Duration: 365 days
GOD WITH US
After Peter rightly identifies Jesus as the Messiah, Jesus instructs his disciples to keep his identity a secret. He tells them he must suffer and die. Peter protests, and Jesus rebukes him. Only Satan would want Jesus not to die to pay for sins.
A few days later, Jesus unveils his glory while on a mountaintop with Peter, James and John; God booms his love for his Son. But once they travel back down the mountain, they’re greeted by the world’s brokenness again. A father has brought his young demon-possessed son to the disciples, but they aren’t able to drive out the evil spirit. Jesus does—this kind of demon can be removed only by prayer.
A rich man comes to Jesus; he has lived an outwardly righteous life but wants to know how to gain eternal life. The man’s possessions are a hindrance to him, so Jesus instructs him to give away all he owns. The rich man looks disheartened and walks away sad. Jesus explains that the cost of following him is high, but anyone who sacrifices for him will receive blessings in this life—along with persecutions—but also eternal life in the future.
Jesus and his disciples start their trek to Jerusalem, and he shares once more that he will lose his life there, but that God will raise him from the dead.
The King’s Heart
It had been a long, long time to be misunderstood. God yearned for his people to know him, but early on they broke their connection with him, leaving them fatally sick and spiritually blind.
God began the long process of reintroducing himself. He painted pictures of his heart through Passover, at Mount Sinai, in the tabernacle. But blind hearts can’t see even clearly presented truth. God must have heard people talking about him over the years—discussions at synagogues and around dinner tables. How often he must have wanted to break in so he could correct misunderstandings, so he could show himself for who he really is. Who are you, God?
Then Jesus came: “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!” (Mark 9:7).
It must have brought the Father great joy as he watched Jesus live—correcting wrong thinking, loving people and setting them free. Finally his heart was being lived out.
When Peter rebuked Jesus for saying that he must suffer and die, Jesus rebuked him back. Peter was suggesting that there was a shortcut to saving the world, which was what Satan insinuated when he tempted Jesus (see Matthew 4:8-10).
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