Today’s Reading: Matthew 16:13-23; 17:1-21; 17:24-27; 18:1-35; Mark 8:34-9:1; 9:14-45; Luke 9:46-48; 17:3-4; 17:7-10
It is the privilege of us all, like Peter to confess that Jesus is the Son of the living God! And Jesus confirms how foundational such a confession to our Christianity is!
But our reading continues on to show how costly our blessing is to Himself – His rejection, His death and resurrection. But obviously our thoughts are not God’s thoughts and Peter with his straightforward character rebukes Jesus! Am I like Peter – one moment doing so well in his confession of Jesus and the next moment – foolishly trying to straighten out Jesus!
Have you experienced the costliness of being a devoted follower of Jesus? But not paying the price of being a disciple, is even more costlier – Jesus being ashamed of me when He comes!
And then the three closest to Jesus have the wonderful experience of seeing Jesus in all His glory on the mountain – sometimes we have our mountaintop experiences but I like them, soon have to come down from my mountaintop and experience real life – in all my inability to handle the real problems of life! And the disciples are unable to heal the epileptic boy! At such times, I feel more like the father, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” And Jesus’ words about faith as small as a mustard moving mountains, makes me both wonder how small my faith must be and what wonders I would see if my faith in Him were only big enough! I am comforted by the Lord’s words to use prayer effectively (nothing impossible!).
And then on the one hand, Jesus paying tax for Peter, but on the other hand Peter and the disciples arguing about who would be the greatest! Sound familiar?
And then Jesus encouraging us to be like little children and servant of all – especially “little ones” – innocent ones? And His joy over the ONE ”wandering off” lost sheep found!
That Jesus warns against temptation is not strange, but I am beginning to realize just how disastrous it is for Christians not to forgive one another! Is it that I don’t understand what forgiveness is? It’s not condoning, but letting go of a debt owed me, because I realize that I am the servant with the greater forgiven debt! Not to forgive – I have both learned and seen in life, that it brings upon me the one unwilling to forgive, the prison of torture of bitterness and lose of freedom! No paying of debt – no freedom from my dark prison! How do I pay my debt? – FORGIVE those around me who have harmed me! And He warns me that forgiveness is to be FROM THE HEART! Without knowing and experiencing the compassion and forgiveness of my Saviour – how can I forgive? Like in our recent readings, Jesus reminds Simon – those who are forgiven much, love much!