December 13

“Tell No One”

Matthew 17:9-13

And as they were coming down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, “Tell no one the vision, until the Son of man is raised from the dead.” And the disciples asked him, “Then why do the scribes say that first Eli′jah must come?” He replied, “Eli′jah does come, and he is to restore all things; but I tell you that Eli′jah has already come, and they did not know him, but did to him whatever they pleased. So also the Son of man will suffer at their hands.” Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist.

The disciples were asking Jesus about Elijah because they had just witnessed the transfiguration. They still had many questions about all that was happening and still did not understand how all of the prophecies would be fulfilled. They did not understand that John the Baptist was born with the spirit of Elijah, who was sent to make straight the path for Jesus (baptism of repentance).

No one recognized John the Baptist as Elijah returned, and he suffered by being beheaded for preaching the coming of the Kingdom of God and pointing out the sins of those in power.  Whenever someone preaches in the name of God, there will be the devil influencing someone else to persecute them.  This has been the constant struggle that has been happening from the beginning of time.  Jesus also warns them that He too will suffer because of the truth that He speaks,  although they never imagined it would be by humiliating persecution, whipping and beating, and crucifixion.

When we do the work of God we can expect to endure great suffering brought on by those that feel threatened by the message. God’s work will always cause suffering to the one who is pointing out the sins of others because people do no not like to see their own sinfulness. It hurts to be told you are living a sinful lifestyle. It hurts to be cut off from family because you are hurting yourself or others. Instead of repenting, they attack the messenger.  Do not be afraid or deterred.  You will be blessed for doing God’s work and you may also be credited to saving a soul.

Pray:

God,  please give me strength to endure the rejection and persecution that comes with following you. Please help me bring (insert name)  the Good News of Christ’s birth and help them to accept you ask their Lord and Savior. In the name of your Son, Jesus. Amen.

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