This is Episode #281 and today we’ll read Matthew chapters 15-17 together. He was transfigured in front of them, and his face shone like the sun; his clothes became as white as the light.
Joy: You’re listening to Season 2 of the Lifting Her Voice podcast. This is Episode #281 and today we’ll read Matthew chapters 15-17 together. He was transfigured in front of them, and his face shone like the sun; his clothes became as white as the light.
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast, Season 2! I’m your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me – from the beginning – simply reading God’s word together. We built some spiritual muscles in 2020 with just the New Testament. But this year we’re going all out, cover-to-cover, Old Testament and New. So, whether with your first cup in the morning, your commute to work, or as the last thing on your mind before sleep, God’s Word will equip you for every good work. I’m really glad you’re here!
Matthew Chapter 15
The Tradition of the Elders
Then Jesus was approached by Pharisees and scribes from Jerusalem, who asked, “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they don’t wash their hands when they eat.”
He answered them, “Why do you break God’s commandment because of your tradition? For God said: Honor your father and your mother; and, Whoever speaks evil of father or mother must be put to death. But you say, ‘Whoever tells his father or mother, “Whatever benefit you might have received from me is a gift committed to the temple,” he does not have to honor his father.’ In this way, you have nullified the word of God because of your tradition. Hypocrites! Isaiah prophesied correctly about you when he said:
This people honors me with their lips,
but their heart is far from me.
They worship me in vain,
teaching as doctrines human commands.”
Defilement Is from Within
Summoning the crowd, he told them, “Listen and understand: It’s not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth — this defiles a person.”
Then the disciples came up and told him, “Do you know that the Pharisees took offense when they heard what you said?”
He replied, “Every plant that my heavenly Father didn’t plant will be uprooted. Leave them alone! They are blind guides. And if the blind guide the blind, both will fall into a pit.”
Then Peter said, “Explain this parable to us.”
“Do you still lack understanding?” he asked. “Don’t you realize that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is eliminated? But what comes out of the mouth comes from the heart, and this defiles a person. For from the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, sexual immoralities, thefts, false testimonies, slander. These are the things that defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile a person.”
A Gentile Mother’s Faith
When Jesus left there, he withdrew to the area of Tyre and Sidon. Just then a Canaanite woman from that region came and kept crying out, “Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely tormented by a demon.”
Jesus did not say a word to her. His disciples approached him and urged him, “Send her away because she’s crying out after us.”
He replied, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
But she came, knelt before him, and said, “Lord, help me!”
He answered, “It isn’t right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.”
“Yes, Lord,” she said, “yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.”
Then Jesus replied to her, “Woman, your faith is great. Let it be done for you as you want.” And from that moment her daughter was healed.
Healing Many People
Moving on from there, Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee. He went up on a mountain and sat there, and large crowds came to him, including the lame, the blind, the crippled, those unable to speak, and many others. They put them at his feet, and he healed them. So the crowd was amazed when they saw those unable to speak talking, the crippled restored, the lame walking, and the blind seeing, and they gave glory to the God of Israel.
Feeding of the Four Thousand
Jesus called his disciples and said, “I have compassion on the crowd, because they’ve already stayed with me three days and have nothing to eat. I don’t want to send them away hungry, otherwise they might collapse on the way.”
The disciples said to him, “Where could we get enough bread in this desolate place to feed such a crowd?”
“How many loaves do you have?” Jesus asked them.
“Seven,” they said, “and a few small fish.”
After commanding the crowd to sit down on the ground, he took the seven loaves and the fish, gave thanks, broke them, and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. They all ate and were satisfied. They collected the leftover pieces — seven large baskets full. Now there were four thousand men who had eaten, besides women and children. After dismissing the crowds, he got into the boat and went to the region of Magadan.
Matthew Chapter 16
The Leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees
The Pharisees and Sadducees approached, and tested him, asking him to show them a sign from heaven. He replied, “When evening comes you say, ‘It will be good weather because the sky is red.’ And in the morning, ‘Today will be stormy because the sky is red and threatening.’ You know how to read the appearance of the sky, but you can’t read the signs of the times. An evil and adulterous generation demands a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.” Then he left them and went away.
The disciples reached the other shore, and they had forgotten to take bread. Then Jesus told them, “Watch out and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”
They were discussing among themselves, “We didn’t bring any bread.”
Aware of this, Jesus said, “You of little faith, why are you discussing among yourselves that you do not have bread? Don’t you understand yet? Don’t you remember the five loaves for the five thousand and how many baskets you collected? Or the seven loaves for the four thousand and how many large baskets you collected? Why is it you don’t understand that when I told you, ‘Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees,’ it wasn’t about bread?” Then they understood that he had not told them to beware of the leaven in bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
Peter’s Confession of the Messiah
When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”
They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
“But you,” he asked them, “who do you say that I am?”
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus responded, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but my Father in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will have been loosed in heaven.” Then he gave the disciples orders to tell no one that he was the Messiah.
His Death and Resurrection Predicted
From then on Jesus began to point out to his disciples that it was necessary for him to go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders, chief priests, and scribes, be killed, and be raised the third day. Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, “Oh no, Lord! This will never happen to you!”
Jesus turned and told Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me because you’re not thinking about God’s concerns but human concerns.”
Take Up Your Cross
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone wants to follow after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of me will find it. For what will it benefit someone if he gains the whole world yet loses his life? Or what will anyone give in exchange for his life? For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will reward each according to what he has done. Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”
Matthew Chapter 17
After six days Jesus took Peter, James, and his brother John and led them up on a high mountain by themselves. He was transfigured in front of them, and his face shone like the sun; his clothes became as white as the light. Suddenly, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with him. Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it’s good for us to be here. If you want, I will set up three shelters here: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased. Listen to him!” When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown and were terrified.
Jesus came up, touched them, and said, “Get up; don’t be afraid.” When they looked up they saw no one except Jesus alone.
As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, “Don’t tell anyone about the vision until the Son of Man is raised from the dead.”
So the disciples asked him, “Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?”
“Elijah is coming and will restore everything,” he replied. “But I tell you: Elijah has already come, and they didn’t recognize him. On the contrary, they did whatever they pleased to him. In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.” Then the disciples understood that he had spoken to them about John the Baptist.
The Power of Jesus over a Demon
When they reached the crowd, a man approached and knelt down before him. “Lord,” he said, “have mercy on my son, because he has seizures and suffers terribly. He often falls into the fire and often into the water. I brought him to your disciples, but they couldn’t heal him.”
Jesus replied, “You unbelieving and perverse generation, how long will I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring him here to me.” Then Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and from that moment the boy was healed.
Then the disciples approached Jesus privately and said, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”
“Because of your little faith,” he told them. “For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will tell this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
The Second Prediction of His Death
As they were gathering together in Galilee, Jesus told them, “The Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men. They will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised up.” And they were deeply distressed.
Paying the Temple Tax
When they came to Capernaum, those who collected the temple tax approached Peter and said, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?”
“Yes,” he said.
When he went into the house, Jesus spoke to him first, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do earthly kings collect tariffs or taxes? From their sons or from strangers?”
“From strangers,” he said.
“Then the sons are free,” Jesus told him. “But, so we won’t offend them, go to the sea, cast in a fishhook, and take the first fish that you catch. When you open its mouth you’ll find a coin. Take it and give it to them for me and you.”
For the longest time, I stumbled on Matthew 16:28. Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom. Who was Jesus talking to? Here we are 2000+ years later and we haven’t seen Jesus return. I realized thru one of my wiser friends – or probably my husband – I was casting the net too far, too broad. I wasn’t seeing what was right in front of my face.
After six days, the very next chapter begins, Jesus took Peter, James, and John for a private walk. The Transfiguration, as we call it, happened right in front of their eyes. As if Jesus’ face shining like the sun and His clothes as white as light isn’t Him ‘coming in His kingdom,’ I don’t know what is.
One final thought on this scene. I love how God – albeit loudly – subtly corrects Peter. Peter was all excited about this awesome sight happening in front of his eyes. He was so excited, he wrongly put Jesus on the same level as Moses and Elijah. In verse 5, it was almost like God was saying, “Never mind Moses and Elijah…they are servants just like you. However, Jesus my Son…listen to Him!!”
Let’s pray. Oh, Father God! What a sight that must have been! Thank You, Lord, that You saw our need. The need to see You with our own two eyes. Help us never to put anything or anyone before Jesus. In Your name we pray, Amen.
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Thank you for joining me here today. I pray that by spending time in His Word every day, you will be changed. Visit me at Lifting Her Voice.com with your comments and questions. And don’t forget to visit the Blog page while you’re there. If you like the podcast, it would be great if you’d give it a five-star review and share it with everyone you know. Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. See you tomorrow!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible(r), Copyright (c) 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible(r) and CSB(r) are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
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