What Jesus Did! 'Saddened by the Shadow of the Cross' — Matthew 17:22-23

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Later, the followers met together in Galilee. Jesus said to the followers, "The Son of Man will be given into the control of men. Those men will kill the Son of Man. But on the third day the Son of Man will be raised from death." The followers were very sad {to hear that Jesus would be killed}.
— Matthew 17:22-23
Illustration of Matthew 17:22-23 — "The Son of Man will be given into the control of men. Those men will kill the Son of Man. But on the third day the Son of Man will be raised from death."

Key Thought

Spiritual truth is in short supply in our era of politically correct speech, carefully crafted answers, and plain old stretching and hedging the truth. Jesus, however, is very plain about his future. There is nothing hidden or fancy.
Jesus' simple and direct speech makes his forecast even more shocking. So at Jesus' first self-revelation about the cross, Peter rebuked him and would not allow Jesus to prophesy his future because it "couldn't be true" that the Messiah would go to the cross. But this was God's plan. This is God's truth.
Thankfully for Jesus, the disciples are beginning to hear a little more carefully and they pick up on the sense of impending confrontation and battle at the cross. This time they hear Jesus' message and instead of responding with a stern rebuke of their Master, they are very sorrowful.
It is never easy to mature people beyond their prejudices and biases. But Jesus reminds us that while the growth may be slow, the victory can be very sweet. While the disciples are not all the way to understanding the cross, they have at least begun their journey!

Today's Prayer

Righteous and tender Shepherd, give me more patience with those who are trying to grow in their discipleship to Jesus but who so often fail. At the same time, Father, I pray that my own discipleship gives you fewer times that require you to be patient with my sins and mistakes. I pray that the future brings you more joy at the growth you see in me. Use me as an encourager, a comforter, and a motivator to those seeking to live for you and know your abiding presence. I praise you and give thanks for Jesus, in whose name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

Jesus and the followers went back to the people. A man came to Jesus and bowed before him. The man said, "Lord, be kind to my son. He has epilepsy and is suffering very much. My son often falls into the fire or into the water. I brought my son to your followers, but they could not heal him." Jesus answered, "You people have no faith. Your lives are all wrong. How long must I stay with you? How long must I continue to be patient with you? Bring the boy here." Jesus gave a strong command to the demon inside the boy. Then the demon came out of the boy, and the boy was healed. Then the followers came to Jesus alone. They said, "We tried to force the demon out of the boy, but we could not. Why were we not able to make the demon go out?" Jesus answered, "You were not able to make the demon go out, because your faith is too small. I tell you the truth. If your faith is as big as a mustard seed, then you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there.' And it will move. All things will be possible for you." Later, the followers met together in Galilee. Jesus said to the followers, "The Son of Man will be given into the control of men. Those men will kill the Son of Man. But on the third day the Son of Man will be raised from death." The followers were very sad {to hear that Jesus would be killed}. Jesus and his followers went to Capernaum. In Capernaum some men came to Peter. They were the men that collected the two-drachma tax. They asked, "Does your teacher pay the two-drachma tax?" Peter answered, "Yes, Jesus pays the tax." Peter went into the house where Jesus was. Before Peter could speak, Jesus said to him, "The kings on the earth get different kinds of taxes from people. But who are the people that pay the taxes? Are these people the king's children? Or is it other people that pay the taxes? What do you think?" Peter answered, "The other people pay the taxes." Jesus said, "Then the children of the king don't have to pay taxes. But we don't want to make these taxcollectors angry. So {pay the tax in this way}: Go to the lake and fish. After you catch the first fish, open the fish's mouth. Inside its mouth you will find a four-drachma coin. Take that coin and give it to the tax collectors. That will pay the tax for you and me."

Matthew 17:14-27

Related Scripture Readings

"My Jewish brothers, listen to these words: Jesus from Nazareth was a very special man. God clearly showed this to you. God proved this by the powerful and amazing things he did through Jesus. You all saw these things. So you know this is true. Jesus was given to you, and you killed him. With the help of bad men you nailed Jesus to a cross. But God knew all this would happen. This was God's plan. God made this plan long ago. Jesus suffered the pain of death, but God made him free. God raised Jesus from death. Death could not hold Jesus.

Acts 2:22-24

But {even after he did this,} all of us wandered away like sheep. We all went our own way. {We did this after} the Lord {freed us from our guilt and} put all our guilt on him. For this reason, I will reward him among my people. He will have a share of all things with the people that are strong. {I will do this for him} because he gave his life for the people and died. People said he was a criminal. But {the truth is that} he carried away the sins of many, many people. And now he speaks for people that have sinned."

Isaiah 53:6,12

The teaching about the cross seems foolish to those people that are lost. But to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

1 Corinthians 1:18

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.