86. Jesus’ death foretold, denied by Peter- Matt. 16:21-28, Mark 8:31-38; 9:1, Luke 9:22-27
-Jesus states plainly His plan and intentions in carrying out the directives from His Father that He had been sent to accomplish to initiate the Kingdom of God and the redemption of mankind. This plan involved suffering and rejection at the hands of the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes. It involved laying down His life in obedience to the Master’s call and a resurrection that would have power and glory from on High. Peter, not understanding the full ramifications of this plan and thinking in the flesh, pulls Christ aside and tries to rebuke His Lord. Christ Jesus calls him Satan seeing the anti-Christ spirit of the moment and denounces the mindset of putting man’s interests ahead of God’s. He calls His premier disciple a stumbling block in His response and then takes the opportunity to teach all of His disciples one of most important lessons of ministry on earth. He tells them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whosoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it (Matthew 16:24-25, Mark 8:34-35, Luke 9:23-24).” He then related that it profits man nothing to gain the whole world when his soul is forfeited and lost for eternity. In other words, nothing on this temporal earth compares to knowing the Lord and spending eternity in His presence in Paradise because of what He accomplished to pay the debt of our sin. Jesus told His disciples that this Kingdom would be seen coming before they tasted death. *Application* Have you lost your life yet and put your entire focus on God’s interests rather than your own? This is the key to life eternally as Jesus so succinctly puts it. He will repay every man according to his deeds (Matthew 16:27). What is humanly counted as loss in this life will be resurrected in power and strength that the Lord will provide when we trust in Him to take us and make us new. There will be tribulation in this world and suffering, but the final victory is assured when we give up our rights for the glory of the Lord (John 12:25; 16:33)! His love and peace remain in us as we trust in Him and overcome all the obstacles that the enemy puts in our way. Die to self and live in Him!
Verses to Memorize- Matthew 16:24, Mark 8:36
87. Transfiguration of Jesus- Matt. 17:1-9, Mark 9:2-10, Luke 9:28-36, John 1:14
-Six days (Luke says “some, like, about” eight days in an eyewitness’ vague remembrance) after Christ’s words to His disciples about denying self, taking up the cross, and following Him He took His inner circle (Peter, James, and John) up on a high mountain to pray. During the course of this time of prayer Moses and Elijah appear and are talking with Jesus concerning His soon departure from earth in Jerusalem (Luke 9:31). Peter, James, and John awake from sleep to witness this transfiguration of Christ along with the prophets of old. They hear the voice of the Lord coming out of the cloud that enveloped them and they were terrified and in great awe (John 1:14, 2 Peter 1:16-18). The LORD told them to listen to His Son and Chosen One. In a state of shock during the transfiguration Peter said that they should build a dwelling place there, a tabernacle. Luke tells us he didn’t even realize what he was saying at that point, which I think is humorous. When it was all said and done, Jesus warned them not to say anything about this incident until after He had risen from the dead (Matthew 17:9). *Application* When we go into His presence deeply in prayer and supplication we can experience the miraculous just as Peter, James, and John did. This was an incredible thing that they were able to witness, but we too can come into the presence of the LORD God Almighty feeling His power, authority, majesty, grace, and truth. He is the One who washes us whiter than any other cleaning could and makes us whole again. O Christian, pray in the Spirit and welcome all He has for you! It will leave you speechless and astounded to the point that your words make about as much sense as Peter’s J.
Verse to Memorize- John 1:14