Read Matthew 16
The Demand for a Sign
16 The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus and tested him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven.
2 He replied, “When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ 3 and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. 4 A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.” Jesus then left them and went away.
The Yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees
5 When they went across the lake, the disciples forgot to take bread. 6 “Be careful,” Jesus said to them. “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”
7 They discussed this among themselves and said, “It is because we didn’t bring any bread.”
8 Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked, “You of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread? 9 Do you still not understand? Don’t you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? 10 Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? 11 How is it you don’t understand that I was not talking to you about bread? But be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 12 Then they understood that he was not telling them to guard against the yeast used in bread, but against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
Peter Declares That Jesus Is the Messiah
13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” 20 Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.
Jesus Predicts His Death
21 From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.
22 Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!”
23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”
24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. 26 What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.
28 “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”
Life is filled with one question and decision after another. Researchers say the average person makes 35,000 decisions every day. Some questions and decisions are minor, such as which socks I should wear, how many chips I should eat, and how much toothpaste to put on my toothbrush. Some days we’ll answer huge questions and make major decisions: What college should I attend, which car should I buy, and should I take this job or that one?
But there’s one question and one decision that far outweighs all others. In Matthew 16 Jesus asks his disciples this most important question and we get to see Peter’s response to Jesus. Every decision we make in life should be impacted by this question. While walking with His disciples to the region of Caesarea Philippi, Jesus asks them, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” A few disciples respond and then Jesus turns it around and asks them directly, “Who do you say I am?” Enough with the opinions of others, who do you say I am?
Today we want you to answer this same question: Who do you say Jesus is?
Is He simply a great teacher? Is He a prophet in the likeness of Isaiah, Jeremiah, or Habakkuk? Is He just a good man, 100% human, 0% God? Or is Jesus the Son of God, fully God, fully human, the sinless, perfect, second Person of the Trinity (along with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit)? Your answer to this question impacts everything in your life. Every decision you make should be impacted by your answer to this question and your view of Jesus. Peter responds rightly when he says, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” A right understanding of the answer to this question affects the way we spend money, the way we interact with roommates and family members, and the way we work our jobs or study for classes, among many other things.
This section of Matthew 16 falls right after Jesus challenges His disciples to remember who He is and what He’s done. This reminder serves us today, as it’s so easy to be distracted and forget about our relationship with Him. The worries and cares of life and the 35,000 decisions we make can pull us off course. Today be reminded that He is the Messiah, the Son of the living God.
- What evidence exists in your life that shows Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of the living God?
- Who in your life do you need to ask this question to (Who do you say I am)? It could be someone who doesn’t know the Lord or someone who claims to know Him but whose life is not consistent with their response.
- How do you remember, moment by moment, about who Jesus is and His sacrificial love for you?
God, thank you for the Truth of this passage and thank you that we get to learn from it today. You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God! I pray I would remember this today and every day, and the fact that you are the Messiah would change everything in my life. As I make decisions today, I pray you’d remind me who you are. Thank you for dying for my sins and thank you that the gates of Hades will not overcome your church.
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