February 18 – Chronological Life of Jesus Day 35
Lent starts today, and through this study, we are preparing our hearts for the greatest gift of all right alongside Jesus. Just 40 days until we’re celebrating our risen Savior!
READ: Matthew 17
Verses 1-9 tell Matthew’s account of the transfiguration of Jesus. Matthew was one of Jesus’ apostles, but he wasn’t invited up on the mountain, so his account is second-hand from one of the apostles who witnessed it–Peter, James or John, though we’re not sure which one. Surprisingly, John, who was a witness, did not share his account of the transfiguration in his gospel, but guess who did share his firsthand experience on that mountain, though not in a gospel. Check out 2 Peter 1:16-18. No, we are not following “cleverly invented stories”. Rather, we are following the One and Only Son of God. Who needs a human testimony to Jesus being the Son of God, when God in all His glory gives us a glimpse into His awesomeness and clearly states, “This is My Son.”
Why did Moses and Elijah appear on the mountain talking to Jesus? I wonder if God was also introducing His Son, the Messiah, to them. These guys obviously had historic significance during a period of history when the world was waiting on a Savior. Maybe it was important for these apostles to see these historic figures along with Jesus to help them connect the dots of law and prophecy in the Old Testament to the proclaimed Son of God standing and walking with them who is the Messiah the Old Testament had been waiting for. Jesus tells his apostles in verse 9 not to tell anyone about what they saw on the mountain until he is raised from the dead. At the time, I’m sure they had no idea what that was supposed to mean. But after Jesus’ resurrection, as the apostles and disciples and first church started spreading the Good News, the message focused exactly on connecting the dots for the Jews that Jesus is the promised Messiah of the Old Testament.
With this being tax season, verses 24-27 are quite timely. Jesus’ conversation with Peter over taxes acknowledges that taxes can be unfair, but we should pay our taxes “so that we may not offend them.” Jesus was careful not to break the law so that he would go on trial before the government leaders as a completely innocent man. At this time, they were trying so hard to catch him doing something wrong so they could arrest him and stop him from gaining followers. Remember, they thought his goal was to incite a political revolution and become an earthly king; they couldn’t even fathom his real goal. Jesus made a decision that his actions would not provide fuel for their fire. As Christians, we should be witnesses through our everyday actions, including obeying government laws, as long as they don’t go against God. If our actions show that we think we’re above the law, then our reputation as Christians will suffer and point others away from The Way.
God is awesome!
God, sometimes when I meet with You, I feel Your love and light shining down on me, and it often lights and lightens the rest of my day. Your power, glory, and majesty are unfathomable and unimaginable and are so much greater than anything I can see, feel, taste, touch, or smell. You encompass everything, in, around, throughout, You are there! I believe that Jesus is Your Son and our Messiah, and I thank You for choosing me to believe. I pray through the rest of this study and even my life for a deeper following of Jesus. Show me the Way and grow me ever closer to You!