Matthew 16: Demand for a Sign

What do you think the Pharisees and Sadducees would have done if Jesus had given them a sign?

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Matthew 16:1 Some Pharisees and Sadducees came to test his claim that he had been sent by God. So they asked him to show them a miraculous sign from Heaven.
King James
Matthew 16:1 The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired him that he would shew them a sign from heaven.

What was Jesus saying when he referred to the Pharisees’ ability to predict the weather?

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Matthew 16:2–3 Jesus said, “In the evening, you say, ‘The sky is red, so we will have clear weather.’ In the morning, you look at the dark sky and say, ‘It is going to rain.’ You hypocrites! You can look at the sky and predict the weather, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.”
King James
Matthew 16:2–3 He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red. 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?

What was so evil about asking for a sign?

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Matthew 16:4 “Only an evil, unfaithful generation would demand a miraculous sign. I will give you no proof except for the sign of the prophet Jonah.” He turned away and left.
King James
Matthew 16:4 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.

How might the Pharisees interpreted Jesus reference to Jonah as a sign?

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Matthew 16:4 “Only an evil, unfaithful generation would demand a miraculous sign. I will give you no proof except for the sign of the prophet Jonah.” He turned away and left.
King James
Matthew 16:4 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.

Why did Jesus make a reference to yeast at the time the disciples realized they had forgotten bread?

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Matthew 16:5–6 When Jesus’ disciples reached the other side of the lake, they realized they had forgotten to bring bread. Watch out,” Jesus said. “Be careful to avoid the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”
King James
Matthew 16:5–6 And when his disciples were come to the other side, they had forgotten to take bread. Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.

Why didn’t the disciples understand what Jesus meant?

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Matthew 16:7–11 They reasoned among themselves what Jesus meant. “He must have said this because we failed to bring any bread.”
Jesus knew what they were saying. “How little trust you have in me. Why do you think it’s a problem that we have no bread? Do you not yet understand? Don’t you remember the five loaves that fed five thousand and how many baskets of leftovers you had? Or the seven loaves that fed four thousand and how many baskets were left? You should know that I was not talking about bread. I am telling you to watch out for the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”
King James
Matthew 16:7–11 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have taken no bread. Which when Jesus perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread? Do ye not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? 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?

What reasoning steps did the disciples follow to learn what the “leaven” was?

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Matthew 16:9–12 “Do you not yet understand? Don’t you remember the five loaves that fed five thousand and how many baskets of leftovers you had? Or the seven loaves that fed four thousand and how many baskets were left? You should know that I was not talking about bread. I am telling you to watch out for the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”
Then they understood that he was not talking about bread, but the danger of the teachings of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
King James
Matthew 16:9–12 Do ye not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? 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? 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.

From what different perspectives did people see Jesus?

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Matthew 16:13–14 As Jesus came into the area near Caesarea Philippi, he said to his disciples, “Who do people say that I, the Son of Man, am?”
They said, “Some say you are John the Baptizer. Others say you are Elijah, Jeremiah, or one of the other prophets.”
King James
Matthew 16:13–14 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? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.

Each of the twelve disciples could have had a somewhat different view of Jesus. How do you think Judas’s perception differed from Peter’s?

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Matthew 16:15 “Who do you say that I am?”
King James
Matthew 16:15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?

From the first introduction of Jesus, Peter knew Jesus as the Messiah, an identification that came from John the Baptizer. How was Peter’s profession at Caesarea Philippi different, recognition by the Father in Heaven and not John?

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Matthew 16:16–17 Simon Peter said, “You are the Anointed One, the Messiah, the son of the living God.”
“Very good, Simon, son of Jonah. You did not become convinced because of someone’s teaching, but my Father in Heaven revealed it to you.”
King James
Matthew 16:16–17 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 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.

What is the “rock” upon which the church is built?

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Matthew 16:18 “Now I am telling you that you are Peter. Upon this rock, I will build my church, and the powers of Hell will not prevail against it.”
King James
Matthew 16:18 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.

What are the “keys of the Kingdom of Heaven”?

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Matthew 16:19 “I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, so the things on Earth will be either bound or set free according to what is in Heaven.”
King James
Matthew 16:19 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.

Why did Jesus want his identity to be a secret kept from most people?

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Matthew 16:20 He gave a stern warning: “Do not tell anyone that I am the Messiah.”
King James
Matthew 16:20 Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.

How well did the disciples understand what Jesus said about his death and resurrection?

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Matthew 16:21–23 From that time, Jesus began to explain to his disciples his need to go to Jerusalem and endure great suffering at the hand of government officials, chief priests, and teachers of the Law. “I will be killed,” he said, “but three days later I will rise to life.”
Simon Peter took Jesus aside and privately reprimanded him for saying such things. “Master, this is not possible. God would never allow this to happen to you.”
Jesus looked at Peter. “Do not stand in my way, adversary. You are a hindrance to me because you do not understand the plan of God. You see only from a human point of view.”
King James
Matthew 16:21–23 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. Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.

Why did Peter object to what Jesus said must happen?

Author’s Thoughts
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Matthew 16:21–23 From that time, Jesus began to explain to his disciples his need to go to Jerusalem and endure great suffering at the hand of government officials, chief priests, and teachers of the Law. “I will be killed,” he said, “but three days later I will rise to life.”
Simon Peter took Jesus aside and privately reprimanded him for saying such things. “Master, this is not possible. God would never allow this to happen to you.”
Jesus looked at Peter. “Do not stand in my way, adversary. You are a hindrance to me because you do not understand the plan of God. You see only from a human point of view.”
King James
Matthew 16:21–23 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. Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.

What kind of sacrifice did Jesus say his disciples must make?

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Matthew 16:24 Then he taught his disciples. “If anyone wants to follow me, he must sacrifice his selfish desires. Take up your cross, and then you can follow me.”
King James
Matthew 16:24 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.

People have a natural desire for survival. Why might that be counter-productive?

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Matthew 16:25 “If you try to save your life for yourself, you will lose it. But if you lose your life for my sake, you will find it.”
King James
Matthew 16:25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.

If people know their addictions will destroy them, why do they remain addicted?

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Matthew 16:26 “What have you gained if you own the whole world but lose your life? Nothing has sufficient value that you should want to exchange it for your life.”
King James
Matthew 16:26 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?

In the end, how will people be judged?

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Matthew 16:27 “One day, the Son of Man will come in his Father’s glory with his angels and will judge the people according to their deeds.”
King James
Matthew 16:27 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.

Before they died, how did the disciples see the “Son of Man coming in his Kingdom?

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Matthew 16:28 “I guarantee, some of you standing here will not die before they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom.”
King James
Matthew 16:28 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.