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162 - I’ve Been to the Mountaintop! (2 Sept 2023)

More Than Ink / Pastor Jim Catlin & Dorothy Catlin
The Truth Network Radio
September 2, 2023 1:00 pm

162 - I’ve Been to the Mountaintop! (2 Sept 2023)

More Than Ink / Pastor Jim Catlin & Dorothy Catlin

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September 2, 2023 1:00 pm

Episode 162 - I’ve Been to the Mountaintop! (2 Sept 2023) by A Production of Main Street Church of Brigham City

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You pick up your Bible and wonder, is there more here than meets the eye?

Is there anything here for me? I mean, it's just words printed on paper, right? Well, it may look like just print on a page, but it's more than ink. Join us for the next half hour as we explore God's Word together, as we learn how to explore it on our own, as we ask God to meet us there in its pages.

Welcome to More Than Ink. Hey, have you ever really thought about who is Jesus? Really? Well, Jesus asked the apostles last week, and Peter answered and said, You're the Christ, the Son of the living God. Well, what does that mean?

Yeah, what does that mean? Well, today, Jesus will show us exactly what that means on More Than Ink. Well, good morning. This is Jim.

And I'm Dorothy. And you have found More Than Ink. And we call it More Than Ink because the ink on the page of the Bible is more than just ink on a piece of paper.

It's actually God's Word. There's something much more there than meets the eye, which explains why we can do what we're doing. We're reading Matthew, not for the first time in our lives, but... Hardly.

We read it a lot. But every time we come back to it, we see new things, and God's Spirit shows us new things, and that's what makes this whole exploration an ongoing lifetime delight. And so we're here in Matthew 17, and that's exactly what we're doing. So we're glad you're with us. Actually, we're still in Chapter 16.

16, Chapter 16. Just in preparing to have this conversation, the Lord just refreshed to me a whole bunch of things. That's not that I'm not way familiar with the words on these pages, but there just was a refreshing in my spirit as I reread these things and thought about them today.

So that's kind of the way the More Than Ink part of this conversation works. God has a way of taking what's written on the page and freshening our souls. Yeah, so it's not just new discoveries, it's cherishing old discoveries that you forgot about. And it's like breathing fresh air, right?

You need to breathe a whole lot of times every day, right? That's exactly right. And a lot of people have put in tons of effort in the last 2,000 years to bring these passages to us. So we're going to read them today. 4,000 years, actually, but yeah, go ahead.

Well, in these is 2,000. The new just, you're right. Yeah, that's right. So yeah, so if you are following with us, we're in Chapter 16. We're reading from the ESV version of it, so we encourage you, if you are reading along with us, to use that so you don't trip on just the minor grammar differences in the translation. So here we are, we're at Chapter 16, verse 21, what came just before where we are today.

That's really important. That's really important, where Jesus says, who do people say that I am? And then he said to the apostles, but who do you say that I am? And Peter said? Peter said, you're the Christ, the Son of the living God.

Yeah, so. But he still didn't understand exactly what that meant, which is why Jesus begins to talk to them differently, and we're gonna see, now unfolding in Chapter 16 through 17, how he gets very pointed and very specific about his death and his suffering at the hands of the Jewish leaders. And in the process, we find out that even though Peter did make that declaration, which is 100% true, he didn't fully understand what that meant, and it gets revealed today. Okay, here we go, take us off, verse 21 of Chapter 16. Verse 21, from that time, right from that very moment when Peter identified who he is, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes and be killed, and on the third day be raised.

And Peter took him aside. Why don't we suffer just for a second? Because that's, I mean, that's, wow, that's a biggie, that's a biggie, because he shows the disciples that he must, he must, like this has to happen, four things, he must go, he must suffer, he must be killed, he must be raised, and these are the must, must, must, this has to happen. Because that's how God saves.

Exactly. And that's what the sent one came to do. So you know, every time Matthew writes the name Jesus or Yeshua, he's saying, God saves, right? That's what the name Yeshua means, God is Savior. Yeah, Savior. And so every time you read the name Jesus or Yeshua, you can think that, oh, as God saves, or God saves, at that time, he began to make very clear to them that he must.

Well, yeah, and he's speaking very directly, and that's good, but still, it's just not, it's not quite breaking through. But this is what he came for. And actually, a few chapters on, he's going to say, I came to give my life as a ransom for many.

We're gonna get to that chapter 20. Yeah, and it made me remember too, that at the resurrection, you know, when they came to the tomb, the two angels, they said, you know, you know, he's not here, he's risen. Remember how he told you while he was still in Galilee? That's this right here, this right here, that the Son of Man must be delivered to the hands of sinful men and be crucified on the third day and rise. And then it said, oh, and they remembered his words. This is it right here. It's interesting that the angels were saying that to the women. Yes.

Who had come. Yes, yes. Yeah. Okay, so anyway, Peter, Peter continues the conversation. Okay. Here we go.

22. And Peter cried and began to rebuke him, saying, Far be it from you, Lord, this shall never happen to you. But he turned and said to Peter, Get behind me, Satan, you are a hindrance to me, for you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.

Whoa. Wait, didn't he just praise him that he knew that he was the Christ, the Son of the living God, and that wasn't revealed to him by his father, by his heavenly father? Well, because here's the thing.

He had told them right after Peter had said that, Jesus said, now don't go tell anybody. Right, right. Why? Because you can't tell anybody until you understand what it is you're telling them.

Right? You just don't have a clue what it means to be the Son of the living God. So I mean, here what we see is kind of this conflict that was pretty common with people. When they expected the Messiah to come, he was gonna come kind of a geopolitical military power to bring justice above all else for the nation. And he will. That's the truth. And there's nothing wrong with that, because that's biblical altogether. But that idea does not gel with this idea that he's gonna be killed. Right. Right. So Peter's saying, no, I don't think so.

You got it wrong. And he steps up and he actually rebukes Jesus. You know, they didn't get that even right up into the garden when Jesus was arrested.

No, no, the whole suffering. Isn't it astonishing that Peter grabs the Lord and takes him aside and says, stop saying that. Right? Yeah, wow. That's, well, it's scary to me, actually. But it's just so indicative of what we are like.

Yeah. And listening to what Jesus has actually said to us, we're like, no, no, no, that can't be. That can't be. It has to be this way instead. It doesn't fit with my paradigms. That's right.

That's not my view. You know, it struck me afresh on my reading of this, just in preparing for this today. This literally is the voice of the evil one. Yeah. Yeah. Right? That's why Jesus says, get behind me, Satan. Yes. Right?

You, because initially in the garden, Satan had said to Eve, oh, you're not gonna die. Right. And at the temptation of Jesus, he had presented him the option of having all the glory of this world without going to the cross. You can read about that in Matthew 4.

We talked about that weeks and weeks and weeks ago. Yeah. It is fascinating to hear that just prior to this, Jesus praises Peter because he's speaking God's words, and now he's condemning him because he's speaking Satan's words. Satan's words.

How quickly we can turn. Yes. So there's a certain humility when we speak that we have to understand.

If it's not God's word, then we might be kind of off base. Okay. So it's interesting.

And he says, get behind me, Satan. You are a hindrance to me. Yeah. We need to talk about that word a little bit because here the Greek word is skandalon.

It means in the face. Yes. A stumbling block. Yes.

Very often when you read the term stumbling block, it's this word or a derivative of this word. Right. And it's the trigger in a snare. Yeah.

Right? When you step on that trigger, you are caught. You are trapped. You are ensnared. Yeah.

You can't go any farther. Yep. Yep.

It's basically, I forget, one of the old Christian fathers way back, second century, I think it was, Jesus is saying to Peter, he's saying, you know, your place is behind me, not in front of me. Right. You need to follow. And Peter can't follow because his paradigm is messed up. Right. And Jesus says that. You're setting your mind not on the things of God but on the things of man. Yeah. Yeah.

Right? And God is going to accomplish this by giving himself. So be humble in what you understand. I think Peter's operating off of Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah. But somehow he's completely skipped over, as many people at that time did. For instance, I looked back on Isaiah 53. We're talking about, you know, I just skimmed it, Isaiah 53, he'll be despised, rejected by men, man of sorrows, acquainted with grief, bore our griefs, carried our sorrows, pierce for our transgressions, crest for our iniquities, oppressed, afflicted. I mean, you just go on that whole beginning of Isaiah 53 and how can you miss the fact that the Messiah is going to suffer? And that's what he's saying here. But Peter just can't make this jive with what he's expecting. Yeah.

Should we move on? Yeah. Because this actually applies to what he's saying right here. What he's saying is you're missing the fact that the Messiah must die. So if you want to follow me, you need to follow in my footsteps. And that takes us to verse 24. So he said this specifically to Peter, you're a hindrance to me. You're not setting your mind on things of God, but on things of man. And then he turns to all the disciples and says in verse 24, are we reading on?

Yep, go ahead. Then Jesus told his disciples, if anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it. But whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father. And then he will repay each person according to what he's done. Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom. Right.

Okay, so basically you say to Peter, you're not wrong. It's going to happen. It's going to happen. Right. But this has to happen first.

They both have to happen, yeah. So we get fragments of these verses, 24 to 27, quoted all the time, right? Deny yourself, take up your cross and follow. But it's a one whole big statement Jesus is giving them here, about coming after and following.

Yeah. What do you got to say? Jesus was born to die so that he could affect our salvation, and he's saying if you want to follow in Jesus' footsteps, you have to live your life now with an eye toward your own death, and the fact that you're going to carry your own cross. A cross is always an advertisement to the common people of some statement that the Romans wanted to make that was going to end in death. It's a one-way trip. You're going to die.

It's a one-way trip, yeah. So it's like you're going to be making statements, you're going to be doing stuff that's going to get people to say you need to die. Okay, so let's talk about denying himself, denying. If you come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross, because you could kind of twist that into being a making, martyring yourself, right?

No, no, no, it's not that. And self-abuse, it's not that at all, but it is laying down pursuit of your own self-interest. Right. It comes down to who's driving the direction of your life, right?

And it comes back to Peter, you're supposed to be following behind me, not in front of me. Right. So that's really what this is. And if Jesus' path is to the cross, that's our path as well.

Yeah. And so this denial, the opposite of denying himself, the opposite of deny is indulge. You know, don't indulge yourself in that.

Because Jesus stood in front of Pilate and said, I am a king, but my kingdom's not of this world. And so he aims toward that, and our lives should also aim towards that through the entirety of our lifespan. So that's the denying self, not indulging yourself, not being the guy who had the big harvest and had to buy a bigger barn.

You know, it's actually we're in the process of leaving this place. And Jesus purposefully is in the process of leaving this place for our salvation. Well, and I'm not sure that this really penetrated Peter at this point. Because when he denies Jesus on the night of his arrest, he does exactly the opposite. He acts completely out of self-interest and self-preservation and steps completely away from any acknowledgement of even recognizing who Jesus is.

Yeah, yeah. And they didn't want to be identified with Jesus and who Jesus was. It's all about Jesus' identity. Because he knew that if he did, he would be carrying a cross and be crucified as well.

I mean, he knew that. That was it. Well, Jesus is saying, well, get ready, guys, this will be your light and life for the rest of your lives. And it'll all be about conflicts that arise from the fact that you state the truth of who I am. That will get you crucified. If it got me crucified, it'll get you crucified. And we know that all the apostles except one died martyrs' deaths because they continued to assert the truth about who Jesus was, his identity.

And that's basically why Jesus was crucified, because they did not want to accept the fact that he was indeed the Son of God. Yeah. Shall we move on? What do you think? Oh, I hate to, but I think we need to. There's so much to talk about right here. I think we need to.

I think we need to. Yeah. But this ties onto that last verse. Surely I say there's some standing there who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom. Let me read for us in the next.

Okay. Before we press on, though, I want to just touch on this last statement Jesus made when he says, he will come in the glory of his Father. And then he will, the ESV says, repay, he will recompense, he will render to each person according to what he's done. Yeah.

Right? Well, Hebrews 11, 6 says, without faith, it's impossible to please God. You've got to believe that he is and that he is a rewarder, a recompenser of those who believe in him.

So this is not necessarily that he's going to extract payback from those who didn't believe, but that there will be a recognition for those who do believe. Sure. Yeah. And the issue of what you've done is what did you do with the question, who do you say I am?

Who do you say I am? That's still centrally what we're talking about. Right. Yeah. Okay. Okay.

So let's go on because, again, we're going to pin down something really important about his identity as well. Excuse me. I have a tickle. 17. You want me to read?

Yeah, would you? Something attacked my throat. After six days. Oh, so this is a whole week has passed. After six days, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them and his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light. And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah talking with him. And Peter said to Jesus, Lord, it's good that we're here. If you wish, I'll make three tents here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah. He was still speaking and behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them and a voice from the cloud said, this is my beloved son with whom I am well pleased.

Listen to him. When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces and were terrified. But Jesus came and touched them saying, rise and have no fear.

And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only. Wow. Big event. Big event.

Okay. But I believe what's happening here is actually the fulfillment of what Jesus just said in the last verse of the previous chapter. That's right.

I think so too. You will see the son of man coming in his kingdom. So in a way, we're seeing kind of like a time warp right here. And we're seeing Jesus meeting with Moses and Elijah. And it says, it says in one of the other passages that they were talking to him about what's coming. In fact, it says in Luke 9, it says they appeared in glory and spoke of his departure, which was about to accomplish. So they're talking about what's going to happen next. So yeah, so this is a fascinating thing. This is a glimpse into Jesus coming in glory. And interestingly enough, and consistently enough, Jesus's appearance changes to match what we know he's going to look like in that second coming. So these three guys who a few seconds ago claimed that Jesus was the Christ, the son of the living God, but now they're really getting a glimpse like they've never had a glimpse before. Right.

They haven't seen him like this before. Right. Right. And it's fascinating to me that Peter is still on that, okay, so you are going to come in glory.

Right. Which is why he says, let me make holy tents. Let me make a special place for you and Moses and Elijah. He still doesn't understand. He's doing that tabernacles thing. Well he is, and we can talk about that a little more if you want, but he essentially by saying that that way has put Jesus on the same level as Moses and Elijah. Made them all equal. Yeah.

That sounds like a bad deal. And this is why God interrupts and says, whoa, listen to him. This is my beloved son. Well and I chuckled because although it wasn't mentioned here, I had to go back and check Mark and Luke. Mark says, I'll just quote it from Mark 9-6, for he did not know what to say. Right.

For they're terrified, but Luke makes it even worse because after he does that whole thing about the three tents, he adds a little phrase at the end of it, Luke 9-33, not knowing what he said. Right. He's just babbling. He's just babbling. Because he's so overwhelmed. Yeah. He just doesn't know what's going on.

And I wouldn't either, tell you the truth. So let's talk about Moses and Elijah for a minute, can we? Yeah. Yeah. And from a Jewish perspective, that immediately says the law and the prophets talking, looking face to face at the son of God, which is what they're all about, right? But these were the real guys, apparently.

Yeah. Because they're having a conversation. Jesus has mentioned that I was talked about in the law and the prophets. And when you talk about law and prophets, you're talking about Moses and Elijah and so much more when you're talking about prophets. So if you think about Moses for a minute, Exodus tells us that he used to talk with the Lord face to face. Face to face.

Nothing in between, like a man talks with his friend. Yeah. And that just makes me think of what's happening here, right? And Elijah, who a couple of times in all of his recorded words, he says, the Lord God before whom I stand, right?

So Elijah also lived in this constant awareness that he was, in a sense, face to face with God. Yeah. And what's really happening here, who's where, and how is this taking place?

We don't know exactly. We just know that these men were recognizable, and they were in conversation about the fact that the son of God was about to do what he came for. Yeah. Yeah. And I think it's interesting that Peter knew enough to recognize him too when he calls him by name to make the tents.

How did they recognize him? I don't know. Pictures in this Bible? No.

I don't know. It's an interesting thing. And it's nice to see, since we finished Exodus some time ago, the return of the Shekinah glory that the Israelites were so used to in the desert as they wandered. You know, it was a pillar of cloud by night and then a cloud by the day, but here it shines, and it overshadowed them.

So, whoa. And the voice from the cloud when God speaks, right? That happened back at the baptism of Jesus. The voice spoke and said exactly the same thing, this is my being. And his voice spoke at the top of Mount Sinai, and the response from the Israelites was exactly what these guys just did. Right, fear and trembling.

I know. Fear and trembling, yeah. So, yeah, they're on their faces. They're on their faces so much so that Jesus can't get them up unless he touches them.

He has to touch them. I also like the fact that in Peter's babbling, the voice from the cloud, the father actually stops him, you know, while he was still, it says in 5, he was still speaking when this thing happened. That's Peter, man. That's Peter. While he's still speaking, God interrupts him and says, you need to listen to my son. Which is really interesting. In a way he's saying, you're having a problem accepting the program right here, you need to stop talking and you need to start listening more.

Shut up and listen. Exactly. Yeah.

Be still and know that I'm God. Exactly. So, you know, I chuckle a little bit, but then again I know, oh man, you know, I would probably be doing the same thing at this point. Well, and you know, they have fallen on their faces because they're terrified. They can't even look anymore at the brightness of what they're seeing.

And so you got to wonder if they weren't shocked when Jesus touched them. Yeah. The whole thing is over.

Yeah. Get up. Don't be afraid. Don't be afraid. Everything's back to normal.

Okay. And so then they're seeing Jesus. So we need to press on to the end of it.

Yeah. So 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. Because you don't understand what you just saw.

You still don't get it. And the disciples asked him, well, then why do the scribes say that first Elijah must come? Malachi 4. And he answered, well, Elijah does come and he will restore all things. But I tell you that Elijah has already come and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they pleased.

So also the son of man will certainly suffer at their hands. And then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist. But he was also speaking to them about himself.

Of himself, yes. And the fact, you know, Malachi says that before the day of the Lord, before the Messiah comes, Elijah will come. I mean that's in Malachi 4, 5. But wait a second. Doesn't Jesus come once and then he'll come a second time?

Yes. And in a sense, Elijah came the first time and John the Baptist. And many people think that when Jesus comes the second time, Elijah will finally come again for real. Which is why we see him talking with Jesus right here. So Elijah does come for both the first and second coming. Well, Jesus says Elijah will come. That's right. But it's interesting to me that Jesus, Peter had identified him as the son of the living God.

Yes. God had just said, this is my beloved son. And yet suddenly we're back to talking about the son of man. The son of man.

Right. We're back in the humanity of the sent one. He must die and be raised from the dead. And so that's why Jesus picks up the conversation. Okay now, in his humanity, the anointed one, the sent one, must die and be raised from the dead. So don't tell anybody what you saw because you don't yet understand.

You don't yet understand. However, when John writes his gospel, the opening chapter of John's gospel, he says, the word became flesh and dwelt among us and we have seen his glory. I think he's referring to this. Well Peter makes reference to that in his letter. He says, we were with him on the mountain and we saw the majestic glory.

I've got that. Yeah. We follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. But we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. And give the reference for that.

That's 2 Peter 1, 16. Yeah. So they did keep their lips shut for a while, but then after that they. Well after the resurrection. Then it made a lot of sense.

And the eggs dropped in the hole and the Holy Spirit came and opened their understanding. Yes. Yes. And suddenly they're like, oh, that would have been a head slapper. Oh my gosh. Head slappers right there.

How could I have been so blind? Exactly. Exactly. So here in this whole section, we start with Peter proclaiming that this is the Messiah. This is the Son of the Living God. Although we don't quite understand what that means. And Jesus says, well let me show you what this means. I have to suffer and to die.

And if you want to follow in my footsteps, you're going to have to aim toward the same thing. And just to give you an idea that you're not mistaken about who I am, we have the transfiguration. So the identity of Jesus in just this whole section we read right here is nailed.

It's there. There is no question. He is the Son of the Living God. He will suffer and die for our salvation.

And He will indeed come a second time to bring justice. And just in case you missed it, all the law summed in Moses and all the prophets summed up in Elijah were testifying to that. All along. Exactly. All along. All along. And that's what they talked about on the road to Emmaus with those two very dejected guys. That's right. And the law and the prophets. Well, we are like totally out of time. But if you ever had a question about the identity of who Jesus was, this is a great place to go to.

This is the end of 16, early 17. Great place to go to because this is where Jesus really unveils what it means to be the Son of Man, the Son of God, the promised Messiah, the Lamb of God who was slain to carry the sins of the world. And what it means to follow Him. And what it means, yeah. Follow Him. Big deal.

Myself and my own interest and exchange my life for His to receive from Him what only He can give. Right. Right.

Yeah. Paul says, he puts it in terms of the fact that we're not citizens of this place. We're citizens of heaven. I mean, we've kind of moved and we've moved away and that's why Jesus says they're not of the world. They're in it. But they're not of it anymore. They're people who are looking in a different direction for the coming of the kingdom of Jesus' second coming. That's what we're looking at right here.

That's the true follower. So next time. Well, we're going to continue more on this same topic.

Very similar topic, yeah. And so we're going to continue on in chapter 17. Read ahead if you'd like and you might find some surprises as you're reading there. So I'm Jim. And I'm Dorothy. And we're glad you're with us and we're glad that you're uncovering who it is that Jesus is.

He's the Christ, the Son of the living God. We'll see you next time on More Than Ink. There are many more episodes of this broadcast to be found at our website, morethanink.org. And while you're there, take a moment to drop us a note.

Remember, the Bible is God's love letter to you. Pick it up and read it for yourself and you will discover that the words printed there are indeed more than ink. I think that's it. That's it.

Okay. This has been a production of Main Street Church of Rhythm City.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-02 14:13:08 / 2023-09-02 14:26:13 / 13

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