Matthew  16

Show us a sign from heaven 1
Yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees 5
Jesus recognized as the Christ by His disciples - Peter and the rock 13
Jesus predicts His suffering and death 21
Following Christ means carrying a cross 24
A sign demanded. Matt. 16:1-12; Mark 8:11-21.
.1 ¶ The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired him that he would shew them a sign from heaven.
 2  He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red.
 3  And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?
.4  A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed.
   3 - Lowering Or "threatening."
   4 - Wicked and adulterous They lacked or didn't seek spiritual perception. They were disloyal to God mr0707.
  4 - Sign of ... Jonah He preached and the people of Nineveh believed. Although the Saddusees rejected Jesus' preaching, many at Pentecost would believe. As Jonah was in the whale and came out, so Jesus would come out of the tomb after His time of 3 days. Compare de3205.
Feeding the 5,000. Luke 9:10-17; Matt. 16:13-21; Mark 6:30-44; John 6:1-14.
.5 ¶ And when his disciples were come to the other side, they had forgotten to take bread.
.6  Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.
 7  And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have taken no bread.
 8  Which when Jesus perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread?
.9  Do ye not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up?
 10  Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets ye took up?
.11  How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees?
 12  Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.

   "Situated 25 miles north of the Sea of Galilee and at the base of Mt. Hermon, Caesarea Philippi [modern Banyias] is the location of one of the largest springs feeding the Jordan River. This abundant water supply has made the area very fertile and attractive for religious worship.  Numerous temples were built at this city in the Hellenistic and Roman periods."  Image used by permission of Todd Bolen, Producer, Pictorial Library of Bible Lands, Asst. Professor, The Master's College,
Peter confirms that Jesus is the Christ but Peter is not the rock of the church.
.13 ¶ When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?
 14  And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
 15  He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
.16  And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
.17  And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
.18  And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
.19  And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
 20  Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.
   13 - Whom to men say Also at mr0826ff with illustration.
   17 - Blessed What a blessing it is to recognize Jesus as the Saviour, not just intellectually but in a personal relationship jn0665.
   18 - Thou art Peter Jesus' words here show comparison. Peter had said to Him, "You are the Christ [Messiah], Son of the living God." Here Jesus responds, "You are Peter." jn0140ff. And in the sentence before, "Barjona" which means son of Jonah.
   18 - Upon this rock This commentary holds that the rock was Christ himself. Other persuasive arguments claim it was Peter or his faith. Eyewitnesses Peter and John help us resolve the argument 1pe0206, 2pe0116, 1jo0101ff. See Jesus' own words mt2142, lu2017f, mt0724ff. and elsewhere is3202, 1co1004, de3204 .
   19 - Keys ... bind on earth ... in heaven The promise was to all the disciples v13. If it had been to one, they would have had no basis for arguing about who would be the greatest mr0934, mr0938. The promise is also for all of us who follow Christ jn1623. The keys are His words jn1507.
Peter was not the rock
See comments below.
.21 ¶ From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.
 22  Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee [Mercy to you], Lord: this shall not be unto thee.
 23  But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me [Literally, "Get away from me"], Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.
  21 - Jerusalem ... killed ... third day See more references to the third day with mt2763,4.
  23 - Get thee behind me, Satan The devil  had tempted at the beginning of His ministry and had no doubt continually harassed Him. Now he tempts the Lord again. As in the wilderness mt04, Christ refused to discuss the topic. He refused to entertain any idea that would save Him from the bitter cup. His words were not for Peter. See lu0408.
.24 ¶ Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
 25  For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
. 26  For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
.27  For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.
.28  Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

  24 - Cross Read this counsel in light of Jesus' refusal to take the easy way out in the verses above.
  26 - Gain the whole world Compare Jesus' story of the foolish rich man. lu1216. He died in selfishness.
  27 - Reward When do the righteous and the wicked get their reward? According to this verse, it is not at death. Are some raptured up to be rewarded before others who become righteous later? Jesus said "every man" (every person).
  27 - Works Also ps06212, ro0206, re2212.
  28 - Some standing here The next verse mt1701 begins the record of the transfiguration. The statement also introduces the transfiguration in the books of Mark and Luke. See mr0901, lu0927. This was a preview of His coming in is kingdom mt2430.

Peter and the keys

    The Church of Rome claims to have been given the keys of supreme authority through the Apostle Peter. What is the basis of this claim and is it justified from the text?
    Some people believe that Jesus here appointed Peter to be the head of the church, giving him special power to determine anything, and that heaven would have to abide by his decisions! This amazing conclusion is so different from what we understand from the rest of the Bible about the relationship between God and man that we are immediately inclined to reject it. But the Scriptures themselves must be our guide to understanding. First we look at texts which show that Peter did not have this power, and then we will return to see what Jesus really did mean by His declaration about the keys.

Did Jesus mean that Peter was to be the rock?
   Listen to Peter himself: "Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded." (1 Peter 2:5, 6) Jesus had identified Himself as the rock in the wilderness which provided life-giving water for the people. (Deut. 32:4; Ps. 62:7; Isa. 28:16)
    Did Peter consider himself worthy of special honor? Those who claim to have followed in his line of authority accept worship. The Roman officer Cornelius was given a vision directing him to Peter. Notice the encounter. "And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him. But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man." (Acts 10:25, 26).

Now we return to the text.
   Jesus' statement can be read either that Peter was the rock or that He, Jesus, was. It is reasonable to understand the rock to be Jesus. The name "Peter" is a Greek word that means "stone." The word translated "rock" means a large boulder or bed-rock. Then Jesus said that the gates of hell would not be able to overcome the rock. Was Peter that secure? Soon after this conversation he denied Christ three times.

What was promised?
   "And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."
    What were the keys to the kingdom of heaven? The Jews of Jesus time had misunderstood this very point. They were planning to establish the kingdom of glory and thought that they had the keys in their own pockets. In one parable after another He explained, "the kingdom of heaven." It is like a mustard seed, like a merchant looking for pearls, like yeast, like a net, like going to a wedding where not all would be ready. He said that the poor in spirit and the persecuted righteous would have it, but the Jewish leaders would experience woe. mt0503-13, mt1331ff, mt2313ff. The keys the gift for unlocking the mysteries of heaven which He entrusted to His disciples, were His explanations. They were the principles for entering the kingdom which we all need to understand and apply in our own lives by His grace.
    Did He give them to Peter? Yes. Did He also give them to the other disciples? Yes mt1818. Did they understand Peter to be the chosen bearer of keys? No. All of them, including Peter, argued about who would be the greatest in the coming kingdom. mt1801ff.
    Whatever is tied or untied on earth will be tied or untied in heaven. The Holy Spirit works as we teach the mighty truths of the Scriptures. Hearts are sealed for heaven and the bondage of sin is broken (Ezek. 3:18, 19; Isa. 58:6) ez0318, is5806. The decisions for righteousness which we, as Christ's modern disciples, lead people to make mean that their names are recorded on the books of heaven. The keys are for you and me. What an awesome responsibility!

Scholarly confirmation
    "Scripture and early church history indicate that Peter was not the founder of the church of Rome, that he was not its first bishop and that that Rome did not have a bishop until about the middle of the second century. As admitted by many scholars, neither Jesus nor the apostles had in mind the institution of a universal Petrine ministry [ministry based on Peter] or papal primacy when the NT church was founded." (Denis Fortune, "Current Perspectives on Pertain Ministry and Papal Primacy," Andrews University Seminary Studies, Autumn, 2003, p.214.)

    How good it is to know that we can build our house on Christ the rock. He is our assurance and salvation.

Scroll up to verse 13 to see what Jesus said in context.

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