Matthew 16:1-28 Comments by Stephen Ricker
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Peter's Confession of Faith
Comments for Study 21

Matthew 16:1-28
Memory Verse: 16

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I. Don't You Remember (1-12)

Jewish sects during Jesus' time, before and after

>1. How and why did the religious leaders test Jesus?

* "The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus and tested him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven." (1)

* In asking for a sign they pretended that they would be satisfied and say that he was a man of God. But they probably would not have been satisfied because they had already seen many signs (miracles) and still were not satisfied.

* Why then ask for one?
    1) They asked him mainly to test and tempt him. (1)
    2) They asked for a new sign perhaps because many of the other signs showed that they were wrong and therefore hurt their pride: Note they asked for "a sign from heaven."

* "Pharisees" -The Pharisees were legalistic and devoted to obeying every aspect of the law and prophets. Yet they had missed the point of the word of God. In fact, it could be said that although they memorized the word of God they did not know the word of God. They were so prideful that they considered the word of God lacking in direction so they created a list of "do and don't do" laws of their own. Also, they were very abandonment about following the Jewish traditions that were added to the feasts of the Lord and the Sabbath.

* "Sadducees" -The Sadducees only believed the first five books of the Bible. They were made up of Levites and were thus in control of the temple. They were liberal in their thinking and teaching, having little regard for traditions and spiritual things. They tried to get all they could out of this life because they believed that was all there was. They saw God as a benevolent gift and blessing giver.

* The Pharisees and Sadducees did not like each other because of differences of beliefs. (The Pharisees believed in resurrection. The Sadducees did not. (Acts 23:7-8) Yet here they joined forces to be against Jesus because both of their prides were hurt.

* This seemingly happened while in "the vicinity of Magadan." (Matthew 15:39)

>What does it mean to understand the signs of the times?

* "He replied, "When evening comes, you say, 'It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,' 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." (2-3)

* "you can not interpret" -They knew much of the physical world being men, but nothing of the spiritual world even though they were suppose to be teachers of the things of God.

* Their interpretation of the weather forecast was drawn by observation and experience. They should have interpreted the signs of the time and the hand of Providence in the same manner.

* "signs of the times" -This refers to the spiritual times. The times according to which God had set in advance. These times God had said would happen through the prophets so it would be easy for the learned man to see.

>What is the sign of Jonah? (12:38-41)

* "A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah." Jesus then left them and went away." (4)

* Jesus had told them this once before. "Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, 'Teacher, we want to see a miraculous sign from you.' He answered, "A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." (12:38-41)

* "A wicked and adulterous generation" - Not kind words from a humanistic point of new. Jesus was not passive. Nor was he "kind" at all times from the human prospective. Yet these where the words that they needed to hear. These were words of truth.

* "adulterous" - Means faithless and changing back and forth.

* "sign of Jonah" -Jesus is referring to his death and burial.

* "none will be given it" -Jesus refused their request because of their evil intentions. How and why we come to Jesus is very important. Why we asked is more important that what we ask. Honesty, purity, and sincerity is important. Jesus said, "God is spirit, and his worshippers must worship in spirit and in truth." (John 4:24)

* "Jesus left them and went away." -Jesus will not stay long with hypocrites who tempt him for their own benefit.

>2. After crossing the lake, what did Jesus say to his disciples?

* "When they went across the lake, the disciples forgot to take bread. 'Be careful,' Jesus said to them. 'Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.'" (5-6)

* Jesus was speaking to the disciples in a similitude.

* "be careful" -After seeing the the prominent Pharisees Jesus saw that the disciples could easily have been influenced by them. The disciples were holding onto their idea of Jesus' kingdom. Such thinking could lead them to become like the Pharisees or the Sadducees. The disciples spiritual condition was evident to Jesus.

* "be on your guard" -We have to actively check our hearts and thinking. Where is our priority and affection? Where is our hope? Our affection is for God. Our hope is not in this world, but in the kingdom of God. Not only our we to examine ourselves, but if we have spiritual influence we need to follow Jesus' instructions to Peter, "Take care of my sheep." (John 21:16)

* "yeast" -Yeast affects and changes the whole bread. Yeast is used to illustrate sin in the Bible. Unleavened bread represented bread without sin. Add just a little sin and the flour is completely changes. The batch puffs up and is full of air.

>How did they understand his words?

* "They discussed this among themselves and said, 'It is because we didn't bring any bread.'" (7)

* "They discussed this" -Possible points brought up could have been:
    1) Jesus was rebuking them for thinking about his discourse with the Pharisees and therefore forgetting the bread.
    2) They could not ask for the Pharisees to give them bread now that they forgot some and had left them.
    3) They thought that they were not to eat with the Pharisees and Sadducees at all.

* The slow understanding of Jesus' words is an encouragement to us. How much don't I understand? How much more do I have to learn?

>3. What is the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees?

* It is their "teachings" (12b), their way of life, and their principles. These are "like yeast" meaning: souring, swelling, spreading, and affecting the whole batch.

* Yeast of the Sadducees it is the lack of belief in the resurrection and the kingdom of God. It is only concentrating on solving human problems and problems of the world. It >is a humanistic approach and ideology.

* Yeast of the Pharisees it is a legalism and selfishness in the form of religion. It is hypocrisy; pretending to be holy and godly when in the heart they are quit opposite. It is thinking we are holy and special to God because of what we do, not because of what Jesus did on the cross and resurrection.

>What did Jesus see as the disciples' problem?

* "Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked, 'You of little faith why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread?'" (8)

* The disciples were thinking so much about bread that they could not think of anything else.

* He said nothing against them concerning their oversight to bring bread. What he did rebuke them for was worrying about and concentrating on their food problem. This was a "little faith" or lack of faith problem.

* This faith problem caused them to lose spiritual eyesight and understand his teachings.

* People have been worried about having their daily needs meet so much in history that they miss many more important things, mainly God.

>How did he teach them a sense of history?

* "Do you still not understand? Don't you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? 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.'" (9-11)

* The basketful left over was to remind them that God provide for them in the past and he will continue to do so. Just as the manna was preserved in the ark of God, so God knows what our physical bodies need to survive.

* "Don't you still understand" -By now they should have had enough faith to realize that God will provide for them. Prideful men think that they can do everything by themselves. So they have a hard time accepting anything, including from God. The humble realize their dependants on God.

>Why is the important?

* Matthew 16:12 "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.

* Jesus was teaching them that God provides and had provided for them. Therefore they need not worry about not having or having food; nor would he rebuke them for it. Instead what they should think about is spiritual things like he was not teaching them.

* Worrying causes us not to understand. (11)

* It is important for us to remember God's grace and how he worked in the past. Through this we can overcome hard times and grow in faith and understanding.

* We can learn through God working day to day in our life. Studying the word of God without applying it to our life or evaluating our life from God's point of view and teaching will only bring God's rebuke.

* The disciples did not receive this well. They did not think much about it. Little was learned as can be seen in later chapters.

>How had they been influenced by the Pharisees?

* They thought that a religious and holy life was determined by outside actions and appearances. They thought that outside acts is what God looks for. They did not realize that God works from within us so that it will affect our outside life.

* Instead of thinking on Jesus' words (inside) they were concerned about food (outside).

* After following Jesus for many months they had thought much about the feeding of the five thousand and four thousand. They didn't practically learn anything.

II. You are the Christ (13-23)

Jesus' Mid-Ministry Travels

>4. Where is Caesarea Philippi?

* "When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi..." (13a)

* "Caesarea Philippi" -Caesarea Philippi is to the north of the Sea of Galilee about 30 miles from where they were; over a days walk. It was the utmost border of the land of Canaan. Most likely few people followed him or came to him while there.

* The following is a time line:
    Matthew 14:12 John's disciples reported to Jesus, probably on the west side.
    Matthew 14:13 Jesus withdrew by boat to a solitary place, probably on the east side of the lake.
    Matthew 14:22 Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and he later followed (14:25).
    Matthew 14:34 they landed at Gennesaret. Gennesaret was on the north-west shore between Capernaum and Magdala.
    Matthew 15:21 they left and went to the region of Tyre and Sidon. They were thirty to forty miles to the west near The Mediterranean Sea.
    Matthew 15:29 they went along the Sea of Galilee that seems to indicating that they went to the east side.
    (Mark 7:31 says the went through Sidon to the region of the Decapolis. Decapolis was several cities on the south-east side of the Sea of Galilee. Probably included cities are: Canatha, Damascus, Dion, Gadara, Gerasa, Hippos, Pella, Philadelphia, Rephana, and Scythopolis.)
    Matthew 15:39 Jesus got into the boat and went to the vicinity of Magadan. (Magadan could also be Magdala or Malmanutha or Magdalene or Magdalth.) Magadan was on the west side of the sea of Galilee north of Tiberius.
    Matthew 16:4-5 they went away to the other side; that is the east side.
    Matthew 16:13 Jesus brought his disciples north to Caesarea Philippi.
    After this the cross was less than six months away. As the cross approached Jesus' public teaching was almost over. He basically only taught publicly in the temple after this.

Caesarea Philippi Sacred Terrace

* The picture to the right is of a sacred precinct that has the Cave of Pan (an idol, a ancient false god) in the background and the temple remains of Pan and of Zeus in the foreground. This is near Caesarea Philippi, the general area that this exchange of words took place. (Matthew 16:13; Mark 8:27) All that remains of the temples of Jesus' time are the foundations. Perhaps in this lovely area watered by the cold rushing streams with a rock cliff, sacred cave, cult niches, and pagan temples as a backdrop, Jesus closely questioned his disciples as to what people thought of him and his mission. Because the Cave of Pan seemed to reach into the very depths of the earth, it came to be regarded as the entrance to the underworld, the abode of Hades (or Pluto), the god of the lower regions, and home to the disembodied spirits of the dead. Up until recent time the Jordan River's head flowed out the of cave.

>What was the first question he asked his disciples when he arrived there?

* "'Who do people say the Son of Man is?'" (13b)

* "Son of Man" -Jesus often called himself the Son of Man. (13:37, 12:40, 12:32, ect.) Dan 3:25, 7:13, and 10:5-6 all refer to the Messiah as the Son of Man. Jesus was indeed man, fully flesh undergoing all the aspects of humanity.

* Jesus wanted his disciples to see the general opinions of the people concerning who he was. Then he planned to compare this to their own convictions as well as the reality of who he was. Jesus wasn't asking because he didn't know, he always knows what we think. (Matthew 16:8, 12:25)

* The disciples knew that when Jesus used the term "Son of Man" he was referring to himself.

* Jesus knew he was the Messiah, but didn't use the title that much because so many people, including the disciples had the wrong concept of the Messiah. Instead he used the term "Son of Man" more than anything else when referring to his Lordship. The "Son of Man" refers to his humility abd suffering servant role.

* All Jews knew that Son of Man was the title for the Messiah. One could say that this first question of Jesus was more of a generic question, "Who do people say the Messiah is?" That was not Jesus' point here as the rest of the conversation shows. Jesus wanted the disciples to not only accept that he is the Messiah, but also have the right concept of what that means.

>What was their answer?

* "They replied, 'Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.'" (14)

* Jews always talked about the Messiah, especially since the Roman took absolute control of them in 63 B.C. Whenever a spiritual, political, or military leader gain a public influence and following, people began to wonder if they were the Messiah. The people most definitely talked with the disciples about who Jesus is. They knew the people's opinions.

* Jesus had not plainly told the people who he was. Rather, he wanted them to decide by considering his words and works. (11:3-6, John 5:24,25)

* "John the Baptist" -John the Baptist was dead. (Matt. 14:1-2) Herod also believed this. (Matthew 14:2; Mark 6:14)

* "Elijah" -Many believed then and today that Elijah will arise from the dead before the kingdom of God crushes the kingdom of this world (Babylon the Great, Rev. 18). Elijah was to fulfill Malachi 4:5.

* "Jeremiah" -A well respected prophet because he talked about Israel victory over her enemies. Jeremiah was to fulfill the Christ in Jer. 1:10. Or perhaps since he was a weeping prophet and Jesus mourned at different occasions.

* "one of the prophets" -A general term for a man of God who would fulfill Deuteronomy 18:15. Deuteronomy 18:15-22 records Moses telling the people shortly before he died, "The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him. For this is what you asked of the Lord your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly when you said, "Let us not hear the voice of the Lord our God nor see this great fire any more, or we will die." The Lord said to me: "What they say is good. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him. If anyone does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name, I myself will call him to account. But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded him to say, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, must be put to death." You may say to yourselves, "How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the Lord?" If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him."

>What does this mean?

* 1) They are different opinions. Being a famous man people had their opinions about him. Those who did not want to believe that he was the Christ forced themselves into another opinion.

* 2) They are all honorable opinions. They all refer to him as a man of God. It is possible for people to think well of Jesus and yet be totally wrong. Most people do not have a high enough opinion of Jesus. They cannot accept that he is the creator God, the Word of God at creation. You can tell a cult and their followers by the lower opinion they have of Jesus.

* 3) They all supposed him to be someone risen from the dead. It was a perversion of the truth of the resurrection. This belief stemmed from the fact that many believed that a great holy man could not be produced in their lifetime. They had heard of to many men who claimed to holy only turn out to be false.

* 4) They are all false opinions. Even though his miracle and teaching made it evident who he was they would not accept him as the Messiah, the Son of God, God in the flesh. Most reject the superiority of Jesus because of pride and prejudice.

>5. What was the second question he asked them?

* "But what about you?' he asked. 'Who do you say I am?'" (15)

* Jesus asked this not because he didn't know what they were thinking but because the disciples needed to search their hearts and form a absolute statement of faith.

* It is important for us to ask and answer this question truthfully with belief in our hearts. Our confession needs to be public.

* Our confessions of who Jesus is should be asked and answered many times.

* Luke 12:48b records Jesus saying, "Everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked."

>How did Simon Peter answer?

* "Simon Peter answered, 'You are the Christ, the son of the living God.'" (16)

* "Simon Peter" -Simon was the name his parents gave him. Peter was the name Jesus gave him.

>How and why did Peter's view of Jesus differ from that of other people?

* How? Peter was right and exact.

* Why? Peter has made a commitment to be with Jesus at all cost. He had been with Jesus, saw his miracles and healing, heard his words, obeyed them and learned from him. After meditating on all these things God revealed to him who Jesus really was.

* When asked we need to be ready to give a firm answer as to who we say Jesus is and what we believe about him.

>What does "Christ" mean?

* "Christ" -Christ is Greek for the Hebrew "Messiah". Both mean "the Anointed One." In ancient times when kings and priest were set apart to their offices they were anointed with oil. (Leviticus 4:3, 4:20; Exodus 28:41, 26:7; and 1 Samuel 9:16, 15:1; and 2 Samuel 23:1) The anointing with oil was supposed to be symbolic of the influences of the Holy Spirit.

* Jesus was anointed when the Holy Spirit came down upon him when John baptised him. (3:16) Jesus is the Great Prophet, Priest, King, Lord, Shepherd, and Savior.

* Christ is the fulfilment of God's promises.

* Christ is the mediator between God and man.

* The anointed one implies that the Christ is the:
    Great Prophet (Duet. 18:15,18; Isaiah 55:4,; Luke 24:19; Acts 3:22, 7:37)
    Only High Priest (Psalms 110:4; Romans 8:34; Hebrews 6:20, 7:24, 9:24)
    Eternal King or Lord. (Psalms 2:6; Zechariah 9:9; Matthew 21:5, 28:18; Luke 1:33; John 10:28; Ephesians 1:20-23; Revelation 11:15, 12:10,11, 17:14, 19:6)
    Savior. (Deuteronomy. 32:15; and 2 Samuel 22:3, 47; and 1 Chronicles 16:35; Isaiah 43:3,11,15)
    True Shepherd. (Genesis 48:15, 49:24; Psalm 23:1, 80:1; Zechariah 13:7)

* Isaiah 9:6-7 "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this."

* "The Son of the Living God." -The Messiah being the Son of the Living God was very different from the common thought of the Messiah at that time.

* Jesus is God's Son not by adoption but by nature. Jesus is the Almighty Lord God of the Bible.

* God is often called in Scripture the Living God. (Joshua 3:10; and 1 Samuel 17:26,36; Jeremiah 5:9,10) This is different than idols which has eyes and saw not, ears and heard not, nor had any life in them. (Genesis 14:13; Hebrews 3:12; 9:14)

* Jesus as God is also the giver of life.

* Jesus is forgiver of sin alone because only God can forgive sin.

* Jesus is over angles, demons though they rebel, mankind (they they rebel), nature, the word of God including the laws, Lord of the Sabbath, death, health and illness. Through all these Peter saw just who Jesus was.

* Jesus' teaching is the word of God. He is the final authority. Jesus words are God's words.

>6. Read verses 17-19.

* "Jesus replied, 'Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. 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. 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." (17-19)

* Jesus was very pleased with Peter's confession, that it was so clear and expressed with out "if, and, or, or but."

* Anyone who has this revelation is blessed; that is to say, given by God's hand of love, mercy, and grace.

* This revelation can only come from God. God has to initiate. (Philippians 1:29)

* Jesus referred to him as "Simon son of Jonah" so Simon would remember where he came from. In that way he could not get a big head and boast. (1 Corinthians 4:7)

* God must have the glory when his blessings and revelations come down.

* Peter was probably blessed and surprised when he made his confession.

>How is this confession a rock?

* On it the church is built.

* It is firm, strong, and lasting which time and men will not waste, nor will it sink under the weight of the building.

* Jesus called Simon, Peter. "Peter" means small rock or pebble when translated from Greek. Jesus had called him that from the beginning. (John 1:42) And when referring to building the church on it Jesus said "this rock" which indicates a thing not a person. Peter himself called Jesus and the confession of the Christ as the Rock. (1 Peter 2:4-8.) So Jesus was saying, "Peter is your name. Your have a strong, fixed, and stable faith. You are not fluctuated by the opinions of men."

* Jesus showed the importance of a public confession of faith in Jesus.

* Romans 10:9-13 states, "That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame." For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile--the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

>What is Jesus' church?

* Church is "ekklesia" in Greek meaning a gathering or collection of those who believe and confess the gospel as true.

* "my church" -Jesus didn't called it "your church" or "a church".

* God had a church in the world from the beginning, and it was built upon the rock of the promised seed. (Gen 3:15) Now however since the promised seed had arrived it was required that the church believe and confess he came.

* "I will build my church." Jesus build the church up in his desire and predestination; according to his will.

* Ephesians 2:19-22 states, "Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit."

* 1 Corinthians 3:10-15 states, "By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames."

* "you" -The authority is the church (congregation) not just Peter. Jesus gave the right to tell the truth and godliness to all believers. We are all given the gospel to preach. We can have a clear conviction that when we speak the word of God in the Spirit, as it was meant to be that we are right.

* Teaching and prayer are excessing the authority granted to the church.

>How is Peter's confession the keys to heaven?

* It is the key of doctrine.

* It is the key of knowledge and wisdom.

* If one confesses and believe he is allowed to go freely to the Kingdom of Heaven.

* When we confess the gospel to another person we open the opportunity for someone to enter.

>A power source to overcome the gates of Hades (hell)?

* Men are rescued from hell when they believe and confess this.

* "Then he warned his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ." (20)

* Why did Jesus tell the disciples to remain quiet?
    1) This should not be revealed until after he had raised from the dead and ascended to heaven. (Acts 1:8) Now was the message, "The kingdom of God is at hand," and the preparing for the church beginnings.
    2) Jesus would have this revelation proved by his works and words.
    3) If the people would know of this they would make him king by force. They had the wrong concept of the Christ.
    4) If they had known they might not have crucified him.
    5) The disciples were not fully ready to preach this message. Note they later deserted him. Even Peter denied him three times.

* We however are to tell people he is the Christ. If we are not to tell others of Jesus being the Christ, the Son of the Living God then the disciples would not have written it in their gospels.

>7. Why is it important for a person to make a confession of his faith in Jesus?

* Through it we can enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

* Joel 2:32 "And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the Lord has said, among the survivors whom the Lord calls."

* Acts 2:21 "And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'"

* A confession is based on a personal relationship with Jesus, not just agreeing with concepts.

* A confession leads to a life commitment to him.

>Have you made a confession of your faith?

* Yes I did in the summer of 1982. I do again and again. Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. Amen!

>8. What did Jesus teach his disciples about how he must become the Christ?

* "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, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.'" (21)

* "From that time on..." -This was the first time Jesus specifically explained about his sufferings to his disciples. Now he continued to do so.

* Why didn't Jesus mention this before? Because the disciples were not ready for it. Christ reveals his mind to his people gradually. (Hebrews 6:1-2)

* "Jerusalem" -Jesus must suffer and be sacrificed in the city where the sacrifices were required to be made.

* "at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law," -The religious leaders were a great symbol of Judaism to all Jews, even Jesus' disciples. Jesus' prophecy here was so shocking to his disciples that they just put it out of their mind.

>Why must he suffer and be killed and rise again?

* "He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification." (Romans 4:25)

* "But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep his hold on him." (Acts 2:24)

* "For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance-now that he had died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant." (Hebrews 9:15)

* "For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men-the testimony given in its proper time." (1 Tim 2:6,7)

* "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." (Mark 10:45)

* "I will ransom them from the power of the grave I will redeem them from death. Where, O death, are your plagues? Where, O grave, is your destruction?" (13:14)

* "He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by god smitten by him and afflicted. But he was pierced for out transgressions, he was crushed for out iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him. and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has aid on him the iniquity of us all." (Isaiah 53:4:-6)

* "must" -Suffering was the only way to be the Messiah. Jesus is the Christ through his suffering.

>How did Peter respond?

* "Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 'Never, Lord!' he said, 'This shall never happen to you!'" (22)

* Perhaps Peter spoke for the rest here.

>Why?

* Peter did not want it to happen. This probably stirred from him secret political ambitions and desires to be great. He knew if Jesus would be great then he would. But if Jesus died he would just be a fisherman.

* Peter was probably also saying he would not let it happen. In other words he was saying, "I will lay down my life for you. I will fight for you. I will not let them take you." (John 18:10, 13:37; Luke 22:33; Mark :29, 31; Matthew 26:33, 35)

* Perhaps Peter pride was elevated with Jesus' earlier praise.

* Perhaps Peter was even saying to Jesus, "Master, spare yourself from such sufferings." If so Peter said it out of love and yet was wrong.

>How did Jesus rebuke him?

* "Jesus turned and said to Peter, 'Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God; but the things of men.'" (23)

* Just before this he blessed and praised Peter now he strongly and harshly rebukes him.

* Satan attacks us even through our closes friend.

* Sometimes the kindness of friends is Satan's attack.

* One must not compliment but rebuke mistaken courtesies in love. (Ps 141:5a)

* Whatever appears to be a temptation to sin must be resisted strongly.

* Jesus did not seek his own pleasure but endured hardship for our salvation. (Romans 15:3: "For even Christ did not please himself.")

* Why did Jesus rebuke so strong and publicly? So that he would not mention it again. Satan was tempting Jesus through Peter. Peter's pride opened the door to Satan. Jesus stopped it right away.

* Jesus saw no contradiction in praising and then rebuking him. Love and truth are sometimes needed to be strong.

* The wayward sheep can expect quiet waters and green pastures only when we feel the rod and staff. (Psalms 23)

>Why did he call him "Satan"?

* Whatever tried to get in the way of Jesus saving our souls was a work of Satan.

* 1) Peter was a stumbling block to Jesus. Jesus was passionately seeking our salvation that he did not take kindly those who hindered him from it.

* 2) Peter had in mind the things of men, not God. Men seek comfort and their own safety first.

* If Peter continually stated this he would become Satan's instrument more often.

* We will make mistakes like Peter if we do not stay humble.

* God's servant must learn from Jesus.

III. Jesus' People Life-Style and Hope (24-28)

>9. What did Jesus teach about the life-style of anyone who would be his disciple?

* "Then Jesus said to his disciples, 'If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.'" (24-25)

* "If" it is up to us as his disciples. It is a deliberate and cheerful choice. (Ps. 110:3)

* Jesus opened this to "anyone". If we are to confess his name and follow him we must do this.

* "Come after me" -This mean be a disciple, follow his life-style.

* "must" -Jesus said that we are not to do it only if we like to do it.

* Three things mentioned here:
    1) deny himself
    2) take up his cross
    3) follow Jesus.

* 1) We must deny ourselves for Jesus, his glory, his interests, his will, for our brothers and their good, and for our good of denying the flesh. We must deny our sinful nature. We are to respect the word of God more than our human thinking and desires.

* 2) Cross means all suffering for Jesus for the salvations of others. Every disciple has his cross, usually a special one even though they may share similar ones with others. We should call it our own. We must claim it. According to our spiritual level it will change over time.

* 3) We must lead a Christian life after Jesus' life, not to our own design. This is different than "come after me". That is our chose. Following Jesus brings hardships, troubles, persecutions and rejections that are not easy to bear. But in we must "follow" Jesus.

>What does it mean to "save his life and lose it" and "lose his life for Jesus and find it"?

* "Save his life" -by making life comfortable. Avoid the cross that leads to death and suffering. It is an easy and secured life. Losing his life here means to go to hell.

* "Lose his life" by giving up his hopes, ambitions, will, desire, ideas, dreams, etc. Losing his life here means gaining eternal life.

* Our basic life direction needs to be clear.

* Paul wrote, "To live is Christ, to die is gain."

>10. What do the rhetorical questions in verse 26 mean?

* "'What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?'" (26)

* A person can gain the world and its pleasures but when he dies they will mean nothing when he dies. We can not take things of the world with us. Only faith, hope and love will survive.

* Once a man stands before the judgement seat of Christ, there is nothing he can do to be let in heaven. We will be judged according to the things done in the flesh.

* "Soul" -in verse 26 is same word but translated different as "Life" in verse 25.

* Our souls are our own not in respect do dominion and property but in respect of nearness and concern.

* Our eternal soul and the resurrection body is so much greater than anyone is now in this life.

>What glorious hope did Jesus give his disciples?

* "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 he has done. I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.'" (27-28)

* Coming after Jesus is not easy on the earth but God promises us we will receive a great reward.

* Jesus will come for us and bring us home as he has promised. John 14:2-3 records Jesus saying, "In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am."

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