Luke 9:18-36

It's so easy to forget that the disciples didn't have the hindsight that we're blessed with. But in this passage, Jesus reveals a lot about himself for the first time. It starts with Peter's recognition that he is the Christ. Then he explains what it means to be the Christ – and I bet it was different to what they were expecting from God's annointed king. Then Jesus is endorsed by Moses and Elijah (the Law and the Prophets) and by God himself. It's a big week for the disciples to find out what he's all about.

But tucked away in the middle of all this is a huge challenge to the disciples and to me. The transfiguration shows that Jesus is great, but he says that he is willing to suffer death. Are they? "If anyone would come after me he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me" (v 23, my italics). It's not a case of being willing to perhaps one day die for the Gospel, or quitting a well-paid job. It's not just the big things, it's a daily willingness to surrender yourself. That's what strikes me from all of this. Days when I don't spend time with God I slide. Fact. Day by day I can choose whether to give into sin or not. Day by day I must choose not to. I wonder if it's intentional that in this passage Luke also refers to Jesus praying twice? To choose to live for God, I need God's help – and I need to spend time with him to remember what it is that I am struggling for.

Heavenly Father, thankyou for the revelation you have given me about you and about your Son. Please help me to live in accordance with it – to deny my desires every day. Let me increasingly have your desires in my heart, as I spend time in reading your word and in prayer. Help me to be faithful in spending time with you and I'm so sorry that I haven't been. Amen.


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