Verse 1 – Then the Pharisees and Sadducees came and testing Him asked that He would show them a sign from heaven.
Both of these groups wanted to see evidence that Jesus was actually the Messiah. They also wanted to see Him fail at attempting to work a miracle, so they could ruin Him. I assume they missed the Star of Bethlehem when it appeared.
Verse 2 – He answered and said to them, “When it is evening you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red;
Verse 3 – “and in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of he times.
They knew how to determine the weather by signs in the sky, but didn’t want to believe that Jesus was the Messiah, all the while miracles and prophecy was coming to pass in front of them.
Verse 4 – “A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.”
By using the prophet Jonah, who was inside a great fish three days and three nights, Jesus was telling them this will be the only sign: That He will be in the grave three days and three nights and then be resurrected.
Verse 5 – And when His disciples had come to the other side, they had forgotten to take bread.
Verse 6 – Then Jesus said to them, “Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.”
Just as yeast will affect the entire loaf of bread, a little bit of false doctrine will spread trough an entire congregation. Beware!
Verse 7 – And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “It is because we have taken no bread.”
Verse 8 – But when Jesus perceived it, He said to them, “O ye of little faith, why do you reason among yourselves because you have brought no bread?
Verse 9 – “Do you not yet understand, or remember the five loaves of the five thousand and how many baskets you took up?
Verse 10 – “Nor the seven loaves of the four thousand and how many large baskets you took up?
Verse 11 – “How is it you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread? – but you should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”
Maybe a little bit of the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees had slipped into the disciples thinking. After all they hadn’t brought anything to eat, so maybe they expected for Jesus to turn something into food as a sign.
Verse 12 – Then they understood that He did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
Verse 13 – When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?”
Verse 14 – So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
Verse 15 – He said to them, “but who do you say that I am?”
Verse 16 – And Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Peter expressed the full belief of himself and of his brethren that Jesus was the long-expected Messiah. “The living God,” distinguished the True God from the surrounding pagan gods that were nothing but stone or wood.
Verse 17 – Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.
Revelation of the Church
Verse 18 – “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.
The name “Peter,” in Greek, means rock.” Rock is firm, solid, and stable, being used for a foundation on which to build a structure. Jesus is also referred to as the “Rock” (Isaiah 28:16 and 1 Peter 2:8). Peter had the honor of laying the foundation of the church among the Jews and the Gentiles that Jesus is the Son of the living God. This passage in no way exalts Peter above the other apostles. All those who profess Jesus Christ is the Son of God are the church, body of believers. The gates of Hades – hell-all the plots, devices, and schemes, shall not prevail in destroying God’s church.
Verse 19 – “And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever yo bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
The key is a symbol of authority and power. The kingdom of heaven in this verse means, church on earth. Christ will make Peter the instrument, key, of opening the door of faith to the world. The power of “binding and loosing” on earth was given to the other apostles as well (Matthew 18:18). To bind a thing was to forbid it: to loose it is to allow it to be done. When Jesus gave this power to the apostles, He meant that whatsoever they forbade in the church should have divine authority; whatever they permitted, or commanded, should also have divine authority. This does not refer to persons, but things. They set the standards for the church we all follow.
Verse 20 – Then He commanded His disciples that they should tell no one that He was Jesus the Christ.
Jesus time had not come yet, so until the disciples fully understood that He had to die and be raised again, Jesus didn’t want it to be known. It would cause a revolt. And some of the disciples could have even died before they accomplished what they needed to do in order to bring the Gospel to the world.
Verse 21 – From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.
If Jesus had told them this when He first met them, they wouldn’t have followed Him. They were expecting a triumphant prince as the Messiah. Jesus had to first convince them that He was the Christ, and then with great prudence, began to correct their apprehensions of His true meaning for coming as the Messiah.
Verse 22 – Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!”
Verse 23 – But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.
Peter couldn’t bare to think he was going to lose his friend. He didn’t want Jesus to die. Peter didn’t understand, as of yet, what was about to take place. Jesus did not call Peter Satan. But it was what came out of Peter’s mouth that was in opposition to the divine plan of God.
Verse 24 – Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.
Let him surrender to God to do His will; surrender his affections to Him; surrender his body, and his very soul. Let him not seek his own desires and happiness, but lay down his life if necessary.
Verse 25 – “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.
The disciples knew at this point that they could lose their lives defending the Gospel of Jesus Christ. True discipleship is total commitment which is the key to eternal life. The reward is much greater than the crises someone goes through for Christ’s sake.
Verse 26 – “For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
If our soul is lost, nothing can be given in exchange for it. There is no redemption in hell.
Verse 27 – “For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.
God will judge the righteous and the wicked, according to their works.
Verse 28 – “Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”
Some of Jesus disciples were eye-witness to the power and glory of Christ’s kingdom at the transfiguration when Peter, James, and John, saw His glory. And then at Pentecost, Acts 2, the beginning of Christ’s church.