GLORIFY GOD? ME?
At the foot of the mountain, a large crowd was waiting for them. A man came and knelt before Jesus and said, “Lord, have mercy on my son. He has seizures and suffers terribly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. So I brought him to your disciples, but they couldn’t heal him.”
Jesus said, “You faithless and corrupt people! How long must I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” Then Jesus rebuked the demon in the boy, and it left him. From that moment the boy was well.
Afterward the disciples asked Jesus privately, “Why couldn’t we cast out that demon?”
“You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.”
After they gathered again in Galilee, Jesus told them, “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of his enemies. He will be killed, but on the third day he will be raised from the dead.” And the disciples were filled with grief.
On their arrival in Capernaum, the collectors of the Temple tax came to Peter and asked him, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the Temple tax?”
“Yes, he does,” Peter replied. Then he went into the house.
But before he had a chance to speak, Jesus asked him, “What do you think, Peter? Do kings tax their own people or the people they have conquered?”
“They tax the people they have conquered,” Peter replied.
“Well, then,” Jesus said, “the citizens are free! However, we don’t want to offend them, so go down to the lake and throw in a line. Open the mouth of the first fish you catch, and you will find a large silver coin. Take it and pay the tax for both of us.”
In Matthew 17:1-13 the glory of the beloved Son of God is revealed, seen by humans in the connection to His death, Luke 9:31 tells us that He was talking to Moses and Elijah “of His decease which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.”
Now Matthew 17:14-27 shows a subtle but powerful illustration of the “how-to” so that His glory would shine through His disciples as well.
As you read through these verses notice the sequence:
• An epileptic boy is dominated by the terrestrial elements, the phases of the moon and earth-bound spirits.
• Only comes out by prayer with fasting – the elements of setting aside dominance by the flesh and the world and submission to the dominance of the Holy Spirit of God
• Submission to death! Seemingly just slipped in here, but notice: This is what Jesus is talking about at that time, in that place so it must be a crucial point in the sequence.
• The glory of God, Divine order is re-established. The coin in a fish’s mouth! That was a mind-boggling proof that Jesus, the Messiah, indeed had power over the elements of Nature.
Did Jesus blow Peter’s mind? Does Jesus blow your mind? Can you see the depth of the installation that Jesus is accomplishing in Peter? He was preparing ground deep inside Peter and the others that would be full of the nutrients necessary for the harvest of souls when the time was right. They would discover that their connection and dependency would be to something completely outside their comprehension.
Could it be that this “ground” of deep preparation that Jesus was plowing and planting in the disciples’ lives has gone fallow and unproductive through the years of Man’s help establishing the Church? Take an honest look at your life in Christ. Is it possible that we are fueling our personal and corporate Christianity with less than the deep transformation and resurrection that only the Spirit of God can accomplish or understand? Jesus’ words were astonishing, wall crushing, wise and powerful but they were just words until the Spirit was waited upon, until He installed in those disciples His own abiding Presence to will and to do His good pleasure.
We are ravenously swallowing the words, the teachings, even the doctrines and theology. That can be very satisfying, consuming our time and energies to the point that we feel as though we are fulfilling the purposes of God. If the hearing, the study, the preaching does not take us beyond the learning of new concepts and the gathering of information, we have not attained to the worship of the simplest child who talks to Jesus and has Him living in their heart.
The question is, have you waited on the Holy Spirit to transform you into the incarnation of His words? Are Jesus’ words the expression of your life? After Jesus had spoken all the words and given all the instruction He said to the disciples, “... when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth;“ John 16:13
Do you hunger as I do that the Glory of God would shine through you? That you could be one with Him and that His order would be re-established in you? That He could destroy the works and strongholds of the devil in your own heart and home as well as in the lives of those you come in contact with?
If you do, then no earthly power has the authority to hold you, no cost in this world’s terms is too great.