As they were gathering in Galilee, Jesus said to them, "The Son of man is about to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day." - Matthew 17:22-23a
Throughout the Gospels we see Jesus relaying the prophecy in Scripture that our Messiah would be killed and on the third day raised up again.
If we look specifically in Matthew, Jesus repeats it three times! (Matthew 16:21, Matthew 17:22-23, and Matthew 20:17-19) Now I don't know about you, but I find it so fun to catch the verses that are the same. It makes me feel like I'm solving something and finding clues to the answer. I mean, I kind of am aren't I?
Over the years I've discovered how the Bible is repetitive, but for good reason. God shows us throughout it that there is value to the repetition. Sometimes hearing something just once it doesn’t always sink in - at least for me it doesn’t. Growing up dancing ballet, it taught me how important it is to repeat things. When you repeat something physically or mentally it helps you to understand what it is you are doing on a much higher level. Therefore, you grow and are able to teach others what you have learned. So, why wouldn't God use that ability of ours to grow us closer to Him?
Therefore, when we read in the Bible and go, “That sounds familiar” - it’s probably because it is! God has woven His message in such a way that we may consciously or subconsciously recognize the repetition. I think the hardest thing for me was to understand the importance of the verses that were repeated. God is repeating them for a reason, right? Yes! So, that means I need to pay extra attention to them - as should you, my friend.
These repeated verses you can find in so many different books. Proverbs is full of them! But you can also find a repeated verse spanning from Leviticus 19:18 to Galatians 5:14 - to love thy neighbor as yourself. There is no limit God has made in His Word to repeat the importance of it.
Now, this doesn’t mean verses that are never repeated aren’t important because every verse is. I just think that the repeated ones are the ones we are prone to not want to hear because wisdom can be hard to take in, and God knows this. He knows our hearts and can see how we struggle.
This way of teaching was even present with Jesus when He came to earth. He made sure to repeat Himself when it was necessary - like when He was foretelling His death and resurrection. This was an important message He needed to convey to His disciples, and to us.
Friend, I want you to remember that if you have to repeat yourself for your spouse, child, friend, or family member - you are still doing the work of Jesus because He repeats Himself for us out of love, and not annoyance or punishment. Sometimes as humans we need to hear a message more than once to understand the importance of it. I know how frustrating it can be to repeat your words, but let’s learn to extend His grace to whoever we are repeating ourselves to and remember: the third time's the charm!
1. How can you slow down today and notice repetition in your daily life?
2. Next time you find yourself repeating something to someone, instead of getting frustrated thank God for this opportunity to shares His values in repetition.
Heavenly Father, I come to You today to ask for Your help in slowing down today and truly soak in Your Word. I want to learn all that I can, and understand that repetition is not something bad, but rather Godly. You have shown me throughout Scripture of its importance and I want to extend that into my daily life. Help me encourage others to do the same as well. In Jesus’ name, amen.
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