Different parts in the plan
Elijah will indeed come and restore all things;
but I tell you that Elijah has already come...
The disciples understand that our Lord is speaking here of John the Baptist, but that does not explain everything.
This enigmatic statement reminds us that God’s plan for our salvation is mysterious and still unfolding and that there are many parts to that plan: different parts in time, different roles, and different people to play different parts.
Elijah played his part, then John the Baptist played his part: a part that was also Elijah’s.
And there are more parts to come.
Only at the end of time will all things be made clear and the mysterious plan of God be fully understood in all its parts.
We ourselves have our own parts to play in the great plan of God, even though we cannot understand it all. What we can do – what we must do - is be faithful to the parts God has given us to play (however small or however difficult) to be faithful to his will.
Therein all glory lies.