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Category Archives: Epiphany

A Boy is Healed

14When they came to the crowd, a man came to him, knelt before him,15and said, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and he suffers terribly; he often falls into the fire and often into the water. 16And I brought him to your disciples, but they could not cure him.” 17Jesus answered, “You faithless and perverse generation, how much longer must I be with you? How much longer must I put up with you? Bring him here to me.” 18And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and the boy was cured instantly. 19Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” 20He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:14-21, NRSV)

I think we hear this as Jesus scolding the disciples, but I like to think it is more that Jesus is telling them maybe they expect too much. If you had the faith the size of a mustard seed you could move a mountain. But who really needs to move a mountain? But the faith you have is enough. You see Jesus is still able to do everything and do things through us, so all we need is the faith we have.

Sometimes we think we need to do the big things when Jesus is asking us to just follow and believe and the faith we have is enough for us.

So how much faith do you need?

 

 

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Elijah Has Come

9As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus ordered them, “Tell no one about the vision until after the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.” 10And the disciples asked him, “Why, then, do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” 11He replied, “Elijah is indeed coming and will restore all things; 12but I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but they did to him whatever they pleased. So also the Son of Man is about to suffer at their hands.” 13Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them about John the Baptist. (Matthew 17:9-13, NRSV)

Elijah has come and the people did not recognize him and they killed him. So now what will happen to the Messiah?

The transfiguration is what they are talking about as they are coming down the mountain, and Jesus ordered them not to talk about it. And this dazzling white transformation was a vision of Jesus being raised from the dead, but they can not talk about it until he has been raised. And the wheels are already in motion because Elijah has returned and proclaimed the coming Messiah and he was killed, so now will the Messiah be received or killed?

What would you believe in this story?

 

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The Transfiguration

24Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it. 26For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life? Or what will they give in return for their life? 27“For the Son of Man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay everyone for what has been done. 28Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.” Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves. 2And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white. 3Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. 4Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three dwellings here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 5While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, “This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!” 6When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were overcome by fear. 7But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Get up and do not be afraid.” 8And when they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus himself alone. (Matthew 16:24-17:8, NRSV)

Peter had no idea what he was saying when he started talking. He was overcome with Jesus becoming dazzling white and then these two other men standing there, talking with Jesus. So Peter started babbling, have you ever done that?

Jesus was talking with Moses and Elijah, which how did Peter, James and John know who the two men were? I wonder what were they talking about. And then the voice comes that says who Jesus is.

Why did God show this to these three disciples? What would you have thought if you were one of the three? How would this have changed your life and outlook on things?

How can you still live that way, because He is present with you always?

 

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Get Behind Me, Satan!

21From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and undergo great suffering at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.22And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This must never happen to you.” 23But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; for you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.” (Matthew 16:21-23, NRSV)

How many times have we been like Peter, one minute saying Jesus is the Son of the Living God and the next minute telling Jesus that His plan is not going to work.

Right, that is what Peter does here. Yesterday’s reading, the verses right before today’s reading, had Peter proclaiming Jesus as the SOn of the Living God, the Messiah! and now he is telling Jesus he can not go to Jerusalem and die, Peter will not allow it.

So Jesus reminds Peter of his proper place, which is behind Jesus, following where he leads. And that is our proper place.

Can you see the back of Jesus’ head, if not maybe you should relocate.

Remember to follow and not try to lead, because God’s way is always the best way, even when we don’t understand it.

 

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Peter’s Statement of Faith

13Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” 17And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. 18And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. 19I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” 20Then he sternly ordered the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah. (Matthew 16:13-20, NRSV)

Who do you say I am?

You are the Messiah the Son of the Living God!

Blessed are you because you could not have known this unless it was revealed to you by God above. And I will give you the keys to the kingdom. And on this rock. What rock is this rock?

Is that the rock of Petra, which gives us Peter and meaning the man, or this rock meaning the place where they were standing which is thought to be the place in Caesarea Philippi that was known as the gates of Hell, meaning that in the world, in the last place anyone would think, Jesus was going to build a church. And I believe the answer to that question is yes. On the rock of the gates of Hell and Peter and all of us, Jesus builds His church, because there is no place Jesus is not. He is always with us everywhere we go.

So who do you say He is? And where are you willing to go for Him?

 

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The Disciples Miss the Point

The Pharisees and Sadducees came, and to test Jesus they asked him to show them a sign from heaven. 2He answered them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ 3And in the morning, ‘It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. 4An evil and adulterous generation asks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.” Then he left them and went away. 5When the disciples reached the other side, they had forgotten to bring any bread. 6Jesus said to them, “Watch out, and beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 7They said to one another, “It is because we have brought no bread.” 8And becoming aware of it, Jesus said, “You of little faith, why are you talking about having no bread? 9Do you still not perceive? Do you not remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many baskets you gathered? 10Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many baskets you gathered? 11How could you fail to perceive that I was not speaking about bread? Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees!” 12Then they understood that he had not told them to beware of the yeast of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees. (Matthew 16:1-12, NRSV)

Have you ever asked for a sign? I’m sure I have and as I read this passage and it says only a perverse generation asks for a sign. So where does that leave me?

We all need to beware of what influences or comes into our lives, like yeast once it is mixed in, it can not be removed.

So watch the teaching your heart listens to and what you make a part of your life because once it is a part of you, for good or bad, you can not get rid of it.

What is in your life you wish you could get rid of?

 

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Feeding the Crowds, Again

29After Jesus had left that place, he passed along the Sea of Galilee, and he went up the mountain, where he sat down. 30Great crowds came to him, bringing with them the lame, the maimed, the blind, the mute, and many others. They put them at his feet, and he cured them, 31so that the crowd was amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the maimed whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel. 32Then Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for the crowd, because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat; and I do not want to send them away hungry, for they might faint on the way.” 33The disciples said to him, “Where are we to get enough bread in the desert to feed so great a crowd?” 34Jesus asked them, “How many loaves have you?” They said, “Seven, and a few small fish.” 35Then ordering the crowd to sit down on the ground, 36he took the seven loaves and the fish; and after giving thanks he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. 37And all of them ate and were filled; and they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full. 38Those who had eaten were four thousand men, besides women and children. 39After sending away the crowds, he got into the boat and went to the region of Magadan. (Matthew 15:29-39, NRSV)

How many loaves do you have? Seven and a few small fish?

Interesting though when Jesus says He wants to feed the crowd, the disciples respond with the where are we supposed to get enough for all of these people? Didn’t they see Him feed the 5,000? have they forgotten about that already? Aren’t we quick to forget what has happened and focus on what we have in front of us? Jesus wants to feed all of these people and He wants us to do it. How are we going to do that? And they answer is we can’t, but God can. God provides for our every need and will always take care of us.

Do you believe God will always take care of you?

 

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