Matthew chapter 17

                                               (S)

The Transfiguradownload (18)tion

17 After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.

Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.”

While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”

When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.

As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them, “Don’t tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”

10 The disciples asked him, “Why then do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?”

11 Jesus replied, “To be sure, Elijah comes and will restore all things. 12 But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but have done to him everything they wished. In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.” 13 Then the disciples understood that he was talking to them about John the Baptist.

Jesus Heals a Demon-Possessed Boy

14 When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before him. 15 “Lord, have mercy on my son,” he said. “He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. 16 I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.”

17 “You unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” 18 Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed at that moment.

19 Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”

20 He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” [21] [a]

Jesus Predicts His Death a Second Time

22 When they came together in Galilee, he said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. 23 They will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised to life.” And the disciples were filled with grief.

The Temple Tax

24 After Jesus and his disciples arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma temple tax came to Peter and asked, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?”

25 “Yes, he does,” he replied.

When Peter came into the house, Jesus was the first to speak. “What do you think, Simon?” he asked. “From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes—from their own children or from others?”

26 “From others,” Peter answered.

“Then the children are exempt,” Jesus said to him. 27 “But so that we may not cause offense, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours.”

(O)

What a sight that must have been to see Jesus’s transfiguration. And then to see Him speaking with Elijah and Moses. Wow, what the disciples must have been thinking in that moment! Then once again, the voice of God proclaims that Jesus is His son and He is well pleased with Him. What a powerful, and incredible terrifying moment, that must have been. It’s no doubt each of these disciples died for their faith. After seeing all these incredible miracles and unexplainable events, how could your faith not be anchored solid.

Jesus is slowly preparing the disciples for what is about to come. I found it interesting there was just a short mention of it here again.

What caught my eye today was the last story of the taxes. It reminded me of the situation we find ourselves in right now regarding the virus. We as a church find ourselves with the dilemma of having to decide to cancel Sunday services. On one hand, we don’t want to live in fear and we want to be a sanctuary and a place people can come and feel safe in times of uncertainty. But on the other hand, we are being asked to not gather to try and help slow the spread of the virus. As Jesus said here, “so that we may not cause offense”, we comply and do our part and be the example.

(A)

It’s a great reminder for me today that we are to be the example to the world around us. We need to be the light and the sanctuary for people who are living in fear right now, but at the same time, being the example by respecting the recommendations of our leaders. This is a fantastic opportunity for the church to shine, and I don’t mean a building, I mean each one of us. We have the message of hope in a very scared world.

(P)

Lord, we lift your name on high in these uncertain days. You are the Almighty and all powerful. None of this surprises you nor is it beyond your control. We pray for guidance and wisdom as we walk through this pandemic. We pray that each one of us can be that light that so many are desperately seeking right now. Show us Lord what you would have us do in this time, we ask for your peace. In the name of Jesus, amen.

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