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Matthew 17:22-23: The Son of man shall be betrayed

Posted by adventbiblestudy on April 2, 2012


Matthew 17:22-23 KJV And while they abode in Galilee, Jesus said unto them, The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men: (23) And they shall kill him, and the third day he shall be raised again. And they were exceeding sorry.

Jesus returned to Galilee to begin a new phase of enlightenment with His disciples. At the beginning of His ministry, Jesus walked along the shore of Galilee and said to Peter and Andrew, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they dropped their nets and followed Him. He called out to James and John, who also followed Him. And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people. (Matthew 4:23).

Peter, James, and John had just been to the top of a mountain where they saw Jesus talking to Moses and Elijah. They also heard the voice of God from the cloud that covered them. Jesus had been preparing them step by step over the previous months. He had taught them the difference between earthy and spiritual senses, between doctrines of men and the Word of God. Every lesson was designed to increase their faith and reliance on God and His spirit. He also taught them with parables, which pointed them to the scriptures, the only reliable source of interpretation. As their reliance shifted from the traditions of men and their doctrines to the Spirit and scriptures, Jesus slowly introduced information necessary to equip them for the work ahead.

Now Jesus was returning to the location where it all began, the beginning of His ministry. This was a graduation ceremony, a right of passage. It was vital for the disciples to first learn and trust in Jesus’ position before He could teach them His purpose. The disciples were now ready for the next step. With His back to the water He gathered His disciples in front of him said, “The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men: And they shall kill him, and the third day he shall be raised again.”

They were shocked at Jesus’ revelation. They had grown to love Jesus and could not bear to see Him go. At first they were a little frightened. They wondered where they would go, what they would do without Him. They had no desire to return to their old way of life.

Looking out over the lake, they remembered the storms they had faced with Jesus, and how He calmed them. With the Spirit working inside them, each one could sense a relationship between the storms and the road ahead, but could not explain it at that moment.

The mountain in the back ground reminded them of the great multitudes of lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others who came to Jesus as He sat looking out over the lake. They remembered how the dumb began to speak, the maimed became whole, the lame walked, and the blind could see: and how they glorified the God of Israel. They also remembered how Jesus feed thousands, with plenty of bread left over. They thought about the bread gathered into baskets. They began to see this as a sign. They could see the spiritual connection between the bread, and His word. They wondered what the left over bread represented. Did it represent the things Jesus was yet to teach? Or, did it some how represent a connection to them?

Looking at their faces, Jesus knew this was enough for the present time. Now it was time for the Spirit to work in each heart, preparing them for the next lesson.

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