[After the Transfiguration, the disciples asked Jesus,] "Why do the teachers of religious law insist that Elijah must return before the Messiah comes?"
Jesus responded, "Elijah is indeed coming first to get everything ready. Yet why do the Scriptures say that the Son of Man must suffer greatly and be treated with utter contempt? But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they chose to abuse him, just as the Scriptures predicted."
— Mark 9:11-13 NLT
John the Baptist was the Elijah that preceded Jesus. John's death marked the beginning of strong opposition of the religious leaders to Jesus' ministry. His death also indicated how Jesus' ministry would end — in death at the hands of the political and religious power brokers. Why is it that God's servants are often treated with contempt by the powers of the world? Both the Bible and secular history reveal Satan's attempts to thwart any good work from God by attacking those leading that good work. Opposition, persecution, and martyrdom are not signs of God's disapproval. Many of God's greatest servants have faced such challenges, and God has used those challenges to advance their work rather than limit it.
God, my heavenly Father and LORD Almighty, please give me the courage I need to endure whatever the world or Satan may direct toward me. I know your servants through the ages have had to face many difficulties. Give me the strength to honor you no matter what the circumstances of my life. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Related Scripture Readings
- Acts 5:38-42
- 2 Timothy 3:10-12
- 1 Peter 5:8-9
About This Devotional
What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.
What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.