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Matthew 16

Jesus Is Asked for a Sign
1The Pharisees and Sadducees came to test Jesus by asking him to show them a sign from heaven.
2He answered, “When you see a red sky in the evening, you say, ‘It’s going to be good weather.’ 3And when you see a red and cloudy sky in the morning, you say, ‘Today it will be stormy.’ You understand the meaning of what you see in the sky, but you don’t understand the signs of what you see happening around you. 4An evil and unfaithful generation looks for a sign, but it won’t be given any except the sign of Jonah.” Then Jesus left them and went away.
The Yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees
5They crossed over to the other side of the lake, but the disciples forgot to bring bread. 6“Be careful,” Jesus said to them. “Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”
7The disciples talked this over among themselves and decided, “He must be saying this because we didn’t bring any bread.”
8Jesus knew what they were saying, and he responded, “How little faith you have! Why are you talking to each other about not having any bread? 9Don’t you understand yet? Don’t you remember the five loaves that fed the 5,000, and how many full baskets of leftover pieces you picked up? 10Don’t you remember the seven loaves that fed the 4,000, and how many full baskets of leftover pieces you picked up? 11How can you possibly not understand? I wasn’t talking to you about bread. I was telling you to watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 12Then the disciples understood that Jesus wasn’t telling them to watch out for the yeast that’s used in bread. He was warning them against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
Peter Says That Jesus Is the Messiah
13When Jesus got to the area of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
14They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and still others say Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
15“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
16Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
17Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon, son of Jonah! No mere human showed that to you, but my Father in heaven. 18I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church. The gates of Hades won’t be too strong for it. 19I’ll give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven, so that what you lock on earth will be locked in heaven and what you unlock on earth will be unlocked in heaven.” 20Then Jesus ordered his disciples not to tell anyone he was the Messiah.
Jesus Speaks About His Coming Death
21From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples what would happen to him. He told them he would have to go to Jerusalem and that the elders, chief priests, and teachers of the law would make him suffer many things there. He would be killed, but he would rise again on the third day.
22Peter took Jesus to one side and began to berate him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “That will never happen to you!”
23Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You’re like a rock in my path to trip me. You’re not thinking about what God wants. You’re only thinking about what people want.”
24Then Jesus told his disciples, “All those who want to be my disciples must say ‘no’ to themselves, pick up their crosses, and follow me. 25Whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. 26What good is it if someone gains the whole world but loses their soul? What can anyone trade for their soul? 27The Son of Man is going to come with his angels in his Father’s glory, and he will deal with each person according to what they’ve done.
28“Truly I tell you, some who are standing here right now will not die before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”
Some Bad Yeast
1-4Some Pharisees and Sadducees were on him again, pressing him to prove himself to them. He told them, “You have a saying that goes, ‘Red sky at night, sailor’s delight; red sky at morning, sailors take warning.’ You find it easy enough to forecast the weather—why can’t you read the signs of the times? An evil and wanton generation is always wanting signs and wonders. The only sign you’ll get is the Jonah sign.” Then he turned on his heel and walked away.
5-6On their way to the other side of the lake, the disciples discovered they had forgotten to bring along bread. In the meantime, Jesus said to them, “Keep a sharp eye out for Pharisee-Sadducee yeast.”
7-12Thinking he was scolding them for forgetting bread, they discussed in whispers what to do. Jesus knew what they were doing and said, “Why all these worried whispers about forgetting the bread? Runt believers! Haven’t you caught on yet? Don’t you remember the five loaves of bread and the five thousand people, and how many baskets of fragments you picked up? Or the seven loaves that fed four thousand, and how many baskets of leftovers you collected? Haven’t you realized yet that bread isn’t the problem? The problem is yeast, Pharisee-Sadducee yeast.” Then they got it: that he wasn’t concerned about eating, but teaching—the Pharisee-Sadducee kind of teaching.
Son of Man, Son of God
13When Jesus arrived in the villages of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “What are people saying about who the Son of Man is?”
14They replied, “Some think he is John the Baptizer, some say Elijah, some Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.”
15He pressed them, “And how about you? Who do you say I am?”
16Simon Peter said, “You’re the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
17-18Jesus came back, “God bless you, Simon, son of Jonah! You didn’t get that answer out of books or from teachers. My Father in heaven, God himself, let you in on this secret of who I really am. And now I’m going to tell you who you are, really are. You are Peter, a rock. This is the rock on which I will put together my church, a church so expansive with energy that not even the gates of hell will be able to keep it out.
19“And that’s not all. You will have complete and free access to God’s kingdom, keys to open any and every door: no more barriers between heaven and earth, earth and heaven. A yes on earth is yes in heaven. A no on earth is no in heaven.”
20He swore the disciples to secrecy. He made them promise they would tell no one that he was the Messiah.
You’re Not in the Driver’s Seat
21-22Then Jesus made it clear to his disciples that it was now necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, submit to an ordeal of suffering at the hands of the religious leaders, be killed, and then on the third day be raised up alive. Peter took him in hand, protesting, “Impossible, Master! That can never be!”
23But Jesus didn’t swerve. “Peter, get out of my way. Satan, get lost. You have no idea how God works.”
24-26Then Jesus went to work on his disciples. “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?
27-28“Don’t be in such a hurry to go into business for yourself. Before you know it the Son of Man will arrive with all the splendor of his Father, accompanied by an army of angels. You’ll get everything you have coming to you, a personal gift. This isn’t pie in the sky by and by. Some of you standing here are going to see it take place, see the Son of Man in kingdom glory.”