Matthew 17:14-27. A question about faith? (Jesus frustrated with the people’s lack of faith, 2-time Jesus said he would die and rose, and a tax question).
Last week Jesus and Peter, James and John were walking down from the mountain, where Jesus had been transfigured, and his glory was seen. And Moses and Elijah came to encourage Jesus. And God the father came in the cloud and spoke, encouragement to Jesus, spoke to his identity, that Jesus is his son, and that Jesus was on the right track and God was well pleased with him. And to Jesus and the disciples that Jesus should keep speaking, and that the disciples should listen.
Then in the text today we will read about what the other 9 disciples were doing, so let’s read. Oh, just before we read ever had tax problems? Jesus, Jesus will give a solution. Or not.
Matthew has a focus on faith or lack of it, and form the beginning he is clear, he wants people to know who Jesus is that he is the Christ. He challenges the unbelievers to believe, and encourage the believers to keep believing and to not fall in to faithlessness and rejection of Jesus.
Jesus and his disciples walk down from the mountain, and what a difference, encouragement great faith, God the father speaking, Moses Elijah encouraging. To The bottom, down where lack of faith, and doubt are filling the present generation.
Is Jesus here mad, sad, frustrated? What do you think when we read the words: “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? It does not seem like Jesus is enjoying himself, rather the opposite, really you have no faith, you are perverse going after other things than God, and you don’t believe in the power of God. Yes, you come to God or me with your problems, but you don’t have faith to over come them. Yes, and even my disciples do not have that faith.
The hope and kindness of God is seen in Jesus as he said: bring him here to me.” Jesus still takes a moment to heal the boy by rebuking the demon. Showing his faith and power. Like he did as he calmed the storm. Like we talked about before Jesus has power over nature and power demons and Satan. (He is God.).
The disciples are slightly, puzzled, and are not sure why they were not able to cast out the demon, so the ask Jesus in private. Jesus is very direct, because of your little faith! Oh, Thanks Jesus, we have done many things; casting out demons, healing, and now we can’t and you say our faith is little? (But it is because Jesus gave them the power it was not theirs). Then what is Jesus trying to tell his disciples and us? That with a small faith that grows over time, nothing will be impossible, then what does that leave us with and the disciples? That a very little growing faith, we can do all things that God asks us to do? But we can’t do anything if our small faith, gets smaller and disappears, and we become a faithless and twisted generation. Building our own kingdoms. Simple small faith acted out in obedience day by day as the lord leads, will do many greater works that move mountains. The power of God will work though us, by Jesus’ work, and the holy spirt guiding us to act, hearts will turn to God, see Jesus for who he is and the world, was and will be turned upside down. (More than a mountain moved).
I think it is a good reminder that we don’t hold our faith on our own, but trust in Jesus to keep us in faith in him and that by the power of the Holy Spirt in us that will open our eyes to Jesus teaching, and in Jesus we see the best picture of who God is. Then our prayer can be, let me listen to you in the morning, midday, evening, for your words, your plan, your joy.
Many things can cause us doubt, fear, confusion, anger, and many more.
We could ask our self, where does all off that come from? God? Or other people, media, TV, my sinful ways, trusting in myself. What leads us to the opposite of faith and trust in Jesus?
I think you know, and if not, I think you can follow a trial and find out. What is the “god” that dictates what you do? Where’s the money, time, concern, where is your heart? (there will your treasure also be). And what influences it.
Jesus’ promise’s is very great, the disciples as we read are not there yet, but most of them will be, and if you look at their life, they moved mountains, they did incredible things in the power of Christ. What about us? What about you?
Why do I know? The disciples are not there yet, because of what happens next.
Jesus explains the 2 time to all the disciples that in not to long he will be delivered over to men and that they will kill him. (Bad news). But Jesus also says that on the 3day he will rise, but that does not comfort the disciples at this moment they are extremely sad, sorrow filled with destress. They do not have the faith this moment to understand, that Jesus will concur death, and be raised from the death in victory. (What about you? Do you have that faith? Faith come by hearing the word of God, as you just did, do you have faith? – Explain gospel invite people to believe, Jesus on his way to the cross).
What about you do you have tax problems? (Or is the story about faith in Jesus? doing what he says even when is seems very unlikely to work?).
Peter is approached by tax collector’s, and they ask if Jesus is paying is not paying the 2-drachma tax, Peter without asking Jesus, say yes.
Jesus is the son exempt of taxes (more?), but pays to not give offence, the way he pays require great faith and obedience from Peter.
Peter standing on shore casting a fishing hook, to find money to pay taxes in a fish, what would you be thinking as time goes by? (Jep, Jesus will provide for me and him, or what in the world am I doing here, now it has been 2 hours no fish, no money. I don’t know, I mean… He is the Christ.). And what about when Peter does get a fish, - I mean here goes, opening the mouth and finding the money, - and why did Jesus do it that way, there must have be other ways. Probably because this has to do more with Peter and Matthew, that the money. Are they growing in their faith as the see Jesus working? And what about you? What is this story doing in you? Creating faith, celebrating Jesus, as Lord, all knowing, stimulating you to faith, or your about to reject Jesus, because you don’t think he is who he said he was. You got the invitation.
For you who believe, do you give up your rights so you don’t offend? Jesus does, the temple was build for him, he did not have to pay but did. Who are we most like? People online or in the media, or heard on the street. This is my right, I can say whatever I want, eat, drink, strangely not many times do I hear oh yes let me pay more taxes… Paul and Peter will later also like Jesus teach, that our freedoms should not lead others to fall or be tempted or give offence. Is my walk with Jesus more affected by Jesus’ example, that what I see at my freedoms in Christ?
1 Mt 17:17.