Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Evening Sermon Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/ev/ev19961124.htm
MATTHEW: JESUS AS ISRAEL'S MESSIAH AND HIS MESSIANIC KINGDOM
Part X. Christ's Messianic Kingdom Postponed
L. Christ's Edification Of The Disciples In View Of His Rejection As The King
3. Taking Advantage Of The Truth That All Defeat In This Life Arises From Unbelief
Lesson: There is never an acceptable, adequate excuse to experience fear, spiritual impotence or grief in this life if we but believe the Word of God regarding the truth that the cross precedes God's rewards!
- Christians face spiritual defeat often like the world does: they fear, are impotent in service and grieve.
- Yet, to encourage His disciples, Jesus revealed to the disciples that such suffering was so unnecessary!
- The ingredient needed for the believer's victory over fear, impotence and grief is laid out in Matt. 17:5-13:
- Taking Advantage Of The Truth That All Defeat In This Life Arises From Unbelief, Matt. 17:5-13.
- The disciples tragically experienced fear because of unbelief, Mtt. 17:5-6 in light of Mtt. 16:27-17:5:
- Jesus sought to encourage His disciples to face a cross en route to the glorious crown of the Kingdom by displaying the reality of His Kingdom in His transfiguration, Mtt. 16:24, 27-17:5:
- Jesus informed the disciples to anticipate a cross before the crown in following Him, Mtt. 16:24.
- He then sought to encourage them to bear the cross as the crown was so glorious by giving them a taste of the glorious kingdom to come in the transfiguration, Mtt. 16:27-17:5: (a) Jesus predicted the transfiguration as a foretaste of the fulfillment of facing a cross before the crown, Mtt. 16:27-28. (b) Then the transfiguration occurred with all of its glory, including the Father's own testimony for the disciples to heed Jesus' words of the need for a cross before the crown, Mtt. 17:1- 5.
- However, failing to trust the Father's being full of goodness in this effort to encourage them to face their crosses, the disciples fell on their faces at hearing the Father's voice, Mtt. 17:6.
- In fact, God quickly had to withdraw this glorious display and have Jesus encourage the men not to fear due to their unbelief in the intentions of the Father to encourage them, Mtt. 17:7-8.
- The disciples and Israel experienced spiritual impotence due to unbelief, Mtt. 17:7-8, 9-13, 14-21:
- Jesus told them to tell no man of this transfiguration until after the resurrection or people would have tried to crown Jesus for the wrong, faithless reasons, Mtt. 17:9; Walvoord, Matthew, p. 129. Thus, due to their unbelief in Jesus, Israel missed experiencing the glorious kingdom of Jesus!
- Jesus also had to explain to the disciples that John was the Forerunner predicted by Malachi, clearing up a confusion caused by Israel's faithless rejection and execution of John, Mtt. 17:10-12a, 13. Again, due to unbelief in John's m inistry, Jesus, Israel's Messiah, would be crucified, causing the nation to skip the glories of the Kingdom in that generation, Mtt. 17:12b.
- Again, due to unbelief, Israel faced ongoing defeat as epitomized in the demoniac, 17:14-21:
- When Jesus had arrived from the Mount of Transfiguration, a great, needless spiritual tragedy confronted Him: due to unbelief in faithless Israel where demonism still controlled a person though Messiah walked among them, and though the twelve had been given power to exorcise demons (Mtt. 10:8), the disciples had been unable to exorcise a demon, causing great suffering to the boy afflicted, to his father, and embarrassment to the disciples, Mtt. 17:14-16,17.
- Jesus cast the demon out, and told His disciples that their inability to do so was unnecessary had they trusted and prayed within the Father's will for victory, Mtt. 17:18-21.
- The disciples experienced grief due to unbelief, Mtt. 17:22-23:
- When Jesus again predicted His death and resurrection, the disciples were full of grief, Mtt. 17:22-23.
- However, Jesus had recently revealed His coming victory in the Transfiguration, and that should have caused them to accept the cross en route to the wonderful glory to come, Mtt. 16:27; 17:1-5.
- Thus, they suffered unnecessary grief due to unbelief in the program and intentions of God.
Application: If we fear, are spiritually impotent or sorrowful, somewhere we have adopted this world's outlook and values for our difficult experiences instead of heeding the goodness and purposes of our eternal God in these trials, cf. Mtt. 16:21- 23. Adjust accordingly for peace, power and joy in living!