March 24 – The Gospel of Matthew – Chapter 17

Read Matthew 17:1-27

The early days of spring have finally arrived! While the temperatures and weather will continue to fluctuate here in Ohio for at least the next month or so, spring is more than just sunshine and warmer days. With spring comes a sense of renewed optimism and hope for the days of summer that lay ahead. However, this spring season seems to be different. The sense of hope, optimism, and anticipation of what is to come this summer are poignant. With mass vaccination campaigns occurring worldwide and more and more folks accepting the shots, it seems as though the days of lockdowns and stay-at-home directives shall soon be a thing of the past.

Certainly a welcomed change.

However, as I was reading today’s passage, I couldn’t help but be struck by verses 17-21. In fact, I read it over and over again because I felt the Lord tugging on my heartstrings. “Where have you placed your faith, Taylor?” I’ll admit this was a hard gut check for me. I saw myself in the voices of the bystanders and the folks who tried to do it on their own. The people in verse 19 asking “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” Like many folks, I wanted this pandemic to end so badly and so quickly. I often found myself just counting down the days until the next shot got approved or when the next panel would convene to discuss who got vaccinated next. I had placed my hope in this area in mankind and not in the sovereignty of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Where may you be placing your hope in someone or something other than Jesus?

The words in Matthew remind me today that it is Jesus who truly heals. It is our faith in Him, not in humanity that will be our ultimate redemption. Our faith in Jesus will save us from disease far deadlier than COVID-19. Jesus saves our souls from an eternal illness: sin. As grateful as I am that vaccines are here to fight the Coronavirus, maybe today God is challenging each of us (as cliché as it sounds) to take a shot of faith to trust Him more closely in our lives. I wonder if you will ponder with me some questions today:

  • Am I trusting God’s sovereignty? Do I believe that God uses all things for the good of those who love Him?
  • Am I living a grateful life? Am I thankful for the blessings and the pain?
  • Am I living a surrendered life? Or, am I chasing my will, my desires, my comfort? Am I holding on to things God wants me to let go of?

As you ponder these questions, feel free to listen to Waiting Here for You by Passion. You may recognize the opening verse of the song from our reading today.

Taylor Bennington

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