“While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, "This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!" Matthew 17:5 (NASB)
I was wondering if I was ever going to write again. Yet, here I am, admitting there are a few things I need to “get off” the proverbial chest. Since confession is good for the soul, my soul should feel fabulous after this!
In BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) classes, we are traveling through the book of Matthew. This week, we’re walking through chapter 17 in particular. Here comes the confession: Sometimes, I stink at Bible study. Whew! What a relief! That’s a hard confession for a Bible study teacher to make!
You see, I started BSF first, because I said I’d never do it and God laughed. Second, because I am the “feeder” of sorts in other classes. I wanted to be the “feedee” for a spell. Anyone get what I am saying?
Well, because the “feeder” classes in my week takes up a fair amount of energy (no complaints at all! I love it and feel I am in God’s will in this area), the feedee class gets leftover and rushed-through time. Sorta defeats the purpose of being a feedee!
That brings me to now. In the past few days, I took some extra, slowed-down time with MY lesson. If I had not done this, I would have missed the resurrection! Are you confused yet?
Let me give you the Barbara paraphrase: At the end of Matthew 16, Peter gets high praise from the King of Kings because Peter knew exactly who Jesus was! (Matthew 16: 13-16, go read it for yourself.) However, not a few verses later, Jesus speaks of His impending suffering, death and resurrection. Well, Peter rebuked the Lord for that! What gall! He was in essence denying Christ. A preview of coming attractions, I guess!
Of course, Jesus takes him down a notch and in chapter 17 takes James, John and you guessed, Peter, to a high mountain. The Biblical term for this event is The Transfiguration. [Free background: In Luke 9:31 we are told that Jesus is also conversing with Moses and Elijah about “His departure which He was about to accomplish.” Another death, burial and resurrection conversation, if you will.] Seriousness of the event notwithstanding, this passage has some amusing moments. Like Peter talking where he should have been listening to the point that God, Himself, interrupted Peter and said, "This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!" [Emphasis mine] I admit I am sooooo Peter!!!
After the group returned off the mountain, Jesus once again spoke to them about His death, burial and “being raised on the third day.” The Bible says they were grieved, but didn’t argue back this time.
Then I noticed something important. In one chapter and a few extra verses, Jesus confronted the disciples with His impending death and resurrection three times. Once, Peter rebuked the Lord, the second time, he still couldn’t keep his mouth shut and the third, well, God said “Listen” and Peter did, but only half way.
How is it that they missed the part about Christ rising again on the third day? Shouldn’t that have provoked joy instead of grief? I think at the least, they would have been curious! Had they witnessed so many resurrections that it was commonplace and held no interest to them? Or had they just simply stopped at the hard part and didn’t realize that the best was yet to come?
Like bullet in the brain, I had to wonder how many times, I have stopped when the words or the walk got too hard and missed the good news that came next. How many times have I missed “but your redemption draweth nigh” or while I had to go into battle, I missed the part where the battle is the Lord’s?
This is just the tip of the iceberg of what was revealed to me today. I am keeping the other stuff to myself right now to ponder. However, I did feel compelled to put this on paper for however God chooses to use it. Plus writing it out is good therapy. I encourage you today, even if it is one of those hard days, don’t stop because of the Good News of Christ, is only one sentence away.Trying not to miss a thing!