Don't Tell It on the Mountain

Devotional thoughts for December 2016

(Click here to read Monday Musings ... where I discuss the thinking that led to this article.)

When it came to Jesus’ messiahship, people had their moments… like Peter…

When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven.
(Matthew 16:13–17, all citations NIV, emphasis mine)

… but people had their un-moments too… like Peter…

From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!” Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”
(Matthew 16:21–23, emphasis mine)

Nobody “got” Jesus on his first advent — not end to end, not through and through — nobody! And the result was stunning:

Then [Jesus] ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah. (Matthew 16:20)

Did you notice that this verse is from the middle of these narratives? Jesus knew that Peter would stumble… because he knew that all the Jews would stumble (1 Corinthians 1:23): they had zero expectations of a suffering Messiah … which means that Jesus had zero chance of changing their minds on this trip. However, it had to be at least acknowledged that Messiah had come as prophesied… yet making him king would have worked against redemption, because enough Jews would have rallied to save him… and that would have thwarted any efforts to have him crucified.

So again, when it came to Jesus’ messiahship, people had their moments… like John the Baptist… who testified that Jesus was the Messiah.

When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. (Luke 1:41)

… but people had their un-moments too… like John the Baptist… who was just not sure.

When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples to ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?” (Matthew 11:2–3)

If you ever feel bad that your faith is too weak, just remember that the forerunner of Jesus — the man whom God raised up for the job and to whom he gave several signs — questioned Jesus’ messiahship. I say again, nobody “got” Jesus… nobody!

Here’s the thing; unless you have the correct picture of Jesus, you should not go tell it on the mountain — yet many “preachers” do. We have too many mountains with too many people teaching too much error about a too wrong Jesus.

But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. (John 14:26)

Nobody “gets” Jesus without the Holy Spirit… although they may accent to his historical veracity, the greatness of his teachings and his impact in the world. You see, the Spirit says that Jesus is Savior, God and Messiah. As such, we should lay aside any preconceived notions of what the Christ should be, and then — and only then — should we go tell it on the mountain.

(Mainsail Ministries articles often have a preamble where I discuss the thinking that went into them. These are called Monday Musings — and if you haven’t read the one associated with this article — consider doing so at the following link: 20161128 Don't tell it on the mountain).

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