Life-Study of Matthewby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
From 13:53 to 17:8 the record of the Gospel of Matthew portrays the way to follow the heavenly King, from His rejection to the entering in of the manifestation of the kingdom. His followers not only shared His rejection by the Jews (13:53-58), but were also persecuted and even martyred by Gentile politics (14:1-12). Therefore, they were in the desert with Him in a situation of poverty, yet they were richly cared for by Him (14:13-21). When they were on the stormy sea under the contrary wind, He walked on the sea, calmed the storm, and brought them through (14:22-34). At that point, many sick ones were healed by touching Him (14:35-36), but the hypocritical worshippers of God came to accuse Him because His followers transgressed their tradition (15:1-20). Then His disciples followed Him through Gentile country, where a demon-possessed Gentile was healed (15:21-28). After this, they followed Him along the sea of Galilee and up the mountain, where those with all kinds of sicknesses were healed and the need of His followers in the crowd was again richly provided for in a barren desert (15:29-39). Following this, both the fundamentalists and modernists of that day came to tempt Him, and He indicated that He would die to be a unique sign to them (16:1-4). Then He charged His followers to beware of the leaven of both the fundamentalists and modernists (16:5-12). After all this, He brought His followers to the border of the holy land, close to Gentile country, that they might have a revelation of Him, of the church, and of the cross as the way for them to enter into the kingdom (16:13-28). Finally, He brought them into glory in the manifestation of the kingdom (17:1-8). In this message we shall see that the Lord’s transfiguration was a miniature of the kingdom (16:28-17:13).
If we compare all the things mentioned above with our experience, we shall see that our way today is exactly the same as that revealed in 13:53—17:8. On the pathway to glory we face rejection, the storm, and the accusations. We experience the eating, we beware of leaven, and we have a revelation of Christ and the church. Furthermore, we take the way of the cross and deny the self and the soul-life. These are the steps along the pathway to glory.
Matthew 13:53—17:8 is a marvelous doctrinal section. Thirty-four years ago, I gave a message on this portion of the Word in Shanghai. I had just arrived there as a newcomer in the work with Brother Nee. I was asked to give the message one Sunday morning. Then I received the burden to minister on the subject of the pathway to glory. I asked the congregation to read more than three chapters of Matthew, from the end of chapter thirteen to the first part of chapter seventeen. Then I gave a long message on these chapters. Nearly all the points in that message were the same as those covered in these messages on the pathway to glory. Although I had not yet seen the matter of eating, the structure of the message was the same as that of these messages. How wonderful it is to be on the pathway to glory! I can testify that during the past forty-four years I have taken every step of this pathway. I have experienced rejection, the lack of material necessities, the storms, and the accusations. Moreover, I have seen the revelation concerning Christ and the church. Because I have been walking this pathway for such a long time, in a sense I have already entered into glory. Others of us are either in the glory or are very close to it. Although some of us may be in the glory, we are still on the pathway to a greater degree of glory. We all need to keep walking on this pathway until the Lord comes back.
Matthew 16:28 says, “Truly I say to you, There are some of those standing here who shall by no means taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.” This was fulfilled by the Lord’s transfiguration on the mountain (17:1-2). His transfiguration was His coming in His kingdom, which was seen by three of His disciples, Peter, James, and John.
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