Matthew 16

Matthew 16 has the Pharisees and Sadducees testing Jesus to see if they can catch him in something that will allow them to put him away and out of their turf.  Jesus is a threat to their livelihood, and they want Him gone.  Jesus doesn’t fall for the trap – which was their request for a sign from heaven.  He wasn’t in the business of doing things to impress people.  He did His signs and miracles to change people’s lives.  He warns the Twelve of these religious zealots.  “Watch and  beware of  the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees….the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees”.  These men were leading people away from God, not to Him.

The disciples were heading with Jesus across the lake, and they arrive with no food again.  Seems to be a pattern here.  They are worried about what they’ll eat.  Jesus scolds them saying “Do you not remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many baskets you gathered? Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many baskets you gathered”?  They had just fed tens of thousands of people (when you include the families of these men) and now the 12 of them are worried about how Jesus will feed them?  They picked up more leftovers than they will need.  We tend to forget the power of God in our lives.  We need to remember and have faith.  God never fails us.

Jesus was becoming more familiar to the people, but there was plenty of confusion about just who He was.  He asks 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”.  Definitely confusion about who Jesus is.  But Jesus asks them, “But who do you say that I am”?  That’s the question each of us will have to answer when we stand before God at judgment day?  Who is this Jesus? Simon Peter replied, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God”.  And He is still that Son today. That is the answer each of us will need to make when we stand before God.  Jesus is the Christ.  He is our Savior.  We have to know Him.

Jesus goes on to tell Peter what lies ahead for him.  “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it”.  Wow – that’s some pretty cool stuff for Peter.  But it didn’t last long.  He soon decided to rebuke Jesus for what he thought was nonsense of Jesus telling them that He was going to have to be crucified on a cross, die and then raise from the dead.  Peter wasn’t buying it.  But Jesus tells him “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man”.  Peter didn’t see the big picture and Jesus has to set him straight.

Christ ends with challenging his disciples with a couple key questions we all need to answer.  “For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.  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”?  Deep questions that we need to ponder and have a ready answer for.  Life isn’t about what we accumulate here.  It isn’t about money or stuff.  It is about relationships and people, and the most important relationship we will ever have is the one with Jesus.  He is Lord and Savior of this world.  But He will only be Lord and Savior to us as individuals if we receive Him as that gift and turn our life over to Him.  Are you trading your life for what matters?

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One response to this post.

  1. Reblogged this on Matthews' Blog.

    Reply

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