Releasing the Past to Embrace the Present

When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. (Matthew 16:13-14, KJV)

Our past holds both blessings and obstacles. It’s easy to dwell on God’s past actions and overlook His current work. This devotional explores how the disciples struggled to let go of their reverence for past prophets to fully recognize the Christ standing before them—a lesson equally vital for us today.

In a captivating dialogue with His disciples, Jesus queried, “Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?” The answers, likely shaped by community chatter, were steeped in the past: Jesus was likened to John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah, or another prophet. This shows that the Jews held their past in high regard, celebrating the prophets who had come before.

Yet, in their midst stood Christ, a figure even the prophets yearned to see but remained elusive to the people. Blinded by their past, they struggled to grasp the new work God was unfolding before them. As God Himself declared,

“Behold, I will do a new thing; Now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, And rivers in the desert.” (Isaiah 43:19, KJV)

Jesus encapsulated this sentiment: “No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better.” (Luke 5:39, KJV)

We, too, often cling to the past, making it difficult to accept the new blessings God has for us. Yesterday’s good can overshadow today’s better and even tomorrow’s best. Open your heart to the new wonders God is doing in your life now.

Meditate

Is yesterday still negatively dictating your actions today?

Apply the Word

Are you struggling to accept God’s current blessings because you’re fixated on His past deeds? Like the disciples, release your attachment to the past and embrace the Christ present in your life today.

Pray

Ask the Father to help you shed past barriers, opening you to the new blessings He bestows today.

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