Peter Acknowledges Christ (Matt. 16:13-20; Mark 8:27-30; Luke 9:18-20)

Jesus is in the Region of Caesarea Philippi

  • Jesus asked His disciples who people said He was. They replied that some said John the Baptist, others Elijah, others Jeremiah or another prophet.
  • Jesus asked who they said He was. Peter replied that Jesus was the Christ [Messiah], the Son of the living GOD.
  • Jesus told Peter that he knew this truth because GOD had revealed it to him and not flesh and blood. He told Peter that upon that confession Jesus would build His church and the gates of Hades wouldn't defeat it. Jesus said He was giving the apostles the keys of the kingdom of heaven and whatever they bound or loosed on earth would be bound or loosed in heaven.
  • Jesus then warned them not to tell anyone He was the Christ.
  1. Why do you think Jesus didn't want His disciples telling others that He was the Christ at that time?

Suffering Foretold (Matt. 16:21-23)

  • From this point on, Jesus began explaining to the disciples how He would go to Jerusalem and suffer at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, that He would be killed and raised on the third day.
  • Peter took Jesus aside and rebuked Him. Jesus replied, "Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of GOD but the things of men."

Burdens of Discipleship (Matt. 16:24-27; Mark 8:34-38; Luke 9:23-26)

  • Jesus called the crowd and His disciples to Himself. He told them that whoever wants to be His disciple must deny himself, take up his cross and follow Him. Whoever wants to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for Jesus' sake will save it. What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul? What will a man trade for his soul? Whoever is ashamed of Jesus and His words, Jesus will be ashamed of him when He comes in judgment.
  1. With these truths about the value of our soul, why is it that so many still choose pleasure in this life over eternity?

The Kingdom Would Come in The Current Generation's Lifetime (Matt. 16:28; Mark 9:1; Luke 9:27)

  • Jesus told those standing there that some of them wouldn't die until they saw the kingdom of GOD come with power.

Jesus is Transfigured (Matt. 17:1-13; Mark 9:2-13; Luke 9:28-36)

Jesus Goes Up on a Mountain (Mount Hermon?)

  • Six days later, Jesus took Peter, James and John up on a high mountain and there He was transfigured. Transfigured means that Jesus' form was changed.
  • Jesus' face shined like the sun and His clothes became as white as light.
  • Moses and Elijah appeared before them, talking with Jesus.
  • Peter, not knowing what to do, told Jesus that it was good for them to be there and see these things. He offered to build a shelter for Jesus, Moses and Elijah. While Peter was still speaking, GOD spoke from heaven saying, "This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased. Listen to Him!"
  • When they heard this, the three disciples fell facedown on the ground because they were terrified. Jesus came and touched them and told them to get up and not be afraid. They stood up and saw no one but Jesus.
  • On the way down the mountain, Jesus told them not to tell anyone about what they had seen until Jesus was raised from the dead.
  • They asked Jesus why the teachers of the Law said that Elijah would come first. Jesus explained that Elijah had come and that it was John the Baptist that those prophesies were referring to.

Epileptic Boy Healed (Matt. 17:14-21; Mark 9:14-29; Luke 9:37-43a; 17:5-6)

Jesus is Near the Mountain

  • A large crowd had gathered near the disciples and the teachers of the law were arguing with them. When the people saw Jesus, they ran to greet Him. Jesus asked what they were arguing about.
  • A man from the crowd replied that his son had an evil spirit and Jesus' disciples were unable to cast it out.
  • Jesus was exasperated and had them bring the boy to Him. Immediately upon seeing Jesus, the spirit threw the boy into convulsions.
  • Jesus told the father that everything is possible to the one who believes. The man replied, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!"
  • Jesus commanded the spirit to come out and never re-enter the boy. The spirit shrieked and convulsed the boy violently and then came out.
  • People thought the boy was dead, but Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet.
  • After Jesus had gone indoors, the disciples asked Him why they were unable to cast out the spirit. Jesus told them it was because they had so little faith. He told them that faith as small as a mustard seed can move mountains. Then Jesus added that those kinds of evil spirits only come out with fasting and prayer.

Jesus Again Foretells His Death (Matt. 17:22-23; Mark 9:30-32; Luke 9:43b-45)

Jesus Passed Through Galilee

  • Jesus didn't want people to know He was there because He was teaching His disciples.
  • Jesus told them again that He would be betrayed into the hands of men who would kill Him and, after three days, He'd rise again.
  • They didn't understand what He meant and were afraid to ask Him about it.

Coin from Fish's Mouth (Matt. 17:24-27)

Jesus is in Capernaum

 

  • Collectors of the "two-drachma tax" (a drachma = about 1 day's wages) asked Peter if Jesus paid the temple tax. Peter affirmed it.
  • When they got indoors, Jesus asked Peter, "From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes -- from their own sons or from others?" Peter replied, "From others."
  • Jesus agreed, noting that sons are exempt. Then, in order to not offend them, Jesus told Peter to go to the lake and throw out his line, take the first fish he caught and open its mouth. Peter did so and found a four-drachma coin, which he took and gave it to them for Peter and Jesus' tax.
  1. What was the message Jesus was teaching Peter regarding the temple tax? Who required it? For what reason did they require it?

Apostles Argue about Rank (Matt. 18:1-4; Mark 9:33-35; Luke 9:46-48; 17:7-10) 

  • Jesus asked them what they had been arguing about on the road to Capernaum. They kept quiet because they'd been arguing about who would be the greatest in the kingdom.
  • Jesus taught them:
    • The one who wants to be first must be the very last, the servant of all.
    • A servant first serves the master before he sits down to eat himself.
    • After serving him, the master doesn't thank the servant for doing what was his job to do.
    • Similarly, as GOD's servants, we should have an attitude that we are unprofitable after we've done what was our duty to do.
    • We must become like little children before we can enter the kingdom of heaven.
    • The one who humbles themselves like a little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 

Concern for the Young (Matt. 18:5-6, 10-14; Mark 9:36-37, 42; Luke 17:2-3a

  • Whoever welcomes a child in Jesus' name welcomes Him, and therefore GOD.
  • Whoever causes a child to sin would have been better off had they been drowned in the sea.
  • Don't look down on a child. Their angels always see the face of GOD in heaven.
  • If a man owned 100 sheep and lost 1, he would leave the 99 to search for the lost 1. When he finds the lost 1, he's more happy about recovering it than over the 99 who never left.
  • Similarly, GOD isn't willing that any child be lost. 

Warning About Temptation (Matt. 18:7-9; Mark 9:43-50; Luke 17:1

  • Woe to the world because of those things which cause people to sin!
  • If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It's better to go into heaven without your hand or foot than to go to hell with them. The same is true of your eye.
  • In hell, the world doesn't die nor is the fire put out or satisfied.
  • Be salty. Be at peace with one another.
  1. How important is it that one not enter hell? How serious is Jesus about this truth? 

Works Done in Jesus' Name (Mark 9:38-41; Luke 9:49-50

  • John told Jesus that he saw a man casting out demons in Jesus' name and they told him to stop because he wasn't with the disciples.
  • Jesus told John not to stop him, that those who do things in Jesus' name aren't against them, and that even a cup of cold water given in Jesus' name because they belong to Christ will be rewarded. 

Rebuke and Discipline (Matt. 18:15-17) 

  • If your brother sins against you, go and talk with him about it, just the two of you.
  • If he won't listen, take one or two others along as witnesses.
  • If he still refuses, tell it to the church.
  • If he won't listen to the church, treat him as a pagan or tax collector -- in other words, don't have anything to do with him.
  1. Is this pattern difficult to follow?
  2. What common mistakes do people make instead of following Jesus' pattern?
  3. What happens when we don't follow Jesus' pattern for dealing with those who have hurt or offended us?
  4. In what ways will we be blessed if we follow Jesus' instructions on these things? 

Apostles Given Authority (Matt. 18:18-20) 

  • Jesus told the apostles that whatever they bound or loosed on earth would be bound or loosed in heaven.
  • If two or three of them agree on anything they ask for, it would be done by GOD because, where two or three are gathered, Jesus is there with them. 

Peter Asks About Forgiveness (Matt. 18:21-22; Luke 17:3b-4) 

  • Peter asked Jesus how many times he should forgive his brother for sinning against him.
  • Jesus told Peter, "seventy-seven times", meaning that however often they asked, Peter should forgive.
  • Jesus followed it up by adding, "seven times in a day". 

Parable of Servants in Debt (Matt. 18:23-35) 

  • The kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle debts with his servants.
  • A man owed him 10,000 talents (millions of dollars) and was unable to pay. The master ordered he and his family and possessions be sold to repay the debt.
  • The servant begged for mercy on his knees and the master had pity, canceled the debt and let him go.
  • That servant went out and found a fellow servant who owed him a small debt (100 denarii, that is, a few dollars). He began to choke that servant saying, "Pay me what you owe!"
  • The fellow servant pleaded for mercy but the man was unwilling and had him thrown into prison until he could pay the debt.
  • Other servants saw this injustice and reported the servant's actions to the king, who was furious, turned him over to the jailers to be tortured until he payed back everything he owed.
  • This, Jesus said, is how GOD will treat each person who doesn't forgive their brother from their heart. 
  1. How serious is GOD about forgiving one another?
  2. Is it hard to forgive others who've sinned against us?
  3. How can we overcome our inability to forgive someone?
  4. Which servant are we in this story -- the one who owes a small or large debt?
  5. How long will it take for the tortured servant to repay their debt?
Tim Harris
Author: Tim Harris

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