Jesus touched them and said, “Rise, and have no fear.”  That’s our Lord’s way – first fear and then, “Fear not,” first conviction and then forgiveness.  But the “fear not” and the forgiveness only come when we’ve humbled ourselves as these men did.

Coming down the mountain, the disciples asked a sensible question for that time.  They knew Jesus was the Christ (though they did not know what all that would entail), but the scribes, who for all their failures did know the law and the prophets, said that Elijah must come first (that is, before the Messiah) to “restore all things.”  “Well, the Messiah is here. Where’s Elijah?”  Jesus affirmed what the scribes taught (Malachi 3:1; 4:5-6; Matthew 11:11-15; Luke 1:17, 76-80), that Elijah must come first.  But then Jesus said that Elijah had come, and he was murdered, just as the Son of Man would be.  Then the disciples understood that Jesus was talking about John the Baptist.

We might ask, “What does this have to do with us?”  I think the most important words of this passage refer to Elijah coming to “restore all things.”  Peter uses this same expression preaching to the people after our Lord’s ascension: “Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago” (Acts 3:19-21, italics added).  So, “restoring all things” refers to both the coming of John the Baptist (Elijah) and the second coming of Christ; that is, it seems to have a continuous application.  We know that all things were not restored by the coming of the Baptist; furthermore, all things still have not been restored even through the resurrection of our Lord – that awaits his coming.

But we do know that all things are in the process of being restored.  John’s mission of preparing the way started the ball rolling.  Of course, our Lord’s death, resurrection, and ascension was the pivotal point of all as untold millions have come out of darkness and into light in this the age of grace, between the two comings.  But we still await our Lord’s return when his kingship is acknowledged by all and he ultimately subjects all things under the Father that He may be “all in all.”  That will be the grand restoration of what was forfeited long ago: a new heaven and earth under God’s direct rule.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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