In The Word
Read: Matthew 16:21-17:13
Jesus Foretells His Death
21 From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day. 22 Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You.”23 But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.”
Discipleship Is Costly
24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. 25 For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then repay every man according to his deeds.
28 “Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”
17 Six days later Jesus *took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and *led them up on a high mountain by themselves. 2 And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light. 3 And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him.4 Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, I will make three tabernacles here, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”5 While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!” 6 When the disciples heard this, they fell face down to the ground and were terrified. 7 And Jesus came to them and touched them and said, “Get up, and do not be afraid.” 8 And lifting up their eyes, they saw no one except Jesus Himself alone.
9 As they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, “Tell the vision to no one until the Son of Man has risen from the dead.” 10 And His disciples asked Him, “Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?”11 And He answered and said, “Elijah is coming and will restore all things; 12 but I say to you that Elijah already came, and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they wished. So also the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.”13 Then the disciples understood that He had spoken to them about John the Baptist.
New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
Walking In The Word
In yesterday’s account, Jesus praised Peter for recognizing that He was the Messiah. But soon after, Jesus rebuked Peter severely for speaking against God’s method of crucifying Jesus on the cross to redeem mankind from their sins. Jesus made a profound statement that is a foundation for all ungodly behavior, “You are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.” Jesus explained that the only way for a person to follow Him is to deny himself and lose his life.
A necessary part of following Jesus is repenting, the turning away from sin and self. The Greek word that Jesus used for repent means “to change one’s mind and act on that change.” All behavior starts with a thought. So, to change how we act, we need to change how we think about sin to how God thinks about sin; He hates sin. We also need to realize that our flesh is concerned about itself, not God. Our flesh will try to get what it wants, and our flesh is even opposed to God (Romans 8, Galatians 5:17).
God saved us not so that we can do what we want, but so that we can do what God wants. There is a whole lot we can achieve and acquire in this world. Jesus teaches us that if the thing we pursue has no eternal value, then it is worthless. Thus, it is not worth putting our mind, time, and effort toward. This means we will need to crucify our flesh by telling it, “NO!”