Friday, December 4: Matthew 17- Difficult news often takes time to sink in.

I noticed that Jesus repeated to His disciples about his impending death and resurrection. Matthew recorded it this way: When they came together in Galilee, he [Jesus] said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. They will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised to life.” And the disciples were filled with grief (22-23).

The disciples didn’t quite get it. But their reaction differed from the last time Jesus told them about His impending death (Matthew 16:21-24). Last time Peter –the apostles’ spokesperson –rebuked Jesus saying it would never happen. This time they were filled with grief.  There was no rebuke.

I thought about that, realizing that difficult news is often hard to take. We deny it, bargain with God, fight against it, soften to it; eventually the healthy realistic person accepts it. I guess it is also true that some reject it.

I was thinking of the way we receive and process a loss or death…

As I ponder this, similar stages (although it is certainly not linear moving simply from one stage to another) often happen as we deal with difficult spiritual truths.

The first time I heard the message of salvation and that without Christ I was in a heap of trouble, I really didn’t buy it. I rationalized it away… God wouldn’t do that, etc.

But as I pondered it and read the scriptures, the truth began to seep in and finally it dawned on me. I needed a savior. A friend showed me to Jesus.

My take away this morning is that not many people hear the call or get the teachings of Jesus on first hearing. Many of us wrestle, grow, change and mature. Like the disciples, God’s Word seeps in and finds a resting place in our heart and then we believe.

Where are you on your journey with Jesus? 

Thank You, Holy Spirit, for Your ongoing work in us… drawing us to Jesus and then growing us up in Him. Continue Your work, O Holy Spirit, in my life and when need be, accelerate my learning and believing through whatever means You deem necessary. I pray this for the sake of God’s kingdom advance here on earth and the name of Jesus being broadcast to the ends of the earth. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.


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