Mitch, Curtis & Edward Sri. The Gospel of Matthew. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2010. Kindle Electronic Edition.
“Jesus is Transfigured and Instructs His Disciples (Matthew 17:1-27)” pp. 214-224.
The events of the Transfiguration would certainly have reminded the disciples of Mount Sinai in Exodus 24 (Mitch 2010, 214). Mitch details the similarities, concluding that Jesus is the great deliverer, greater than Moses (Mitch 2010, 215).
The role of Peter, James, and John as a select group of the Twelve is clear here (Mitch 2010, 215). Jesus’ face on the mountain shines, showing his glory (Mitch 2010, 216). Moses and Elijah, probably representing the Law and Prophets, appear. The move of Peter to build tents may be related to the eschatology of the Feast of Tabernacles (Mitch 2010, 217). When God interrupts with his glory the disciples are prepared to hear Jesus (Mitch 2010, 217).
The expectation of the end brought on by the transfiguration may well have prompted the disciples’ question about the coming of Elijah (Mitch 2010, 219). Jesus points out that both Elijah and the Messiah have come.
Mitch observes Jesus’ returning to find chaos as another parallel to Sinai. Jesus removes the demon’s attack from the boy in 17:18. Jesus then laments the weak faith which does not change lives (Mitch 2010, 221).
As the chapter ends, Jesus arranges for a payment of taxes. Though Jesus was exempt as the Son of God, Jesus makes payment, probably to avoid offense (Mitch 210, 223). Mitch observes that Jesus causes offense at various times but always for a clear purpose.