- Jesus tells the crowd and his disciples that some of them will see the Kingdom of God come with power before they die.
- 6 days after speaking to the crowd, Jesus takes his inner circle (Peter, James, and John) up onto a mountain and is transfigured before them. His clothes are whiter than any bleach could make them (whiter than white?). Moses and Elijah appear alongside Jesus.
- Peter is so stunned that he doesn’t know what to say, and suggests that they build three shelters so Jesus, Elijah, and Moses can stay longer. Suddenly a cloud appears and envelops all who are present. A voice thunders, placing recognition upon Jesus as His son and commands the three disciples to listen to Jesus. Suddenly everything is gone and it is just Jesus and the three disciples once more on top of the mountain.
- Jesus tells them not to tell anyone about what they have seen until the Son of Man rises from the dead, but they do not understand. He takes the time to explain that Elijah has already come, and just as the prophecies said he would come they also foretold that the son of man would suffer and be rejected.
- Upon returning to the rest of the disciples, they find them arguing with teachers of the law and that the disciples were unable to cast out a demon from a boy with seizures. Jesus tells them to bring the boy to him; when the demon saw Jesus it threw the boy into a convulsion. Jesus learns that the boy has had this spirit since childhood and it has tried to kill the boy many times. The man asks “if you can do anything” please help us.
- Jesus replies and says that everything is possible for him who believes. The father cries out to Jesus that he does believe, but desperately needs help overcoming his unbelief.
- As Jesus sees more of a crowd gathering, he quickly rebukes the demon, not only casting it out but commanding it to never enter the boy again. As the demon leaves, people assume that the boy is dead, but Jesus helps him to his feet and he regains his strength.
- Once they are in private, the disciples ask Jesus why they were unable to cast out the spirit, and he replies that “this kind” could only be brought out by prayer. After this Jesus and his disciples pass through Galilee, not wanting to be seen by the crowds. Jesus once again tells them that the Son of Man must suffer, but he will rise after three days.
- On the road to Capernaum, the disciples argue about who among them is the greatest. Jesus hears about this and shifts their paradigm to show them that if anyone wants to be of the most important, they should be the least and last of all, serving everyone else.
- He then takes a child and explains that anyone who welcomes a child in His name welcomes Himself, and if Jesus is welcome, then the one who sent Jesus (the Father) is welcomed as well.
- John then brings up that someone was casting out demons in the name of Jesus, and they told him to stop because he was not one of them. Instead of commending them, Jesus explains that they should not have told him to stop, as anyone who is not against them is for them. If a person helps a follower of Christ simply because they follow the name of Jesus, they will be rewarded.
- However, if someone causes a child/follower of Christ to sin, it would be better for that person to have a millstone strapped around their neck and be thrown into the sea.
- He then explains that if a part of your body causes you to sin (hand, foot, eye) it is better to cut out that sinful part and enter heaven with a handicap than to have your entire body and be thrown into hell.
- We are called to be salty, for salt can not easily be “re-salted”. We need to be at peace with each other so that we can remain salty together.
Fifty verses is a lot to pour through for one application, but I want to focus in one Jesus’ command that “if anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.” In my pride, my natural tendency is to gravitate toward actions that benefit me first or get me more glory. Every day requires the decision making to put myself in the place of being a servant. Am I going to serve my wife today or am I more focused on how she could serve me? Am I going to serve those I come into contact with today? I want to welcome Christ into my day through my actions.
Jesus, I praise you and I thank you for your faithfulness. Even during days that I do not acknowledge your blessing in my life you continue to work in and through me. Even when I’m too puffed up with pride to see and serve those who you have put in my path, you love me and desire to transform me more into your likeness. I pray you would strip me daily of my pride, convict me to turn away from the comfort of my own selfishness, and walk with me through this life you’ve blessed me with. It is all to the glory of your name, amen.
Posted on Mon, July 27, 2015
by Brian Landers