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 NLT
Illustration of Matthew 17:22-23 NLT — "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.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Acts 2:22-24
  • Isaiah 53:6,12
  • 1 Corinthians 1:18


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.

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.