Matthew 17:22-23 Jesus Tells of His Death and Resurrection

"Wait and see what I will do" -God

“Wait and see what I will do” -God

Jesus and His disciples were somewhere in Galilee. I don’t know if they had left Caesarea Philippi for Capernaum yet, which is the next setting Matthew resumes his story telling in. I’m certain Jesus and His disciples were alone during this portion of scripture though. Jesus didn’t tell the crowds this much detail about His upcoming death. These talks were reserved for His disciples alone.

The disciples had been walking with Jesus for some time now, so they knew the political and religious atmosphere that surrounded Jesus and His teachings. The Scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees all hated Jesus and wanted Him dead.

Jesus, for the second time, tells His disciples that He is going to be killed and raised from the dead. For the second time they hear the first statement and breeze past the second. All they hear is that Jesus is going to be killed. When Jesus says He is going to “be delivered into the hands of men”, do they realize someone is going to betray Him? Do they even entertain the thought of it being someone from their own group that would be the culprit? Read more »

Matthew 17:14-21 Jesus Heals the Boy with a Demon

I want THAT KIND of faith!

I want THAT KIND of faith!

Jesus, Peter, John and James are coming down from the mountaintop. Jesus has just finished telling this small group to keep quiet, for a time, about what happened on the mountaintop. They approach the place where the rest of the disciples and a crowd have gathered. The disciples had been ministering to the people in Jesus’ absence. Jesus had given them the authority to do so a while back. As they approach though, something is obviously wrong.

Matthew, Mark and Luke all record this event in Jesus’ ministry. You can find Mark’s account in Mark 9:14-29. Luke’s record can be found in Luke 9:37-43. There are many things that are recorded by all three of these gospels, but not a lot of the miracles make the cut across them all. All three accounts tell of the demon’s final hurrah on the way to Jesus and also mention Jesus’ remarks about the multitude being faithless. John’s is the only gospel that doesn’t record this event.   Read more »

Matthew 17:1-13 Jesus’ Transfiguration

jesus standing with Moses and Elijah as Peter, James and John look on

His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became white as light

This is the first time that Matthew has told us how many days have passed between one story and the next. I wonder why he is being so precise today. Because Matthew has not mentioned that Jesus has traveled, I’m going to assume that we are still in Caesarea Philippi. I wonder what was going on during those six days. I assume Jesus was still engaged in healing people and spreading His teaching. As before they were probably repeat kind of ministries and didn’t rise to the level of significance required to be included. Not that the events themselves weren’t significant, but for the sake of space, they were left out of the synopsis of Jesus life.

Jesus takes Peter, James, and his brother John with Him to a mountaintop. On that mountaintop the true Jesus shown through His earthly vessel. So many people depict Jesus in pictures as having a halo all the time. They paint Him with almost glowing garments and an unearthly light emanating from His hair. This is NOT how Jesus looked on any other day, except today. Today puts those pictures to shame. “His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became white as light” (verse 2). Jesus was literally glowing! Read more »

Matthew 16:24-28 Take Up Your Cross & Follow Him

We are told to carry our cross, but we don’t do it alone!

We are still in the region of Caesarea Philippi with Jesus and His disciples. Jesus has previously asked the question of “Who do you say I am?” and foretold of His death. Today He addresses the cost of following Him.

Before we get too deep into the reading, I have a few questions I want to ask. Why did Jesus use the illustration of the cross? He hadn’t told His disciples yet that He was going to die on a cross. Was this a common saying in Jesus’ day? Is that why He said it? What did the disciples think of this phrase? Did it confuse them? When we read it we think, of course Jesus talks about the cross because that was the instrument of His death. But the disciples didn’t know that yet.

Carrying a cross demonstrated a sentence of death. It was heavy and cumbersome. It was a symbol of extreme torture. Use of the cross as a punishment device was as cruel a way to die as anyone had come up with at this point. It was an object of horror. The stuff nightmares were made of. Read more »

Matthew 16:19-23 Jesus Tells of His Upcoming Death

Ashamed of my actions. Jesus can wash it away

Ashamed of my actions. Jesus can wash it away

We are still in Caesarea Philippi with Jesus and His disciples. Peter has just proclaimed Jesus as the Son of the Living God, through revelation knowledge passed to him from God Himself. Today, Peter will listen to Satan instead.

Yesterday when we were looking at Jesus remarks to Peter, I didn’t mention Jesus last comment directly to Peter, or His strict instructions to the rest of the group. This was not intentional and not meant to imply these last points were insignificant. Please forgive me for rushing through and let’s look back before we move on.

When speaking directly to Peter, Jesus tells him, “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (verse 19). I don’t believe Peter fully understood the gift of authority Jesus just gave him. When Jesus sent His disciples out to minister to the people He gave them authority over demons and all kinds of diseases. He gave them the message they were to proclaim. Now Jesus was giving the authority to command heavenly forces too. Peter wouldn’t really understand and employ his new authority until after Jesus ascension. Read more »