Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still and at peace. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.
1. Peter, stating that Jesus is “the Christ of God” after the feeding of the 5000, prompts Jesus to strictly charge and command the Twelve to tell this to no one. It is thought that Jesus’ concern is that the remark might be taken politically by both Jewish leaders and Rome.
2. He goes on to state that He must suffer many things, even rejection by Jewish religious leaders, and be killed, yet on the 3rd day rise.
3. With that reality now in the minds of the Twelve, He goes on to state that those who follow Him must deny themselves and take up His cross, that horrible instrument of death, and follow Him, daily.
4. This ‘full disclosure’ is followed by Jesus saying the ultimate reality, namely, that denying Jesus results in losing one’s life, but following Him results in saving their lives. This is the monstrous difference between heaven and hell, both of which are eternal.
5. A metaphor for not following Jesus, shame, means rejection when Jesus returns in His glory and in the glory of the Father and the holy angels.
6. Then Jesus states that even among the Twelve were some who would not “taste death until they see the Kingdom of God.” This statement has puzzled Christians throughout history, and it is thought Jesus is referring to Peter, James, and John who would be present at the transfiguration.
(see Matthew 17:1-13)