Daily Word

Chosen of the chosen | Matthew 17:1

1 Six days later, Jesus *took with Him Peter and [ a ]James, and his brother John, and *led them up on a high mountain by themselves.

Matthew 17:1 (NASB)

All set

As we noted in the previous post, Jesus has recently taught the disciples about the suffering they will experience in exchange for blessings and told them some of them would see Him coming in His kingdom. Now He selects three to experience an amazing event like none other. It is now six days later. The setting is a high mountain nearby. 

Prediction and fulfillment

Jesus selected Peter, and the brothers, James and John to experience this event. Could these be the “some of those” from Matthew 16:28? After some thought and a review of Dr. Constable, I lean toward thinking yes. Consider: 1) Jesus says, “some of” when all likely witnessed His death and the coming of the Spirit in the second chapter of Acts. 2) Matthew indicates six days whereas most time references don’t give a specific number of days. “Probably he did so in order to show that what happened on the mountain fulfilled what Jesus predicted would happen in 16:28. The reference provides a strong link between the two events: prediction and fulfillment.” (planobiblechapel.org)

Chosen of the chosen

Many of us wonder (and the other disciples later) why just these three? Why not all 12? Why Peter – who was recently called Satan by Jesus? Constable goes on to say, “Peter, James, and John constituted Jesus’ handpicked inner circle of disciples (cf. 26:37; Mark 5:37).” (planobiblechapel.org) Others think maybe they needed the most supervision. 

Why Peter, James and John?

If we consider Peter’s boisterous personality (which we’ll see later in this account) I wouldn’t be surprised at this reasoning. Earlier Jesus rebuked him for not having in mind the things of God, but rather the things of man (Matthew 16:23). But Peter was indeed special. He acted on his thinking and faith. He’s the one who boldly got out of the boat to walk on water (Matthew 14:28-32). In Matthew 16:16-17 Jesus commended his belief that Jesus is the Christ – that was revealed to him by the Father.

James and John were called “sons of thunder” by Jesus in Mark 3:17. We’re not sure why but the account in Luke 9:54 where they asked Jesus if they should call down fire from heaven to punish some disrespectful Samaritans may be a clue. At His crucifixion Jesus will select John to take care of Mary (John 19:26) which indicates a special trust. In that same verse, He also refers to John as “the disciple whom Jesus loved”, though He obviously loved them all.


  • Speaking of chosen, have you given thanks recently that God selected you, even adopted you –  before the world began (Ephesians 1:4)!?
The Chosen movie. Image from angel.com *

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