September 1st

Matthew 17-18

  • 17:5 – This is the same phrase recorded from Jesus’ baptism
  • 17:12 – John the Baptist was seen as the second coming of Elijah, but he too was rejected.
  • 17:14-21 – Once again, the disciples’ faith fails to be effective. Jesus, however, is able to step into the gap the disciples’ faith leaves and heals the boy. This is similar to when Peter’s faith is not strong enough for him to walk on the water. Jesus fills the gap.
  • 17:24-27 – Jews struggled with Roman taxation. Jesus instructs Peter to pay the tax, but shows God’s ultimate power and sovereignty by providing the payment in a fish’s mouth.
  • 18:1-6 – Jesus, once again, flips culture on its head. It is not a great ruler or the most faithful disciple who Jesus calls the greatest. It is a weak, vulnerable child. Jesus explains that causing a child to sin is an error deserving death. We must responsibly care for those with whom we’ve been entrusted.
  • 18:7-9 – Temptations are unavoidable because there is evil in the world. This makes it clear how detestable it is to tempt someone else and possibly cause them to sin. And it explains the lengths to which we should go, though somewhat hyperbolic, if something causes us to sin.
  • 18:10-14 – This is similar to the parable of the Prodigal Son. When a sinner returns it should be the case that both God and the righteous rejoice. Instead, we often wonder why we, the faithful, don’t get more celebration. This reminds us that we’re all sinners.
  • 18:15-17 – This is the proper way to call out a believer for sins. All should be done in love.
  • 18:21-22 – Peter comes to Jesus looking for a limit. Jesus explains that grace should be limitless.
  • 18:23-35 – We are to forgive as we have been forgiven.

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