Chronological Gospels: Matthew 17; Mark 9; Luke 9:28-62
This week we catch up with Jesus as He takes Peter, John, and James up a mountain to be alone and pray. Here, Jesus transfigured and “shone like the sun” in all His glory and suddenly Moses and Elijah were with Jesus, talking with Him. Peter here cracks me up and reminds me so much of myself in those nervous moments you don’t know what to do so you just say whatever comes to mind.
Peter interrupts Jesus’s conversation with Elijah and Moses by telling Him “it’s good we’re here”. How often do we have those types of thoughts? “Wow God, it’s good I’m here so I can help You!” When really, we were there because He made it so – not by mere coincidence. Peter’s reaction reminds me that it’s so important to remain humble and remember God places us where He wants us for His purposes.
When was the last time you knew you were exactly where you were meant to be? Explain.
After Peter, John, and James totally miss yet another miracle, they decide to ask Jesus about a prophecy regarding Elijah. In Matthew, we read that Jesus tells the disciples that Elijah had already returned before Jesus as prophesied but he was not recognized, and they understood that Jesus was talking about John the Baptist. With this, Jesus also tells them that the Son of Man will suffer and be raised from the dead.
Describe a time God clarified something for you that you had been confused about.
Later, Jesus is brought a boy who has an evil spirit. The disciples were unable to cast the demon out, for which Jesus rebukes their unbelief. He tells them that if they do not have faith, they will not be able to do it. If they have faith the size of a mustard seeds, the smallest of all seeds, then nothing will be impossible for them.
Having faith is one of the biggest challenges we face a lot of the time. Our unbelief is often what hinders us. By growing in our faith and dependence on God, and growing in our belief that all things are possible through Christ, we can accomplish whatever it is God presents for us to do.
When was the last time you found yourself lacking faith? How can you grow in your faith and dependence on Jesus in these times?
The disciples later argued about which one of them was greatest, and Jesus’ response is one we need to remember. So often we, too, wonder about who is the best, the greatest, or even the worst. We try to put ourselves first, but in doing so we push ourselves to the back of the line. Jesus reminds us that it is the least who are the greatest, meaning it is those who are humble and don’t seek their own glory or status who are the greatest. Humility is a trait we all need to learn and reside in.
Describe a time your pride needed to be humbled.
The disciples then told Jesus they had told someone not to cast out demons in the name of Jesus. This comment makes me think of all the different ways God uses people to accomplish His divine purposes. Where one person is called to serve the Lord and spread the gospel in one manner, the next person is given a totally different means to accomplish the same goal.
Describe a time someone glorified God and shared the gospel in a way that differed from your own calling. What did this teach you?
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