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Lesson # Matt. 17:22-23
Study Material - Matt. 17:22-23
You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
22 And [de] while they [autos] abode [anastrepho] in [en] Galilee [Galilaia] , Jesus [Iesous] said [epo] unto them [autos] , The Son [huios] of man [anthropos] shall be [mello] betrayed [paradidomi] into [eis] the hands [cheir] of men [anthropos] :
23 And [kai] they shall kill [apokteino] him [autos] , and [kai] the third [tritos] day [hemera] he shall be raised again [egeiro] . And [kai] they were exceeding [sphodra] sorry [lupeo] . KJV-Interlinear
22 And while they were gathering together in Galilee, Jesus said to them, 'The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men; 23 and they will kill Him, and He will be raised on the third day.' And they were deeply grieved. NAS
This is the third time that the disciples have been told of the need for Christ's visit to Jerusalem, to be betrayed, killed and then resurrected after three days in the grave. The disciples were grieved at hearing this. In Mk. 9:32 we are told that they simply did not understand. In Lk. 24:25 we are told that they were slow to comprehend. In Matt. 17:20 we have already seen that their faith was small. In Jn. 12:27 they were told that the purpose of Jesus being here, was to go to the Cross. In fact the main subject of the Old Testament scriptures in Jesus Christ with supplemental teaching of our individual need to grow up spiritually once we have believed in the Only Begotten Son of God.
By the way, Jesus did not rise up 'on' the third day, but 'after' the third day, Matt. 12:40. The Interlinear printing above is closer than the NAS version, as it refers to 'after' being in the grave for three days and for three nights, then He will arise. A small thing but someone might want an explanation of the above text.
People with little faith generally need explanations as to why things are the way they are. They need frequent reminders as to the truth of life. There are many things in life which are difficult to understand, and often times painful to accept. This deficiency of orientation is common in the young.
Have you ever had to explain a difficult situation to a young child? They don't comprehend. They don't understand. And you often times say, 'When you grow up, then you'll understand.'
Understanding comes with maturity. Maturity comes with growing up. Growing up comes with learning and facing daily situations. And it includes accepting responsibility and even accountability for ones own thoughts, decisions, and actions in life. Does any of this sound familiar?
This principle is true in the spiritual life. The disciples had a very good time while with Jesus. They were in a euphoric environment. One can only imagine that His every word was or had a hypnotic affect on their attention. Wouldn't you be awe struck if you were actually in the presence of Christ? Not to mention being able to have a conversation with Him?
Now he reminds them that there will be a time when things will go badly for Him on this earth - it must happen. Our salvation depends on it. This is why He came to earth in the first place.
New believers, even growing believers have difficulty in understanding why things are the way they are. 'Why does a loving God allow this or that to happen?' In the American civil war, Christians were on both sides of the battle lines. Both sides prayed to the same God, in the name of the same Jesus Christ. In life people get hurt or even die in accidents, or they get hurt or die as a part of a crime. People are born with abnormalities. People develop medical problems in life. A family loses a child. Children lose their parents. Storms happen, life happens, other things happen. We can become the victim of unfair treatment in life (prejudice, cheating). There are a lot of things that happen which cause us pain in many forms. We can even have everything going our way and then we simply lose due to a lot of very bizarre circumstances. Why?
As we grow up we learn that that there is a God, or we suspect it and we become interested in learning more. This leads us to Christ. This leads us to our Bible study. This leads us to spiritual growth.
We learn that human history in this world is not an unlimited and never ending stream of events. That human history is but a sequence of events tucked inside an even greater stream of events called the Angelic Conflict. Human history began with Adam and will end with the Great White Throne. Human history has several divisions of time within it which we call dispensations. We are currently in the dispensation which we call the Church Age, waiting for our era to come to an end (the Rapture), then the Age of Israel will resume, having seven more years remaining within it, then the Millennium (1000 years), then the Great White Throne and history terminates - all flesh and blood stops. Those remaining (believers) will be in resurrection bodies and will enter into an new phase which we call eternity.
While here on earth, we live in the Devil's world. The Devil is the daddy of lies, the origin of corruption. The world is filled with lies and corruption (decay). We can only expect problems while in this world. God has a plan to save us from the Devil's design. That plan has a historical component for all of humanity (human history), as well as for each one of us individually (our personal life).
While alive we have the opportunity to learn truth (Gods Word - where facts and reality meet), and we have the opportunity to learn lies (all philosophy out of sync with Gods Word). We can either live the truth or live the lie. Our choice.
Satan claims that his truth is better than Gods truth - enter every conceivable problem in history. Satan demonstrates his own incompetence. Man mimics Satan's pattern of thought and the worlds problems manifest themselves.
God presents His truth. God demonstrates that even within the many problems, obstacles, deficiencies, heartaches, unfair practices, etc. of this world, He, God, can still make things better, working everything out for good. God is able to accomplish the best for man even when rejected by man.
We have many opportunities to observe the two opposite views in life - Satan's and Gods. We studied or mentioned the little girl who was found after being kidnapped many months ago. Faith mated with prayer was a big part of that. We see unfolding before our eyes the conflict in Iraq. That outcome is not determined as yet (in our eyes). Of course God has already determined its outcome. We will see it in due course. Iraq could be overwhelmingly squashed as most expect. And by the way I saw the list of the 80 countries on TV, that stand soundly behind the USA. This is clearly freedom verses evil. Unfortunately too many liberal news reporting organizations are hammering the negative aspects of war rather than the tyranny and brutality of Saddam.
On the other hand, if the world or the region becomes so negative toward changing Iraq, and/or if it is Gods plan for the region to remain unstable due to their rejection of Christianity, then this whole affair could bog down in a huge quagmire of problems that might even overflow into other regions of the world. Remember the American Civil War. Both sides had a strong Christian background, but it was better for this nation to continue as one nation, not two.
Also, consider another possibility. We know that at the Rapture, or after it, there will be a conflict wherein a single nation will rise up to conquer three other nations (remember the little horn beating three horns then the other seven horns subordinating themselves to the little horn? This from Daniel and Revelation). Suppose we place a history template over our current situation and suppose (we are just playing a little 'suppose' game now), but suppose that the Rapture were to occur now. Then there would be a ready made mass of military power already poised to be taken over by the anti-christ, whomever that might be, and to do the deeds prophesied, following the Rapture. It should be obvious that getting a military into position is not an overnight accomplishment especially if there is opposition. And especially if the target is going to be three nations as opposed to just one, as well as applying pressure against seven other nations. It all takes time. Seems reasonable that this type of confrontation in history (Iraq) might be in play immediately prior to the Rapture.
Another scenario. History shows us that problems can arise into conflict then following that conflict there is a period of recovery and peace and prosperity before the next big historical world event occurs. The book of Judges demonstrates this. The Israelites went negative, were over run by enemies, rose up to defeat them then enjoyed a couple of generations of peace before the whole thing repeated itself. So we have not had a big world wide blow out for 60 years (depression, war). By the way we are still on the subject of 'why do things happen.' So suppose that the rapture will not occur for another 60 years when the worlds population has quadrupled to 20 or 30 billion people, and God places us in a world wide depression or even war now, in order to shake things out such that there will be another stretch of peace and prosperity for another 60 years until the next really big event - the Rapture! Remember that evil tries to make things happen sooner rather than on Gods timetable. God has many ways to delay the inevitable. God controls history.
You can play the history scenario game all you want. Only time will reveal the truth to us. The long and short of it all is, that there are certain events in history that 'must' take place. The Cross is one of them. In our lifetime our death is as close to the certainty of a future event, as we will get. The Rapture can occur at anytime, but that is going to be the next 'certain' world event. No if, and's or but's. What does it all mean? We need to get serious about our personal bible study. We need to get serious about our spiritual growth. We need to get serious about our compliance with those things expected of us in our life.
The real truth is - we do not know the future nor the timing of anything in the future. The 'shock and awe' everyone is expecting to be unleashed against Saddam, could very well be something else.
Our priority? Our spiritual growth, not entertainment from world history or in the speculation of it. Our investment in our destiny (eternity), not the worlds investment in a world destiny (temporary). Certainly we have to be responsible in our lives (that is expected in several ways), and we should be proactive (application to our life) in our spiritual growth and in our daily life (application combined with faith and prayer - as demonstrated by the family in Utah - they circulated pictures and God brought all the necessary ingredients together).
If that families reunion story brought you to tears of happiness, then imagine the reunion we will all experience when Christ calls us all home (happiness a million times greater).
The disciples grieved - they did not understand. You should not grieve, but celebrate because Jesus Christ controls history. Jesus Christ brings things together in the greater interest and for the greatest benefit of us all.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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