February 24


Matthew 16-17

We are in the Christ Stream and in the book of Matthew. What will we learn from Jesus today? We are using the New Century Version this week.

There are a list of wonderful things that we are to learn and ingest about Jesus today.

The leaders that are keeping the Jewish nation under their thumb ask to see a miracle. Jesus sees right through them completely and gives them the “what for”. Amazing what never changes worldwide no matter what century we are in. A person can be totally intellectual and totally wrong, irrelevant, and non productively selfish. Jesus calls it spot on – – again. He is always the antidote to a bad idea.

His warning to the disciples is perfect and perfectly timed. When he warns of the Pharisees and basically calls their lives and persona and teaching “yeast”, they better hear him straight up. [We better hear him too.] The Disciples just saw a multiplication miracle of bread. The lesson: blessings grow when we obey and Christ is in it. The yeast of the Pharisees: this means that bad ideas and wrong teaching grows too. History PROVES that a horrible movement very often starts with a small group that was determined to spread a bad message. One man can end up doing just as much damage if his ideas are left un-corrected. And bad ideas have killed billions

Next Peter asserts that Jesus is the Christ. Just as reminder, “Christ” means the anointed one. Jesus means, “the Savior”. Next Jesus explains that He is to suffer and die and this means that HE is going to be the sacrificial lamb. Peter’s comment hints to us rather clearly that they are not all on the same page yet, but they will be in time.

The revelation during the Transfiguration is among the most impressive in the New Testament. The lesson is that those who serve the Living God never die! Imagine Peter James and John thinking, “hey, I thought you guys died hundreds of years ago!” Let’s just accept that the three disciples ‘got the memo’ and it knocks them over. Hey walking with Jesus is never “just another day.” He goes right from this to casting a demon from a young boy who is restored. The lesson for us is that Jesus has power over the evil one. He will teach this to his Disciples who will be able to do the same. … And He lives in us and wants to do His work via us these days.

Jesus closes out today’s reading to us by again asserting that He is slated to die (as a sacrifice for us) and he touches on dealing with the matter of taxes; the ubiquitous matter that is never going away. The way he settles it, he is saying that we are not to fawn over the government or the ruling order – be it religious, do not worship them as if they were any sort of savior. Just do the obligations, get it overwith and get on with following Jesus in Kingdom/eternal matters. He was exempt from paying the Temple tax himself, but he chipped in anyway so that he would not be misunderstood as one who hated the rulers of the Temple even though they had excessive rancor for him.

I.e. Jesus is the one to follow, not bad ideas, He is the Christ, He is the sacrifice that will equate permanent forgiveness, His plan is eternal, He has the solution to evil, his death will “end death”, and oh, uh, just appease the government and keep to kingdom matters.

“Lord Jesus, let us keep our minds stayed on you. Amen.”

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