“Now as they came down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, ‘Tell the vision to no one until the Son of Man is risen from the dead’” (Matthew 17:9).

It is obvious that this experience was meant for the disciples alone. We cannot tell all we know: We have secrets that make the heart throb double time, and we would be poor if we parted with them. We have all had experiences of Christ we could not tell, for no words have been invented for such experiences. Such looks He has given us, such warmth He has communicated to us, such promises He has whispered into the heart. We have laid our head upon His shoulder and cried like little children and we have been stronger for the sweet sorrow. When we have told all we have to tell, we have not begun the tale: We have secret faiths, secret hopes, secret delights, all in keeping with the central truth, but each with an accent unintelligible to the general ear.

This is a hard lesson: “Don’t tell anyone what you have seen, until…” Who does not like to speak when he has seen great sights or heard sounds of unusual music? Christ gives the disciples one of the first lessons in the cross. He has just told us, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24). In this injunction, Jesus causes the disciples to feel the first pressure of what will become a great weight, namely the cross of crucifixion.

Learn the lesson of self-suppression; learn the mystery of silence. The wild talking man never comes to any maturity of life. Do not babble: think. Keep all these things and ponder them in your heart; the uses of all will be seen presently. Does Jesus Christ ever tune the instrument for the purpose of hanging it on the wall? He tunes it so He may play eloquent music upon it.

Adapted from In His Presence