Day 17

The Transfiguration

from the reading plan

Matthew 17:1-27, Matthew 18:1-35

Such density of truth in today’s reading! When you read Scripture, you must read it for all it’s worth. I’d love to share one very bright connection I saw today.

Back on the Mount of Transfiguration, Jesus’s face shone like the sun, and His clothes were as white as light (v. 2). Those with Him fell facedown, terrified when they heard God’s booming voice of affirmation over His Son. God’s simple charge: “Listen to him!” (v.5).

Then as Jesus, Peter, James, and John were coming off the Mount of Transfiguration, they were approached by a man. He explained that Jesus’s disciples couldn’t heal his son, who was possessed by a demon. Jesus, with a simple rebuke, cast it out and healed the boy. The disciples were astounded and asked how He could, but they couldn’t. Jesus says, “Because of your little faith” (Matthew 17:20). In some translations, that word is rendered as “unbelief.” Yikes.

They couldn’t overcome the evil spirit. Did they try? Could it be that they didn’t believe in God’s power and ability to do it? Whatever it was, Jesus goes on to illustrate it further: if only the disciples had faith the size of a mustard seed, “nothing will be impossible for you” (v. 20).

Maybe they could’ve done what the man asked them to do if they saw the same thing Peter, James, and John had seen. I wonder if those three could’ve done what the others couldn’t if only they’d been asked after this special moment with Jesus on the mountain. 

Have you ever tried your hardest at something and still failed? Have you ever put your whole effort, whole mind and heart, and the entirety of your will into a prayer or ask only to not see the result you wanted? Faith can move mountains. Yet I’ve never thrown one into the sea…and this humbles me.

This is the simple charge I am taking away today: Do I first put my faith where it belongs, actually listening to God? Do I see Him shining? Do I look to God rather than my own ability? Oh, that we’d have the faith to trust that face!

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