For The Third Time!- Matthew 20:17-19

“For the Third Time!”

Matthew 20:17-19


This Week’s Core Virtue

Love - I sacrificially and unconditionally love and forgive others.

1 John 4:10-12 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

Scripture: Matthew 20:17-19

17 And as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside, and on the way he said to them, 18 “See, we are going up to Jerusalem. And the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death 19 and deliver him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day.”

The Message of this Passage:

Jesus kept telling His disciples what was going to happen to Him in order for Him to complete His assignment from God.  Why did He keep telling them?  John records the answer in John 2:22 "When therefore He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this, and they believed the scriptures and the word that Jesus had spoken."

R.C. Sproul commenting on these verses wrote: Following the parable of the laborers in the vineyard, Jesus’ advance toward the cross progresses in earnest. He is drawing ever closer to Jerusalem and in today’s passage explicitly predicts His death and resurrection for the third time. Jesus has succeeded where His people failed, overcoming Satan’s temptations (Matt. 4:1–11), rightly understanding and teaching God’s law (chap. 5–7), and initiating the restoration of the cosmos (9:18–26; 12:9–14; 17:14–21). He has fully qualified Himself to be the true Israel and hence, the new Adam, whose perfect obedience will justify all those in Him (Isa. 53). All that remains for Christ to accomplish salvation is to endure the punishment David’s line deserved for leading God’s people astray (2 Sam. 7:1–17) and, in so doing, endure the curse Adam’s children deserve for violating the Father’s will (Gal. 3:10–14).

Our Savior’s prediction in today’s passage adds several bits of information to the disciples’ growing knowledge of their Master’s fate (Matt. 20:17–19). For the first time they hear that the Gentiles will be involved in Jesus’ death, which adds to the shame of His crucifixion. They hardly could have imagined that pagans would execute the God-fearing Messiah before Jesus revealed it.

Jesus has to pull His disciples aside probably to let them know that even though they will not meet their death there, they will, by going to Jerusalem with Jesus, take part in His struggles.  

Considered in itself, the crucifixion would be bad news indeed. Yet Jesus also gives the good news of His resurrection (v. 19). This hopeful message is given, Matthew Henry comments, “to encourage his disciples, and comfort them, and to direct us, under all the sufferings of this present time to look at the things that are not seen, that are eternal, which will enable us to call the present afflictions light, and but for a moment.”  

For Discussion:

                   (Review verses 17-19 above)

  • How is this foretelling of Jesus’ death connected to the first part of chapter 20?

  • Why do you think Jesus continues to talk about his coming death?

  • What stands out to you about this foretelling of his death?

  • Where was Christ going when He spoke of His death for the third time? Why? (20:17-18)

  • How can you tell that the disciples weren’t sure what lay ahead? (20:17-18)

  • What title did Jesus use to refer to Himself? (20:18)

  • To whom did Jesus say He would be betrayed? (20:18)

  • What did Jesus say the chief priests and teachers of the law would ultimately do? (20:18)

  • Who did Jesus say would kill Him? (20:19)

  • What pain and shame did Jesus predict for Himself before the actual crucifixion? (20:19)

  • What did Jesus say would happen three days after His death? (20:19) 974. When would Jesus be raised from the dead? (20:19)

  • Why is the death of Christ significant to us?

  • What specific details did He give and what emotions did the disciples feel?

Following Christ in a world that hates Him is difficult and often earns for us ridicule, scorn and outright rejection. This can be hard to deal with and would be impossible to endure without the promises of Jesus. Just as His suffering would result finally in His glory, so too do we know that our trials and struggles will one day give way to resurrected life in His presence. How do you respond to this future truth in a present day reality? Is it possible to have true joy in the midst of suffering?

Grant SchweisthalMatthew