Our community here at Midtown Church is formed around the Gospel of Jesus Christ. A key aspect of that culture is we place a High Value on the Word of God: ‘The Scriptures’
If you are looking for commentary & speculation on our current situation, you have come to the wrong place. If you are looking for the Word of God prayerfully presented, explained and applied, welcome home! May God Bless you!
This passage is extremely important regardingTheology & our resulting discipleship. We get a clear definition of exactly who Jesus of Nazareth is and what He will do. We get clear expectations from Jesus as to how His true disciples should respond to His Messiahship, His Redeeming Death & Resurrection and His call lose our lives. We see how together the Old & New Testaments proclaim Jesus as Messiah and together are a progressive revelation of who God is We get a Clear Command to ‘Listen’ to Jesus. To listen is to hear and understand, and if we listen to Christ well, we will always act on what He says. That is what we call Discipleship!
18 Once when Jesus was praying in private and his disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say I am?” 19 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, that one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life.”
- The last thing we saw Jesus do is feed 5000 people with 5 loves & 2 fish
- At this point the Disciples had seen: Calming Storms / Healings / Resurrections
- The crowds saw some of these things as well; how does society view Jesus?
- There was that tendency to define God as He had previously been defined
- Same attitude as Herod Antipas in last weeks’s text
20 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “God’s Messiah.” 21 Jesus strictly warned them not to tell this to anyone.
- Knowing that they (the 12) had been chosen He asks them in private
- Peter answers for them: Eternal / Anointed / Divine / Glorified
- It wasn’t God’s plan for Jesus of Nazareth to be declared Messiah at that time
- By all accounts the Disciples did what Jesus commanded them to do
22 And he said, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.”
- Christ says ‘Must’… this is God’s plan laid out to His Disciples
- The ‘Son of Man’ Speaks the mystery of the Incarnation (All God & All Man)
- He Must: Suffer many Things
- He Must be Rejected by The Entire Religious Establishment (Roman Style)
- He Must Die (His human body)
- He Must be Resurrected
- This is the story of how the Gospel (The Message of the Messiah) was enacted
23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.
- Christ gives clear expectations of what it takes to be His Disciple
- Self Denial…the only way to be honest about that is to surrender your life
- The daily taking of my cross means I have to do it every day (go to my death)
- The only way to do this is His Way; it only works when we follow Him
- Being His Disciple means you lose your life FOR HIM
- If you want to be the god of your life you cannot be Jesus Christ’s Disciple
- If you want to be the god of your life you will lose ‘life’ (Eternity with God)
One is truly wise who surrenders what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose!
25 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? 26 Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.
- The question Christ asks us all is: What really matters?
- This a crucial part of what the Gospel Message contains: How we respond!
- When you totally buy into something you are not ashamed to be associated
- His association with us will mirror our association with Him
- Our commitment now / His commitment for eternity
- If we could get a glimpse of that glory we would respond with commitment
27 “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God.” 28 About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray.
- He ends the conversation with a real zinger!
- He shows them what He is talking about 8 days later…Taking only the three
29 As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. 30 Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. 31 They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem.
- Christ models how prayer is the way we ‘Open Up’ to what God is doing…
- The three were given a view of Christ’s full on Glory
- Moses & Elijah
- Speaking of his ‘departure’ as in His Crucification
- The plan was in place What he shared with disciples earlier is confirmed
- Why Moses & Elijah? Why is it significant that they be in accord with the plan
32 Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him. 33 As the men were leaving Jesus, Peter said to him, “Master, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” (He did not know what he was saying.)
- They had been praying for a while (hard to stay focused) like in Gethsemane
- They figure out who these two guys are.
- They represent Old Testament Scripture:: The Law & The Prophets
- God shows the revelation of the Hebrew scriptures are continued in Christ
- Peter wants this meeting to continue, to have them all stay there
- He did realize it was a window into heavenly reality, a glimpse of eternal glory
34 While he was speaking, a cloud appeared and covered them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. 35 A voice came from the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.”
- The cloud was the ‘Shekhinah Glory’ of God
- The Glory of God is the presence of His Holiness
- Contact with that Holiness causes humans to fear because His power is near
- God clearly identifies The Christ and conveys His authority
- Context of Father & Son is of oneness; so listen to Him like you listen to ME
36 When the voice had spoken, they found that Jesus was alone. The disciples kept this to themselves and did not tell anyone at that time what they had seen.
- It all ends abruptly…they were given a measured dose of Christ’s Glory
- This revelation would not make sense until Jesus had died & risen
The world is confused about who Jesus Christ actually is, His Disciples are not
Christ planned to suffer, be rejected, die and be raised to life: to save our souls
As His disciples we must : deny ourselves, carry our cross & follow him unashamed
God shows Christ to be a continuation of the revelation of Himself: Story of Scripture
Christ’s glory can be seen on earth, but only in limited way ‘Glimpses of Heaven’
Christ’s disciples are commanded to listen to Jesus: It is just that simple (listen = act)
List at least three things that convinced you Jesus is God’s Messiah?
What does it look like in your life to ‘not be ashamed’ of Jesus or His words?
Why was Christ ‘elevated above’ and ‘included with’ Moses & Elijah?
God says: ‘Listen to Jesus’. What do you need to listen to Jesus about today?
Keep PRAYING (Send Prayer Requests to: email@example.com)
Keep Pressing into God (Take greater ownership of your discipleship) Build habits!
Keep giving sacrificially: Honor the commitments you have made and give beyond in ways God prompts