21:5 Cool—today when we read this, we understand it's a teaching because to do so would mean they were following the pagan customs/idol worship of the day. Makes more sense.
21:10 "The high priest has the highest rank of all the priests. The anointing oil has been poured on his head..." When I read this, I visualized Jesus, our great High Priest, getting the expensive perfume poured over His head (Mt. 26:7 and Mark 14:3) and declaring that it was His anointing for burial.
21:13 "The high priest may marry only a virgin." Through a refining process, namely through His Word and through persecution, Jesus has been refining His Bride, the Church, to become as pure and undefiled as a virgin for the future wedding day. This purification is necessary because our hearts have been defiled by the pursuit of other gods and idols—things that take His place in our hearts.
21:17-21 The verse that instantly popped into my mind is from Isaiah 53:5: But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
For more understanding on this passage (if you forgot or your new to the blog), refer to January 25 where we covered the same topic of this reading.
9:5 Remember this incident took place during the Feast of Tabernacles, and it was not "shrines" Peter offered to build but Sukkots or Shelters (another example of people translating without having a clue of what was going on at the time from Jewish culture). The Complete Jewish Translation translates this correctly: Kefa (Peter) said to Yeshua, "It's good that we're here, Rabbi! Let's put up three shelters -- one for you, one for Moshe and one for Eliyahu."
About the transfiguration, Wikipedia had an interesting observation: It was commonly believed that Elijah would reappear before the coming of the Messiah, as predicted in Malachi 4. Matthew 17:13 states that the three of them believed Jesus was comparing Elijah to John the Baptist. Moses could be seen as a representative of the [Torah] and Elijah a representative of the prophets.
9:23-24 Have mercy on us and help us, if you can."
"What do you mean, ‘If I can'?" Jesus asked. "Anything is possible if a person believes."
The father instantly cried out, "I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!"
I think we all resonate with this man. I believe with my head, but my heart has a hard time catching up sometimes!
9:29 Again, note that some manuscripts include "and fasting." The disciples were criticized because they were not fasting while they were with the bridegroom. But Jesus had fasted 40 days to set an example for us as to the power for ministry.
Questions for reflection:
What are the specific requests you are having a hard time believing God for in your life right now? What unresolved circumstances seem bigger to you than the reality of the power of Jesus? Have you asked God to help you overcome your unbelief?
Have you ever considered fasting for those people in your life who seem to be under Satan's power that you desperately want to come to healing and faith in Jesus? Maybe your kids, parents, siblings, closest friends? Fasting is definitely a labor of love!