Daily Devotional Tuesday 24th January 2023by William Moody
The Pharisees and Sadducees Demand Signs
16:1 And the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and to test him they asked him to show them a sign from heaven. 2 He answered them,1 “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ 3 And in the morning, ‘It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. 4 An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.” So he left them and departed.
The Leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees
5 When the disciples reached the other side, they had forgotten to bring any bread. 6 Jesus said to them, “Watch and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 7 And they began discussing it among themselves, saying, “We brought no bread.” 8 But Jesus, aware of this, said, “O you of little faith, why are you discussing among yourselves the fact that you have no bread? 9 Do you not yet perceive? Do you not remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many baskets you gathered? 10 Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many baskets you gathered? 11 How is it that you fail to understand that I did not speak about bread? Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 12 Then they understood that he did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
Peter Confesses Jesus as the Christ
13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock2 I will build my church, and the gates of hell3 shall not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed4 in heaven.” 20 Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.
Jesus Foretells His Death and Resurrection
21 From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. 22 And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord!5 This shall never happen to you.” 23 But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance6 to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”
Take Up Your Cross and Follow Jesus
24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life7 will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done. 28 Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”
Some manuscripts omit the following words to the end of verse 3
The Greek words for Peter and rock sound similar
Greek the gates of Hades
Or shall have been bound . . . shall have been loosed
Or “[May God be] merciful to you, Lord!”
Greek stumbling block
The same Greek word can mean either soul or life, depending on the context; twice in this verse and twice in verse 26
Peter’s confession of Jesus (v13-20) is a crucial moment in Matthew’s Gospel. When Jesus asks who people say who the Son of Man is, He gets a variety of answers (v14). Jesus then makes the question personal (v15). Peter’s answer was clear and emphatic (v16).
“The Christ” was not a name but a title, meaning ‘anointed one’ (Messiah in Hebrew). Peter is saying that Jesus was the promised Messiah and the Son of God. Jesus commends Peter for this clear confession (v17) and says that the church would built on this declaration about Christ (v18).
The keys of the kingdom include the Gospel message and what happens in regards Gospel ministry has eternal consequences (v19).
Where Peter goes wrong though is that his understanding of the Christ did not include going to the cross (v21-22). Jesus responds with very strong words (v23) because the cross is the foundation upon which Jesus’ work of salvation is built. Pray that the cross will be central to your life and thinking (v24), and also central to all the life and teaching of the church.
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