Matthew 16

Chapter 16

16:1 The 1 Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and a tempting desired him that he would shew them a sign from heaven.

(1) The wicked who otherwise disagree with one another, agree well together against Christ, but do what they can, Christ is victorious, and triumphs over them.
(a) To see whether he could do that which they desired, but their purpose was useless for they thought to find something in him by it, in which case they might have just occasion to reprehend him: or else distrust and curiosity moved them to do so, for by such means also is God said to be tempted, that is to say, provoked to anger, as though men would strive with him.
16:3 And in the morning, [It will be] foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O [ye] hypocrites, ye can discern the b face of the sky; but can ye not [discern] the signs of the times?
(b) The outward show and countenance, as it were, of all things, is called in the Hebrew language, a face.
16:4 A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign;
and there shall no sign be given unto it, but (c) the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed.
(c) The article shows how notable the sign is.
16:5 2 And when his disciples were come to the other side, they had forgotten to take bread.
(2) False teachers must be taken warning of.
16:8 [Which] when Jesus d perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread?
(d) Not by others, but by virtue of his divinity.
16:9 Do ye not yet understand, neither remember the e five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up?
(e) That five thousand men were filled with so many loaves?
16:11 How is it that ye do not f understand that I g spake [it] not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees?
(f) A demand or question joined with wonder.
(g) "Spake" for commanded.
16:13 3 When Jesus came into the coasts of h Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?
(3) There are many judgments and opinions of Christ, nevertheless he is known by his followers alone.
(h) There were two Caesareas, the one called Stratonis upon the Mediterranean Sea, which Herod built extravagantly in the honour of Octavius; Josephus lib. 15. The other was Caesarea Philippi, which Herod the great the Tetrarchs son by Cleopatra, built in the honour of Tiberius at the foot of Lebanon; Josephus lib. 15.
16:14 And they said, Some [say that thou art] i John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
(i) As Herod thought.
16:17 4 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for k flesh and blood hath not revealed [it] unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
(4) Faith is of grace, not of nature.
(k) By this kind of speech is meant mans natural procreation upon the earth, the one who was made, not being destroyed, but deformed through sin: So then this is the meaning: this was not revealed to you by any understanding of man, but God showed it to you from heaven.
16:18 5 And I say also unto thee, That thou art l Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the m gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
(5) That is true faith, which confesses Christ, the virtue of which is invincible.
(l) Christ spoke in the Syrian tongue, and therefore did not use this discourse to distinguish between Petros, which signifies Peter, and Petra, which signifies a rock, but in both places used the word Cephas: but his meaning is what is written in Greek, in which the different word endings distinguish between Peter, who is a piece of the building, and Christ the Petra, that is, the rock and foundation: or else he named him Peter because of the confession of his faith, which is the Churchs as well as his, as the old fathers witness, for so says Theophylact. That confession which you have made, shall be the foundation of the believers.
(m) The enemies of the Church are compared to a strong kingdom, and therefore by "gates" are meant cities which are made strong with wise preparation and fortifications, and this is the meaning: whatever Satan can do by cunning or strength. So does Paul, calling them strongholds; ( 2 Corinthians 10:4 ).
16:19 6 And I will give unto thee the n keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt o bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
(6) The authority of the Church is from God.
(n) A metaphor taken from stewards who carry the keys: and here is set forth the power of the ministers of the word, as ( Isaiah 22:22 ) says, and that power is common to all ministers, as ( Matthew 18:18 ) says, and therefore the ministry of the gospel may rightly be called the key of the kingdom of heaven.
(o) They are bound whose sins are retained; heaven is shut against them, because they do not receive Christ by faith: on the other hand, how happy are they to whom heaven is open, who embrace Christ and are delivered by him, and become fellow heirs with him!
16:20 7 Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.
(7) Men must first learn, and then teach.
16:21 8 From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the p elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.
(8) The minds of men are at this time to be prepared and made ready against the stumbling block of persecution.
(p) It was a name of dignity and not of age: and it is used for those who were the judges, whom the Hebrews call the Sanhedrin.
16:22 Then Peter q took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.
(q) Took him by the hand and led him aside, as they used to do, which meant to talk familiarly with one.
16:23 9 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, r Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou s savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.
(9) Against a preposterous zeal.
(r) The Hebrews call him Satan, that is to say an adversary, whom the Greeks call diabolos, that is to say, slanderer, or tempter: but it is spoken of them, that either of malice, as Judas, ( John 6:70 ), or of lightness and pride resist the will of God.
(s) By this word we are taught that Peter sinned through a false persuasion of himself.
16:24 10 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any [man] will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

(10) No men do more harm to themselves, than they that love themselves more than God.
16:25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall t find it.
(t) Shall gain himself: And this is his meaning, they that deny Christ to save themselves, not only not gain that which they look for, but also lose the thing they would have kept, that is, themselves, which is the greatest loss of all: but as for them that doubt not to die for Christ, it goes well with them otherwise.
16:27 For the Son of man shall come u in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.

(u) Like a King, as ( Matthew 6:29 ).
16:28 Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his x kingdom.

(x) By his kingdom is understood the glory of his ascension, and what follows after that, ( Ephesians 4:10 ), or the preaching of the gospel, ( Mark 9:1 ).


Read Matthew 16