Matthew 20:17-19 [NLT]
17 As Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside privately and told them what was going to happen to him. 18 “Listen,” he said, “we’re going up to Jerusalem, where the Son of Man[a] will be betrayed to the leading priests and the teachers of religious law. They will sentence him to die. 19 Then they will hand him over to the Romans to be mocked, flogged with a whip, and crucified. But on the third day he will be raised from the dead.”
Dear God, the biggest thing I think of when it comes to passages like this is that, on the rare occasions when you give us insights into the future (and they are very rare), they are more about comforting and reassuring us than they are about letting us in on the secret. In this case, the disciples didn’t have to know this information in order for it to all happen. In fact, their response to this knowledge might have gotten in the way. But the reason you NEEDED them to know was that you knew that they would need to be able to remember back to these moments and realize that this was part of the plan all along. Twenty or 30 years down the road, as Matthew thought back on this and put pen to paper, he could be assured that this was all okay.
I can’t say that I’ve gotten a lot of words of prophecy from you. One of my many one-liners is that you keep me on a need-to-know basis and I very rarely need to know. But I can almost always look back on events in my life and see your providence, even when, at the time, I felt like all was lost. I have had some trials (no worse than anyone else’s to be sure), but I can almost always look back on them after a good amount of time and see what you were doing for me, for those I love, or within me to grow me into a place where you need me to be.
Father, thank you for your patience with me. There’s a Keith and Melody Green song called “Make My Life A Prayer To You.” In it, there’s a line that says, “I want to thank you now for being patient with me. It’s so hard to see when my eyes are on me. So I guess I’ll have to trust and just believe what you say. Lord, you’re coming again. Coming to take me away.” So to finish this prayer with the chorus of that song, “Make my life a prayer to you. I want to do what you want me to . No empty words and no white lies. No token prayers. No compromise. I want to shine the light you gave through your son you sent to save us from our self and our despair. It comforts me to know you’re really there.”
In Jesus’ name I pray,