Please see our post “Bible Study Summaries” for information on the format of this post.
Discussion on Matthew 17
Although Jesus seems to want to be alone at times, he works in congress with others like his disciples. The Lord even discusses things with Moses and Elijah. This seems to be a lesson for us that we cannot be a Lone Ranger, we need to work in partnership. Use your imagination, what would it have been like to be the disciples at this time and to be hearing those words from the Lord?
Why were they not scared at the sight of Moses and Elijah, but only scared at the voice of God. Moses connects to covenant, the Law. And Elijah is emblematic of the prophets. Elijah and Moses were known figures to the Jews. Connected to circumcision, and the Passover.
Moses was on the mountain with God, and now with Jesus. Elijah did not experience death, was taken up. God was making sure they knew Jesus was his son, above the prophets, even as great as Moses and Elijah was. It was a “wow” moment, Jesus was no prophet, but God incarnate. Scary!
God is presenting Jesus: don’t worship, adore, prostrate, offering, sacrifice,
BUT LISTEN TO HIM! ‘Cause you haven’t been doing a good job!
Jesus doesn’t need admirers, he needs listeners! Jesus comes off the mountain and is immediately met with human need and suffering.
We cannot make it on our own strength, we need the help that is offered to us.
We don’t need to “move mountains,” we need to love people.Bible Study discussion
Maybe Jesus is so frustrated with them because maybe they knew how to cast out demons, but you didn’t pray and fast and believe in, or believe me. You didn’t really think it could be done, or you thought you could do it alone, arrogance, do it with special power given and not go through the process of prayer and fasting. Want the easy quick way out.
Shortcut taken? Taking gifts for granted, thinking its magic!
Even if you had a small faith, you could move a mountain. But you don’t even have enough to heal a boy. The purpose of faith is to love people. That’s what Jesus wants.
They couldn’t heal that guy, lack of faith prevented them from addressing and alleviating human pain and suffering.
Even a tiny dose of faith can move mountains.
But you DON’T even have that much… You can’t heal this guy, even though you have been given power. Lack of faith, trust, understanding, listening, obedience. We can do so more if we can increase our faith level!
Now this section is from our teacher, Jose. His thoughts and impressions.
The revelation of Jesus is unfolding, and he is teaching and showing more. Maybe earlier the disciples could not have handled it. Increased intimacy = increased information. Divine revelation comes gradually it seems. We are given what we can handle.
A gradual dispensation of knowledge. We are not ready for solid food yet, like in Corinthians. Mature information for mature followers
Like trying to bench press 225 when you have not trained.
We cant handle some things yet, but we need to get ready.
To those who have, much more will be given, and to those who have not, even that will be taken away. We need to ASPIRE to something, not just desire! Drastically different outlooks. Don’t demand without seeking to deserve what is being asked to be given.
Use the gifts given. Do you like boxing? Iron Mike Tyson- left hand to the body, immediate left to the head.
What would you do if you hear Gods voice? Fall down, pass out, soil yourself?
To see the 3 guys talking is the body shot, and Gods voice is the hook to the head. We get knocked down. Why do they need a tent? Peter is foolish, maybe he is in shock.
Have we witnessed Jesus power and glory? If so, what statements do we make? Foolishness too often.
The 3 disciples kept their word, and remained silent until after he was raised. Do we follow his instructions? Or do we think we know better?
Obedience is required here. How do we respond to the presence of Jesus in our life?
Fumble! Those guys get paid a lot to catch the ball, but miss often.
When something is given for a purpose, what happens when we blow it? Its not about the gift, but the exercise of the gift. What do we do with what has been given?
They failed at a task they had already performed. Why? Maybe they took the gift for granted. The gift was given to heal, but maybe it was rusty. The gift was wasted, not being employed.
The issue was lack of faith, and prayer and fasting They were too self-reliant, didn’t think they needed those things. Arrogance, we know better, we don’t need those things. We can use our own power and strength.
The impossible can be achieved. We need thanksgiving, faith, prayer, fasting to perform our duties.
Last section: Do you know who I am?
Much corruption in the temple. That much is evident? Do we all participate in the tax? We don’t exempt ourselves? Don’t give yourself a pass, practice what you preach.
Lead the way, let others follow. You put heavy burdens but don’t help others carry it.
To desire sometime does not mean to aspire it
Thought vs action. I wish I had this, or could do this. I am going to get myself into position to have, or do this. Jesus is narrowing his audience. Many, 12, 3, 1.
Whoever can handle it. Upward, onward, to Heavy lifting. Who can handle the tasks, the work? Maybe just Peter. He has shown himself to be a willing, but flawed candidate.