Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Walking Down the Mountain - Matthew 17:14-27

Coming down from the mountain top experience of the Transfiguration Matthew presents us with three scenes in quick succession: the healing of a boy with epilepsy; the second prediction of Jesus' death and resurrection; and the question of the temple tax.These three very different scenes may seem like they have little in common, but together they link what they saw on the mountain top with life down in the valleys or ordinary life.
  • Read Matthew 17:14-20. Though Jesus has given the disciples the power to heal and cast out demons they cannot heal this boy. In response Jesus says to them in verse 20: ‘if you have faith the size of a mustard seed… nothing will be impossible for you.’ What do you make of this saying? How does it compare to your own experience? Is it helpful to use the word 'trust' in place of the word 'faith'?
  • When the group at the church was talking about Matthew 17:22-23 the question about why Jesus calls himself 'the Son of Man' came up. While the general term 'son of man' was a common way of saying human being, in 1st Century Judaism 'the Son of Man' was a very specific title for a powerful heavenly figure found in one of the apocalyptic visions in the book of Daniel. Read Daniel 7:1-14. Does this text help explain why the disciples found Jesus' teaching about his death so hard to understand?
  •  Read Matthew 17:22-27. This passage talks about the freedom of God’s children (in this case their freedom from the temple tax), as well as being sure that we do not cause others to stumble or needlessly offend them. What might be some times when we should restrict our freedom for the sake of others?

No comments:

Post a Comment