Summary: Dealing with diffult times
"Strong Hope for Hard Times"
Intro: When have you needed hope?
Here in Matthew 17, we see Jesus giving hope to his disciples. Jesus has begun to prepare his disciples for his death, and as he does this, he also gives them hope to overcome when this happens. Whatever difficult situations lie in your future, God desires to give you the hope to endure and overcome.
I. There is Hope in the Power of a Present Messiah - 1-13
Jesus has just finished telling his disciples in 16:21 that he would be persecuted and killed. The discpiles were not prepared to hear that. They had given up everything to follow Christ. They probably think that now he is "letting them down." They wanted him to bring about his earthly kingdom. Peter has acknowledged that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah. But Jesus has told them that he must die.
#How do you feel when someone gets you to "sign-up" for something, and then backs out at the last moment?
The disciples must feel a little "disillusioned" with Jesus.
Jesus takes the three leaders up on a high mountain so they can get away by themselves. While he is with them, he is transfigured and they see his glory.
Moses & Elijah: represent the law and the prophets
#Imagine if I invited you to golf, Brooks had a friend Jack who kept telling you how to hold your club, how to stand. Suddenly he reveals he is Jack Nicholas. The knowledge of who he is would affect how we follow his instructions.
The disciples had been following based on Jesus’ teaching and their faith. Jesus gives them a visible glimpse of his glory.
A. There is hope in remembering the greatness of God
When we remember the power of our God, we can face any problem, because we know that God has the power to work all things for good.
B. There is hope in remembering our priority is God
Peter wants to put up tents for each of the three. But the Father’s voice reminds them all of the priority of Christ.
*It is easy to get caught up in doing "good things," but we must fill our schedule according to our priorities. Serving God must come first in our lives.
C. There is hope in remembering the plan of God
Jesus tells them to keep this to themselves until after the resurrection. To share it with the crowds would only leave them discouraged when the crucifixion happened. Jesus tells them to wait until after the resurrection. He told them about the resurrection, but they only had ears to hear about his death.
#Do you really believe that God is in control of the affairs of our lives.
*Rabbi Kushner (Why Bad thing happen to good people) -- God not all-powerful
Disciples question about Elijah coming: they interpreted scripture correctly, but missed the truth of what was meant. John the Baptist was Elijah.
So often we think God has to work according to our interpretations. If He doesn’t answer the way we think he should, we think he hasn’t heard or he is uncaring. But God’s ways are always best.
The hope Christ gives his disciples in light of his coming death is that he is God himself, full of glory, full of power, and working on their behalf.