When Not To Talk, Part 1


‘After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus. Peter said to Jesus, ‘Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.’ While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!’ Matthew 17:1-5

Some of us love to talk frequently but sometimes it is undoubtedly golden to be silent. In the words of Plutarch, ‘Silence at the proper season is wisdom, and better than any speech.’

Proverbs 17:28 says: ‘Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.’ Now, let us pause and think about these words.

Our text for today is the gospel account of one of the most notable events in the New Testament: ‘the transfiguration.’ Jesus had taken Peter, James and John with himself to a high mountain and he was transfigured before them.

This implies that Christ underwent a complete change of appearance in radiant glory. Moses (representing the law) and Elijah (representing the prophets) appeared before them and they were conversing with Jesus.

In his characteristic manner, the outspoken one among them (Peter) went on being a chatterbox! He was imagining an idea and he hardly could wait to express this idea in words. His idea was that it was nice for them to be on that mountain and if allowed, he would put up three shelters, each for Jesus, Moses and Elijah.

It is important to note that while Peter was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them and a voice from the cloud said: ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!’ Matthew 17:5.

God is simply asking us to be quiet in order to listen to His Son. Someone noted that exactly the same letters are found in both of the words ‘listen’ and ‘silent’. They are simply re-arranged! This probably suggests that the two actions may not be performed at the same time. How often do we listen to Jesus? Do we pick and choose when to listen to God’s Son?

There is ‘a time to be silent and a time to speak.’ Ecclesiastes 3:7

‘Sin is not ended by multiplying words, but the prudent hold their tongues.’ Proverbs 10:19


Holy God and Father of our Lord Jesus, we praise You for your life-giving word. May you help us to listen to Your Son in all we do and say that our lives may forever reflect your glory through His precious name. Amen.


"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

John 16:33