Grace Baptist Church Decatur, IL

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Coming Down the Mountain

Matthew 17:14-21



This great chapter shows us Jesus in His glory [last time], as well as Jesus in His power.


It’s nice to have a bright, shining mountaintop experience, but what happens when we descend back to regular life?  Peter loved to talk, and often it was the wrong thing he had to say.  Peter suggested in v. 4, “Let’s just stay here!”  But this is earth, and it’s sin cursed, and while we are here, there’s a cross to bear, and work to be done.  We cannot be so heavenly minded that we are no earthly good.


“To live above with those we love, oh, that will be glory!

But here below, with those we know, now that’s another story!”


Peter wanted to build 3 shrines to these who appeared.  It was a mistake for Peter to put Moses and Elijah on the same level as Jesus.


God the Father sets him straight in v. 5...and I guess only God Himself could successfully interrupt Peter when he started talking. 


Example:  Moses was there, and truly he was a great man, representing the law of God.  But Jesus was the One shining on this day, because He was the fulfillment of the law.  His sinless life fulfilled the moral law, His sacrificial death fulfilled the ceremonial law, and one day when He rules and reigns He will even fulfill the judicial law of God!


Well, it’s nice to have mountaintop experiences, but there are millions below in the valley of need, and Jesus wants us to descend to them and help pull them back up to glory.


They come down the mountain, and they find someone who is desperately in need.  So now we move from Jesus in His glory to Jesus in His power...


v. 14-16   This is a good picture of earth.  We have a crazy world, a compassionate Savior, and sadly, crippled disciples. 


The church today has lots of money, many programs, but no power!  The world needs help, and they should be able to get anything they need thru the church, but they have to go to the world because the church is so powerless.


Ill.—dirty farmer tried to join a high society church where the women wore mink stoals and the men couldn’t look at you for their noses / pastor said, why don’t you go home and pray about whether you really want to join here / man did, returned and walked the aisle the next week / did you pray about it? / yes / are you sure God is telling you to come here? / yessir, He said if I can get in I should go for it...’cuz He’s been trying to get in for years!


This was a hard case, a convulsing, foaming at the mouth little one...he had a demon.  And the devil wants our children too, from a young age.  He wants to get into their minds, and many parents are blind to the fact that they are allowing it in their own homes!  Movies, tv, video games, books, board games, magazines and more are penetrating little hearts and minds.


Ill.—Bob Pittman, founder of MTV said, “AT MTV, WE DON'T SHOOT FOR THE 14-YEAR OLDS, WE OWN THEM.”


Satan is happy to baby-sit our children if we’ll just plop them in front of anything without discernment.  Some say, “Awww, they’re gonna learn stuff at school or out in the world anyhow.”  True, but that doesn’t mean we as parents have to put our stamp of approval on sin by letting them learn it all right in our own homes under our noses!  That’s like saying, “I don’t care if there’s a snake loose in my child’s room.  Eventually they are going to encounter one in the woods anyway.”  True, but I want them to know it’s dangerous and run from it, not embrace it because I didn’t see any harm!


We can’t keep laughing at the gay tv shows...we’re sending the wrong message, and we’re ALL being desensitized to it.  We can’t keep allowing all the profanity on our tvs, and just shake our heads when we hear it, or soon we won’t hear it at all!  [We use TVGuardian]


This father brought his son to the disciples, and they were powerless to help.  They should have been able to cast the demon out in Jesus name.  In Matthew 10:1 Jesus gave them the power and authority to do so.  What happened between Mt. 10 and Mt. 17 for them to wind up like Samson?


3 reasons they lost their power:

·       Lack of faith

·       Lack of prayer

·       Lack of discipline


Our church right now is taking form like a well oiled machine...all the ducks are getting into rows, and if we’re not careful, we’ll lose our power like Samson, like these disciples, and not even know it!  Don’t lose faith in God because of success...that’s having faith in yourself.  Don’t stop praying...we need to pray more than ever because we’re having success, and Satan knows it!  Don’t get lazy in your spiritual walk...discipline needs to be a part of everyday life.


V. 21 is about prayer and fasting.  When you get really serious about having God’s power, you’re ready to fast, and you’re ready to have a spiritual breakthrough!  You’ll grow in faith and discipline at the same time.


Fasting is giving up something physical to focus on something spiritual.  You can fast from food, from tv, from physical pleasures of any kind.  How badly do you want the power?


In Acts they prayed for 10 days, preached for 10 minutes, and 3,000 got saved.  Will you come out and pray for just 10 minutes?  Will you have a private prayer life?  You shouldn’t pray only in public if not in private.


Enjoy the times on the mountain, but when you come down from that high and your feet hit the floor, it matters that you walk straight.  And in a world such as ours it takes power to fulfill God’s purpose, to carry your cross.  You have to be changed if you want to change your world!


Lord, help us to be people of faith, of discipline, and lay hold on the real power thru prayer and fasting.



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All Sermons and PowerPoint Slideshow Presentations ©Copyright Jerry Shirley and Grace Notes Ministries® unless otherwise credited.  These resources are yours to use freely, but only in public worship services or private study groups and devotions.  They may not be sold, republished or retransmitted in any form without written permission.