Follow the reading closely in Matthew 16:13 to Matthew 17:8.
We read of the powerful confession of Peter: “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God!”
We read of his own agenda getting in the way when Jesus talks about the crucifixion.
Then, there is the challenge of giving up our own lives and taking up our cross. And it’s there we balk. We fear “giving up.” Following Christ is somehow just “blind allegiance” or “weakness.”
We let chapter breaks get in our way. Take out the chapter break and act like you don’t start over at 17:1. Here is what we find: if we will lay down our lives in exchange for the glory of the King, we will have his glory revealed to us in ways we couldn’t have known.
In other words, we think we’re giving up something big… our “identity”… or we can’t be “true to ourselves.” In reality, we’re giving up something very small… and quite frankly something that is just not that great… for the GREATNESS of our King. And in that exchange, we realize we were holding on to garbage lives while a jewel was being extended in an offer to us. Too often we’ll hold on to our garbage lives and let the jewel stay in the hand of the Master.
Make the exchange!
Lay down your life! Death has to happen. Yes. But when that threshold is crossed, the exchange is a life like you’ve never known. And his glory is revealed. Jesus let the three disciples see a part of his own life no one had witnessed to that point. THAT is the exchange.
Our lives are truly nothing in comparison to the exchange offered to us. It’s an exchange rate we need to understand better! Don’t let the devalued “dollar” of your life get in the way of the crown jewel being offered to you!
Lay it down. Find something beyond what you could have imagined before.