Receiving God’s Favor

Jesus is our Prophet, King, and Priest. Picking up with His second title, we begin today with King Jesus who rules in such a way as not to allow sin to reign over us any longer. As our King, He has fought our battles and now rules in such a way that sin never can reign over us. Romans 6:7-14~For one who has died has been set free from sin…if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him….Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion…(ESV) So, as Pete’s still speaking, Matthew 17:5~…behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!” (ESV) 

When the three disciples hear this, they’re terrified and fall face down on the ground. But Jesus comes, touches them, and says, Rise, have no fear. When the disciples look up, Jesus is alone (Matthew 17:6-8). Why? Because Jesus is all they need, Jesus is all we need. Back down the mountain, they catch up with the rest of the disciples who ask Christ Jesus why the scribes quote Malachi 4:5-6~Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And he will turn the hearts…(NKJ) 

Luke offers the best answer in Luke 1:17~And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous–to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. (NIV) Jesus tells His disciples Elijah’s already come. Then, the disciples realize He is talking about John the Baptist, who took on the prophetic role of Elijah.  (17:12-13) The Power and The Glory of God is found only in Jesus and to utilize His power, we must Comprehend Jesus is all you need.

Today, I want you to focus on the Lord. Count your blessing and name them out loud before the Lord and tell Him, thank you. For nothing is too small to show the Lord gratitude. The whole earth is full of His glory and you are one of His most special possessions. So take the time to say, Thank you.

Call to Repentance

Back on the mountaintop where Jesus was transfigured (a video I would really like to see), He is joined by two Old Testament saints, Ole Mo and Elijah, who appear and talk with Jesus. Matthew 17:3~And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. (ESV) Both of these men also had tremendous experiences with God on a mountaintop: one on Mt Sinai in Exodus 20 and one on Mt Carmel in 1 Kings 18. Ole Mo represents the Law, Elijah represents the prophets, and Jesus fulfills them both. Matthew doesn’t tell us what they talk about, but Luke does. Listen to Luke 9:31~They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem. (NIV)

The presence of these two Old Testament saints confirms Jesus is the promised Messiah. Therefore, Peter makes a grand offer in Matthew 17:4~Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, let us make here three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” (ESV) Here Peter is making a big mistake by not understanding the place of Christ, because this would imply Jesus, Elijah, and Ole Mo are all equal. They are not! Christ has secured our freedom because, He shed His blood, operating in the divinely ordained threefold office of Prophet, Priest, and King. 

Today, let’s look at Elijah who rep’s the prophets at the transfiguration of Matthew 17. As powerful as sin is, the blood of Christ is more powerful still. In Christ, the chains of our captivity have been broken, and the light of His grace has shone the way of freedom. As Prophet, Jesus pronounced an end to all our sin. In the Old Testament, the prophet was the mouthpiece of God to the people. In fact, the prophet often prefaced his words by saying, “Thus saith the Lord.” The prophet often gets a bad wrap but their role is not Negative Nelly rather wisdom’s call to repentance and realignment with God. The prophet pronounced the forgiveness and the pardon of God. Isaiah 40:1-2~ Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins. (ESV)

Understand that Jesus didn’t just come proclaiming the word, He is the Word. John 1:1~In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (ESV) Ole Mo is the representative for the law, God’s Word to live by, which is fulfilled in Jesus. Who is our High Priest, offers Himself as the sacrifice for all our sins. Hebrews 9:11~But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) (ESV). 

Matthew 1:21~She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins. (ESV) So, Jesus came to the world because of sin, humanity has a sin problem. And Jesus came proclaiming the truth, that we must repent. Mark 1:15~and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel. (ESV) Thus, Jesus proclaims freedom to the captives of sin and offers forgiveness. Colossians 1:14~in (Jesus) whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (ESV)

If you did not know this, take time to pray and ask God to forgive you of all your sins. This is something we do daily as we walk out our faith. It keeps us humble, on track, and ready for what the Lord has prepared for us to do, you know the good works He has planned. If you have prayed then I want you to consider how God is using you to tell others the good news about Jesus. Each one of us is to do a little forth-telling according to Matthew 28:19-20. So, who needs to hear about the love of God today? Who needs to know that they are not alone? Who needs a helping hand on behalf of the Lord? After you recognize the need, just go fill it.

The Power & The Glory

Jesus performs some of His most powerful miracles when He is alone with His disciples. We’ve seen Him walk on water and twice calm a storm on the high Seas. Through all the tests and life lessons, Christ Jesus is teaching them to utilize His power after He leaves. Every believer needs to know how to utilize Christ’s power. The Power and The Glory of God is found in and through Jesus Christ alone. If our desire to be used of God and utilize His power, then we must Comprehend that Jesus is all you need. (Matthew 17:1-13) 

The disciples are beginning to understand Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of the Living God, so they are ready for the next level. Jesus has been telling them He must suffer and die. They now need to understand death will not be the end for Him. Therefore, Jesus says some of the disciples won’t experience death until they see Him coming in His kingdom Matthew 16:28~Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom. (ESV) Six days later, Jesus takes Peter, James, and John up a high mountain Matthew 17:1~Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; (ESV). Then, as the disciples watch, Matthew 17:2~and He was transfigured (μεταμορφόω metamorphoō) before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. (ESV) 

(μεταμορφόω metamorphoō) in Greek is translated transfigured and gives us metamorphosis. It is how we describe the transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly. It refers to an outward change that comes from within. This is the same word translated transformed in Romans 12:2~Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. (NIV) JB Philips says don’t get squeezed, rather transform. We are to change from the inside out by renewing our minds. How do we do that? By reading the Bible, hearing it taught and spoken over our lives as it is preached. Then we can better apply it to the daily living of our lives. 

Where in life are you being squeezed? I bet that it is near an area of change that God wants for your life. Today, take time to unpack your pressure in prayer until you are empty. It is only when we are empty that we can then be filled by God. So, instead of feeling the sweet cathartic release of tension and pressure and leaving, stay to listen to what the Lord is speaking. Then just respond. Later when the pressure begins to mount. Repeat.