Matthew 16

Pharisees Test Jesus

1 1The 2Pharisees and Sadducees came up, and testing Jesus, they 3asked Him to show them a sign from heaven.
2 But He replied to them, "4When it is evening, you say, 'It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.'
3 "And in the morning, 'There will be a storm today, for the sky is red and threatening.' 5Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but cannot * discern the signs of the times?
4 "6An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and a sign will not be given it, except the sign of Jonah." And He left them and went away.
5 And the disciples came to the other side of the sea, but they had forgotten to bring any bread.
6 And Jesus said to them, "Watch out and 7beware of the leaven of the 8Pharisees and Sadducees."
7 They began to discuss this among themselves, saying, "He said that because we did not bring any bread."
8 But Jesus, aware of this, said, "9You men of little faith, why do you discuss among yourselves that you have no bread?
9 "Do you not yet understand or remember 10the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets full you picked up?
10 "Or 11the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many large baskets full you picked up?
11 "How is it that you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread? But 12beware of the leaven of the 13Pharisees and Sadducees."
12 Then they understood that He did not say to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the 14Pharisees and Sadducees.

Peter's Confession of Christ

13 15Now when Jesus came into the district of 16Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, "Who do people say that 17the Son of Man is?"
14 And they said, "Some say 18John the Baptist; and others, 19Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets."
15 He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"
16 Simon Peter answered, "You are 20the Christ, 21the Son of 22the living God."
17 And Jesus said to him, "Blessed are you, 23Simon Barjona, because 24flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.
18 "I also say to you that you are 25Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of 26Hades will not overpower it.
19 "I will give you 27the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and 28whatever * you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever * you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven."
20 29Then He warned the disciples that they should tell no one that He was 30the Christ.

Jesus Foretells His Death

21 31From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and 32suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day.
22 Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, "God forbid it, Lord! This shall never * happen to You."
23 But He turned and said to Peter, "Get behind Me, 33Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God's interests, but man's."

Discipleship Is Costly

24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and 34take up his cross and follow Me.
25 "For 35whoever * wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever * loses his life for My sake will find it.
26 "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
27 "For the 36Son of Man 37is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and 38WILL THEN REPAY EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS.
28 "Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the 39Son of Man 40coming in His kingdom."

Images for Matthew 16

Matthew 16 Commentary

Chapter 16

The Pharisees and Sadducees ask a sign. (1-4) Jesus cautions against the doctrine of the Pharisees. (5-12) Peter's testimony that Jesus was the Christ. (13-20) Christ foretells his sufferings, and rebukes Peter. (21-23) The necessity of self-denial. (24-28)

Verses 1-4 The Pharisees and Sadducees were opposed to each other in principles and in conduct; yet they joined against Christ. But they desired a sign of their own choosing: they despised those signs which relieved the necessity of the sick and sorrowful, and called for something else which would gratify the curiosity of the proud. It is great hypocrisy, when we slight the signs of God's ordaining, to seek for signs of our own devising.

Verses 5-12 Christ speaks of spiritual things under a similitude, and the disciples misunderstand him of carnal things. He took it ill that they should think him as thoughtful about bread as they were; that they should be so little acquainted with his way of preaching. Then understood they what he meant. Christ teaches by the Spirit of wisdom in the heart, opening the understanding to the Spirit of revelation in the word.

Verses 13-20 Peter, for himself and his brethren, said that they were assured of our Lord's being the promised Messiah, the Son of the living God. This showed that they believed Jesus to be more than man. Our Lord declared Peter to be blessed, as the teaching of God made him differ from his unbelieving countrymen. Christ added that he had named him Peter, in allusion to his stability or firmness in professing the truth. The word translated "rock," is not the same word as Peter, but is of a similar meaning. Nothing can be more wrong than to suppose that Christ meant the person of Peter was the rock. Without doubt Christ himself is the Rock, the tried foundation of the church; and woe to him that attempts to lay any other! Peter's confession is this rock as to doctrine. If Jesus be not the Christ, those that own him are not of the church, but deceivers and deceived. Our Lord next declared the authority with which Peter would be invested. He spoke in the name of his brethren, and this related to them as well as to him. They had no certain knowledge of the characters of men, and were liable to mistakes and sins in their own conduct; but they were kept from error in stating the way of acceptance and salvation, the rule of obedience, the believer's character and experience, and the final doom of unbelievers and hypocrites. In such matters their decision was right, and it was confirmed in heaven. But all pretensions of any man, either to absolve or retain men's sins, are blasphemous and absurd. None can forgive sins but God only. And this binding and loosing, in the common language of the Jews, signified to forbid and to allow, or to teach what is lawful or unlawful.

Verses 21-23 Christ reveals his mind to his people gradually. From that time, when the apostles had made the full confession of Christ, that he was the Son of God, he began to show them of his sufferings. He spake this to set right the mistakes of his disciples about the outward pomp and power of his kingdom. Those that follow Christ, must not expect great or high things in this world. Peter would have Christ to dread suffering as much as he did; but we mistake, if we measure Christ's love and patience by our own. We do not read of any thing said or done by any of his disciples, at any time, that Christ resented so much as this. Whoever takes us from that which is good, and would make us fear to do too much for God, speaks Satan's language. Whatever appears to be a temptation to sin, must be resisted with abhorrence, and not be parleyed with. Those that decline suffering for Christ, savour more of the things of man than of the things of God.

Verses 24-28 A true disciple of Christ is one that does follow him in duty, and shall follow him to glory. He is one that walks in the same way Christ walked in, is led by his Spirit, and treads in his steps, whithersoever he goes. "Let him deny himself." If self-denial be a hard lesson, it is no more than what our Master learned and practised, to redeem us, and to teach us. "Let him take up his cross." The cross is here put for every trouble that befalls us. We are apt to think we could bear another's cross better than our own; but that is best which is appointed us, and we ought to make the best of it. We must not by our rashness and folly pull crosses down upon our own heads, but must take them up when they are in our way. If any man will have the name and credit of a disciple, let him follow Christ in the work and duty of a disciple. If all worldly things are worthless when compared with the life of the body, how forcible the same argument with respect to the soul and its state of never-ending happiness or misery! Thousands lose their souls for the most trifling gain, or the most worthless indulgence, nay, often from mere sloth and negligence. Whatever is the object for which men forsake Christ, that is the price at which Satan buys their souls. Yet one soul is worth more than all the world. This is Christ's judgment upon the matter; he knew the price of souls, for he redeemed them; nor would he underrate the world, for he made it. The dying transgressor cannot purchase one hour's respite to seek mercy for his perishing soul. Let us then learn rightly to value our souls, and Christ as the only Saviour of them.

Cross References 40

  • 1. Matthew 16:1-12: {Mark 8:11-21}
  • 2. Matthew 3:7; Matthew 16:6, 11, 12
  • 3. Matthew 12:38; Luke 11:16
  • 4. Luke 12:54
  • 5. Luke 12:56
  • 6. Matthew 12:39; Luke 11:29
  • 7. Mark 8:15; Luke 12:1
  • 8. Matthew 3:7
  • 9. Matthew 6:30; Matthew 8:26; Matthew 14:31
  • 10. Matthew 14:17-21
  • 11. Matthew 15:34-38
  • 12. Matthew 16:6; Mark 8:15; Luke 12:1
  • 13. Matthew 3:7; Matthew 16:6, 12
  • 14. Matthew 3:7; Matthew 5:20
  • 15. Matthew 16:13-16: {Mark 8:27-29; Luke 9:18-20}
  • 16. Mark 8:27
  • 17. Matthew 8:20; Matthew 16:27, 28
  • 18. Matthew 14:2
  • 19. Matthew 17:10; Mark 6:15; Luke 9:8; John 1:21
  • 20. Matthew 1:16; Matthew 16:20; John 11:27
  • 21. Matthew 4:3
  • 22. Psalms 42:2; Matthew 26:63; Acts 14:15; Romans 9:26; 2 Corinthians 3:3; 2 Corinthians 6:16; 1 Thessalonians 1:9; 1 Timothy 3:15; 1 Timothy 4:10; Hebrews 3:12; Hebrews 9:14; Hebrews 10:31; Hebrews 12:22; Revelation 7:2
  • 23. John 1:42; John 21:15-17
  • 24. 1 Corinthians 15:50; Galatians 1:16; Ephesians 6:12; Hebrews 2:14
  • 25. Matthew 4:18
  • 26. Matthew 11:23
  • 27. Isaiah 22:22; Revelation 1:18; Revelation 3:7
  • 28. Matthew 18:18; John 20:23
  • 29. Matthew 8:4; Mark 8:30; Luke 9:21
  • 30. Matthew 1:16; Matthew 16:16; John 11:27
  • 31. Matthew 16:21-28: {Mark 8:31-9:1; Luke 9:22-27}
  • 32. Matthew 12:40; Matthew 17:9, 12, 22; Matthew 20:18; Matthew 27:63; Mark 9:12, 31; Luke 17:25; Luke 18:32; Luke 24:7; John 2:19
  • 33. Matthew 4:10
  • 34. Matthew 10:38; Luke 14:27
  • 35. Matthew 10:39
  • 36. Matthew 8:20
  • 37. Matthew 10:23; Matthew 24:3, 27, 37, 39; Matthew 26:64; Mark 8:38; Mark 13:26; Luke 21:27; John 21:22; Acts 1:11; 1 Corinthians 15:23; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 4:16; 2 Thessalonians 1:7, 10; 2 Thessalonians 2:1, 8; James 5:7; 2 Peter 1:16; 2 Peter 3:4, 12; 1 John 2:28; Revelation 1:7
  • 38. Psalms 62:12; Proverbs 24:12; Romans 2:6; Romans 14:12; 1 Corinthians 3:13; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Ephesians 6:8; Colossians 3:25; Revelation 2:23; Revelation 20:12; Revelation 22:12
  • 39. Matthew 8:20
  • 40. Matthew 10:23; Matthew 24:3, 27, 37, 39; Matthew 26:64; Mark 8:38; Mark 13:26; Luke 21:27; John 21:22; Acts 1:11; 1 Corinthians 15:23; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 4:16; 2 Thessalonians 1:7, 10; 2 Thessalonians 2:1, 8; James 5:7; 2 Peter 1:16; 2 Peter 3:4, 12; 1 John 2:28; Revelation 1:7

Footnotes 25

Matthew 16 Commentaries

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