Matthew 17

1-7: God reminds the disciples (and us) that Jesus is absolutely unique and the one who should be listened to!

9-13: John the Baptist’s ministry was foretold in a surprising way: “Look, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and terrible day of the LORD arrives. He will encourage fathers and their children to return to me, so that I will not come and strike the earth with judgment” (Malachi 4:5-6). We believe that another forerunner will come before Jesus returns (Revelation 11:3), but John the Baptist functioned in that role when Jesus came the first time.

14-21: Did you notice that verse 21 is missing? Many scholars believe that it shouldn’t be there because it’s missing in a few manuscripts, but it’s actually in the majority! It says, “this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” I believe the verse describes the faith that the disciples are supposed to have. Not just a “I can call on miracles whenever I want” faith, but the kind that has a deep and abiding relationship with God that they can rely on when a particular moment comes. The disciples wanted to turn on the lamp, but it was unplugged! Do we live that way too?

22-23: Does the truth of God’s Word ever distress you? It should if you are being challenged by it!

24-27: What important words for us to live our lives by in an ungodly world: “so we don’t offend them.” Living by God’s law is offensive enough to a world that doesn’t believe, so we should do what we can to not offend when it comes to the laws of the land.

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