Matthew 17: Glory and the Grind (7)
Pray Psalm 8.1, 2.
O LORD, our Lord,
How excellent is Your name in all the earth,
Who have set Your glory above the heavens!
Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants
You have ordained strength,
Because of Your enemies,
That You may silence the enemy and the avenger.
Sing Psalm 8.1, 2.
(Aurelia: The Church’s One Foundation)
O Savior, how majestic, Your Name in all the earth!
The heav’ns display Your glory, and tell Your wondrous worth!
From babes and nursing infants, Lord, let Your strength increase,
till all Your foes surrender, and all their boasting cease.
Read and meditate on Matthew 17.1-27.
1. How many different ways is the glory of Jesus revealed in this chapter?
2. How do we see His sovereignty?
Matthew 17 gives us a glimpse of the glory that is to come, and reminds us that God can bring glory into all the activities of our daily grind. We should be looking forward to the one, and living to realize the other as much as possible – living the then and there, as it were, in the now and here.
The transfiguration of Jesus on the mountaintop gave the disciples – and us – a look ahead to where we are headed. We are bound for glory, to be united in glory forever with Jesus and all the saints. The promise of this should thrill our hearts and lift us in all our daily activities to realize a measure of that glory in all we do (1 Cor. 10.31).
There are still illnesses to suffer, spiritual forces of wickedness to repel, growth in faith to achieve, and, yes, taxes to pay. But even in these, Jesus wants us to know, we can realize His promise of glory – of union with Him and the Father, in the Spirit, according to His Word. By setting our mind on the things of glory that exist beyond the veil of this world in the unseen realm where Jesus sits enthroned, we can be transformed, from glory to glory (2 Cor. 3.12-18) into the likeness of Jesus now and here, so that even the daily grind can radiate with the glory and majesty of the Lord. Our calling is to take up our cross, deny ourselves, and give ourselves to our work with a view to glorifying Jesus in all things.
In every trial, work, undertaking, challenge, or difficulty, there’s a fish with a coin in its mouth, waiting for us to bait the hook, cast the line, wait on the Lord, and reap the glory.
1. What is your practice of focusing on the glory of Jesus in the unseen realm? How could you improve in this?
2. In what areas of your daily grind would you like to realize more of the glory of the Lord? Are you praying about this?
3. How might you turn to prayer, throughout the day, to realize more of the glory of then and there, now and here? Do you have a prayer partner to help support you in this effort?
Why does he not tell Peter to give of what they have laid up? So that, as I said, in this too he might show that he is God of all and that he rules even the sea. He had already demonstrated this when he rebuked it and by his commanding Peter to walk on the waves. Now again he signifies the same thing, though in another way, yet so as to cause great amazement. For it was not a small thing to predict that the fish carrying the tribute would be the first one caught in those depths or that the net thrown into the deep would obey his command and would bring in the fish carrying the coin. Thus it is an act of divine and unutterable power. John Chrysostom (344-407), The Gospel of Matthew, Homily 58.2
Lord, glorify Yourself in me today as I…
Pray Psalm 8.3-9.
Pray that Jesus will glorify Himself in you today, as you take up whatever the daily grind has in store. Rejoice in His excellence, and praise Him for every good thing.
Sing Psalm 8.3-9.
Psalm 8.3-9 (Aurelia: The Church’s One Foundation)
When I regard Your heavens, Your handiwork above,
ordained by Your good pleasure, according to Your love,
then what am I, O Savior, that You take thought of me?
Or I should know Your favor and thus delivered be?
Yet we in Your own image with glory have been crowned,
to worship and to serve You throughout creation ‘round.
These works that sing Your glory in our poor hands are placed,
that we may rule before You to magnify Your grace.
Let every beast and creature, in sky or sea or field,
in our hands bring You glory as we Your favor wield.
Let all things sing Your praises, let all declare Your worth!
O Savior, how majestic, Your Name in all the earth!
T. M. Moore
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006). All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (available by clicking here).