JANUARY 24 READING…Matthew 16
The Pharisees and Sadducees continue to challenge Jesus. At times it would almost be comical, if it weren’t for the fact that their attacks are a demonic attempt to destroy Jesus, His ministry, and ultimately His purpose for coming. They tried to test the Lord by asking for Him to display a sign from heaven. It was not that if He did a sign that they would believe…for they had already proven that when Jesus did miracles they attributed them to Satan. Jesus called them hypocrites for displaying themselves as great spiritual men, close to God, but they did not even understand the times nor who was standing before them. He told them that the only sign that would be given is the sign of Jonah (the Resurrection) to this sinful generation…sadly they would not even believe that. Jesus then warned His disciples of the leaven of the Pharisees. Though at first, they did not understand what He was talking about…finally, they understood about the impact of just a little false teaching in the life of an individual. I hope we understand this truth. The world has nothing to offer us concerning truth…God has provided it all, and calls us to keep our faith unstained by the leaven of this world.
The last part of today’s reading deals with Jesus revealing Himself and His work to His disciples, us, and the world. Jesus’ first revelation is of Himself…He is the Christ the Son of the living God. Jesus’ second revelation was concerning His church. He would be the One to build His church…and hell itself would not be able to stand against it. He would also give His followers the keys, that is the message of the Gospel, to open heaven to others. Jesus’ third revelation was concerning His death. He made sure they knew, and especially Peter, that nothing could keep Him from fulfilling the purpose for which He came. Jesus’ fourth revelation was for His followers to understand that when it comes to what is really of great value, that nothing on this earth compares to what the Lord has for us in heaven. Jesus’ last revelation was to tell us of the fact of His second coming. Though He would die, there would be a day when He and His angels would come again…the second time as the Judge, who would judge rightly. I am so grateful for the Lord’s grace to reveal these precious and eternal truths to us…may we also have the faith to truth Him and His word all the days of our lives.
Please share your thoughts from today’s reading.
TOMORROW'S READING…Matthew 17