Matthew 19 - Day 115 (link to reading plan)
Scripture: Matthew 19:16-30
Observation: A young rich man approached Jesus to ask him what he needed to do to have eternal life. Jesus tells him to keep the commandments. Instead of quitting while he was ahead, the young man asks, "What else must I do?"
Application: God invites us into a relationship but challenges us to be holy. This young man's wealth and possessions were preventing him from achieving intimacy with God so Jesus tells him to sell everything he owns and to follow him.
Step by step, one decision after another until we are more and more like Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Prayer: Lord, Your will not my will be done.
Matthew 18 - Day 114 (link to reading plan)
Scripture: Matthew 18:1-4
Observation: Jesus' disciples ask him, "Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?" His reply surprises them because it was totally unexpected.
Application: The bible tells us that God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Why is something so simple so hard to remember and practice everyday?
Prayer: Lord, forgive me for my arrogance...
Matthew 17 - Day 113 (link to reading plan)
Scripture: Matthew 17:1-13
Commentary: Whereas in our day most Christians need to have a revelation concerning the full humanity of Jesus, who has been abstracted into the doctrine of the Trinity, it was not so with the disciples. They, having a few days earlier heard Jesus speak in a most unexpected and disconcerting way about his death, needed at this point some assurance of the true identity of Jesus as Messiah, Son of God. This was especially important if they were to be able later to hold on to the continuity between the Jesus they had followed and the glory of the risen Christ they were also to experience. It may well be, however, that even in our day a sense of the transcendent glory of Jesus, such as is afforded by this pericope, is also very important. With the unveiling of Jesus’ glory comes the divine exhortation: “Hear him!” For Matthew and his community, this exhortation undoubtedly emphasized the authority of Jesus’ teaching (cf. 7:29). This prompted G. B. Caird (294) to write: “The whole history of Christian ethics could be written as a commentary on the Transfiguration.” The present-day church needs once again to discover the absolute authority of the teaching of Jesus. Jesus, as our passage shows, stands in continuity with the revelation of the OT, symbolized by Moses and Elijah, but because of who he is and what he brings (i.e., the kingdom of God, the climax of salvation history), his utterances have a final and incomparable authority. The transfiguration dramatically underlines that fact.
Hagner, D. A. (1995). Matthew 14–28 (Vol. 33B, p. 495). Dallas: Word, Incorporated.
Application: Jesus the Messiah, fully God, fully man came to reconcile the world back to His Father. God the Father confirms His Son's authority, with the command, "Listen to him."
Was this episode for Jesus or for his disciples or both?
Prayer: Lord, reveal Yourself to me so that I may believe.
Matthew 16 - Day 112 (link to reading plan)
Scripture: Matthew 16:13-28
Observation: Jesus asks his disciples/apprentices, "Who do you say I am?" Peter answered, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God." Delighted, Jesus affirms Peter's declaration, then prepares them for his death. Confused, Peter tries to correct Jesus but the Lord dismissed him by saying, "Get away from me, Satan!"
Application: How quickly the tide can change. In less than a minute, Peter the hero becomes less than zero by pushing his agenda. Jesus on the other hand, only does the will of His Father. The key is to die to self, take up your cross and follow Jesus' example.
Prayer: Lord teach me Your ways.
Matthew 15 - Day 111 (link to reading plan)
Scripture: Scripture: Matthew 15:1-20
Observation: The Pharisees and teachers of religious law continue to badger Jesus for violating their traditions.
Application: The original intent of the religious traditions were good but somewhere along their journey, the practical application of their customs overtook the intent. Jesus isn't opposed to washing our hands before eating but he gets infuriated when we prioritize our rules over our relationships.
Prayer: Lord, please help me to love people as You love them, rather than condemning them for breaking the rules.