12/12 Matthew 17:12

12 But I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they pleased. So also the Son of Man will certainly suffer at their hands."

The disciples had heard the Bible scholars teach that Elijah would return before the Messiah would come. They asked Jesus about this because they understood Jesus was the Messiah. Jesus explained that the prophecy was fulfilled in John the Baptist. He had the spirit of Elijah and prepared the way for the Messiah by calling people to repent and make their hearts ready to receive Him.

While many did repent, most of the religious leaders hardened their hearts. Though these leaders taught that we are just passing through this world, like their forefathers, they had grown quite attached to it. Their treasures were wealth, position, and power. John and Jesus challenged that lifestyle and taught that our hearts must be fixed on God as our greatest treasure and source of joy. It was a return to the mindset that we are only pilgrims here. The material things the religious leaders clung to had become idols in their hearts.

Jesus knew that they would do to Him what they did to John. A few verses later (Matthew 17:22-23), Jesus told the disciples that He would be handed over to be killed, but that He would rise again. Unlike John, Jesus' death would end in victory over death for all who make Him their treasure. Jesus' great challenge to mankind was what He said was the greatest command: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind" (Matthew 22:37). Your heart will be with whatever you treasure. If you treasure something other than this world, it will result in treasure in heaven with persecution here. It is evidence that you are living in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 3:12).

Consider: Where is your treasure? Your life declares what you truly value.