Mark 9:11-13 – And they asked him, “Why do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?”
12 Jesus replied, “To be sure, Elijah does come first, and restores all things. Why then is it written that the Son of Man must suffer much and be rejected? 13 But I tell you, Elijah has come, and they have done to him everything they wished, just as it is written about him.” NIV
Jesus, Peter, James, and John are walking down from the mountain top where Jesus has been transfigured, and Moses and Elijah have appeared before their eyes. The disciples are still trying to comprehend what they have just seen and heard, and Jesus tells them not to say a word about this whole experience until He has risen from the dead. That comment leads them into a whole new line of thought about what it means “to rise from the dead.” Evidently, one of them remembers what the teachers of the law had said would happen before the Messiah came: that Elijah would return. They were quoting from the last verse in the Old Testament: “See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes.” (Malachi 4:5 – NIV)
Jesus had already told that earlier, “And if you are willing to accept it, he (John the Baptist) is the Elijah who was to come.” (Matthew 11:14). Well, Herod the tetrarch had imprisoned and killed John. Now they had seen Elijah and Moses appear with Jesus. Jesus wanted them to know that Scripture was being fulfilled, but they didn’t have the whole picture about the Messiah. The Scripture foretells the coming of the Messiah; but Jesus raises the question that the Messiah will have to suffer and be rejected. He was getting them to see why He would have to rise from the dead. They had not foreseen this part of God’s plan. They had jumped to the end of the story without considering the way God would do things.
Are there things in my life where I want to jump to the end of the story without going through the necessary experiences? Are there character traits that I want developed in my life that I want without going through the process? Do I want Jesus to return in glory with His Kingdom without considering the tribulation that will happened before that happens? Do I ask God to amend His plan for my convenience? Or do I ask Him for strength to carry out His plan in and through me?