In The Word
Read: Matthew 16:1-20
Pharisees Test Jesus
16 The Pharisees and Sadducees came up, and testing Jesus, they asked Him to show them a sign from heaven. 2 But He replied to them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ 3 And in the morning, ‘There will be a storm today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but cannot discern the signs of the times? 4 An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and a sign will not be given it, except the sign of Jonah.” And He left them and went away.
5 And the disciples came to the other side of the sea, but they had forgotten to bring any bread. 6 And Jesus said to them, “Watch out and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 7 They began to discuss this among themselves, saying, “He said that because we did not bring any bread.” 8 But Jesus, aware of this, said, “You men of little faith, why do you discuss among yourselves that you have no bread? 9 Do you not yet understand or remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets full you picked up? 10 Or the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many large baskets full you picked up? 11 How is it that you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread? But beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 12 Then they understood that He did not say to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
Peter’s Confession of Christ
13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” 15 He *said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.” 20 Then He warned the disciples that they should tell no one that He was the Christ.
New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
Walking In The Word
Jesus taught the disciples that they were not to follow the examples of the religious leaders of that time, as the leaders had no spiritual fruit (Galatians 5:22-23). The priests and teachers taught the Law, but they were unwilling to carry it out with love and justice for the people as God intended. The religious leaders were supposedly experts on the Law and the prophetic writings, yet they failed to recognize Jesus as the promised Messiah. As such, they kept asking Jesus to perform a miracle as a sign, but He had already given plenty of signs by performing many miracles to care for the people. When Jesus asked Peter who He was, Peter correctly identified Him as the Messiah.
The word Messiah in the Old Testament means “anointed one” and is translated as “Christ” in the New Testament. God had promised that He would send a Messiah to save the people from the slavery of sin, and that person was, and is still, Jesus.
Like Peter, we may rightly say that Jesus is the Messiah and that we follow Him. This testimony should be proven with our lives by bearing the fruit that comes from following God’s teachings, commands, and precepts. This testimony is meant to help people that are in spiritual bondage, slavery, addiction, and poverty. They should see in our lives the freedom and spiritual fruit that comes from following Jesus. Let them know that Jesus is the same answer for them too.