Matthew 16

Chapter 16 starts out with something very interesting happening. The Pharisees and the Sadducee’s had came to Jesus together to try and trick him again. Whats interesting is that he two groups did not get a long at all. The rarely saw eye to eye on things, especially scripture. But here they were together wanting Jesus to give them some great sign from heaven. It seems to rattle him a bit and he calls them a cheating and evil generation. He leaves them and gets back with the disciples telling them to be careful of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees. The disciples had showed up for the trip they were about to go on without any bread and they began to discuss what Jesus had said to them. they had thought that he was angrybecause they had forgotten the bread. Never mine the teaching they had previously heard about leaven bread. So Jesus reacts to their discussion by calling them out. Basically asking them if they had even learned anything after spending so much time with him. He reminds them of the bread and fish he had provided on at least two other occasions and cannot believe that hey are grumbling about bread to eat again. They were focused on food for their bodies instead of the food for their souls. Jesus clarifies things  and instructs them to stay away from the teachings of the Pharisees and the Sadducee’s. They take off to another town.

We then dive into the foundationof the Church. Jesus asks his disciples this question, "Who do people say the son of man is?". They tell him that some say John, some say Elijah, and some say Jeremiah. Then Jesus ask them, "Who do you say that I am?". And Peter replies "You are the liberating king, the son of God." Wiht this confession of Simon Peter, the foundation of the Church is laid. It’s purpose, authority, and survival is laid out right before the disciples. It’s a very important moment in the history of the world. Right there in Matthew chapter 16.

Jesus goes on to tell them not to tell anyone about these teachings. He lets the disciples in on the secret that he will actually be killed. Peter reacts to this revelation by pulling Jesus aside and telling him that it was not true and basically that he would not let it happen. The Voice translation says het Peter went otJesus "sad and confused". I love that. The ways of Jesus often times confuse me and it is good to know that some of his closest were confused as well. Jesus calls Peter out and reminds him that Gods story is at play now. Not his.

How many times in life do we forget that we are part of a much bigger story? What does that mean? As Christians what is it that we understand that people who are not Christians do not understand? Do we even want to be part of a bigger story or are we content living the lives we are living? Jesus redefines success and happiness. The kingdom is coming to earth just as he wants it. People are coming together just as he wants them to. Matthew 16:23-28 paves the way for the thinking and living that must take place if we are to be part of Gods story and kingdom. What was up is now down. What was right is now wrong. The same goes today. The richest people on earth may also be the poorest, while the poorest may be the richest. Success is measured in spirituality and not on how much we have gained in this world. Wealth is based on compassion and love and not just how much retirement fund we have bankrolled for our future. Everything is turned upside down and people got and get pissed off about it. I have yet to figure out why, but I just know that they do. Mad enough to nail an innocent man to a cross.


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