In “preaching study” posts, I’m really interested in fostering a “community” approach to study and prep for the sermon, so please interact as much as you like. All Scripture quotes are from the TNIV unless otherwise noted. Thanks!
So, I’m starting to think more about where and how this draws us into what’s unfolding here in Matthew’s gospel. The disciples have begun to have their conception of what Jesus was all about turned on its head. They believe he is the messiah, but now he’s begun to explain what “messiah” means and that looks different than their expectations. It’s a preparation though for at least two reasons:
1. Jesus will suffer and die prior to resurrection. If they do not hear his re-definition of “messiah” they will really have no way to interpret and understand what is happening at the time or what has happened in the aftermath (which, as we know, is how it went down).
2. The shape of Jesus’ life as Messiah will be indicative of the shape of their lives (as he was teaching them at the end of Matthew 16–about taking up a cross and following). If they don’t realize that what is happening to Jesus is aligned with who he is and what his mission is truly about, they will not get what they are to be about too.
So, with this much on the line they need to be grounded in the identity of Jesus, the mission of Jesus, and their relationship to him. I’m saying this because that seems to be what the Voice from the clouds is interested in conveying:
Jesus’ identity – “This is my Son, whom I love”
Jesus’ mission – “With him I am well pleased” (in other words–I’m happy about all that you see him doing and hear him talking about doing)
Disciples’ relationship to Jesus – “Listen to him!” (He is the teacher, learn from him about life in the kingdom–what “messiah” means and what “disciple” means)
And I’m wondering about stories, images, lyrics, etc that tap into or convey this. The disciples are having their world rocked and they are also about to be entrusted with a huge mission. A word comes from an unexpected place in an unexpected (and downright odd!) circumstance.
Does this talk remind you of personal stories? Stories from the news? Examples from history? Something from a movie or TV show? Other stories in the bible? Images or pictures you’ve seen? Song lyrics (any genre)?