Pharisees Test Jesus
16 Now the Pharisees and Sadducees came up, and testing Jesus [to get something to use against Him], they asked Him to show them a sign from heaven [which would support His divine authority]. 2 But He replied to them, “[a]When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ 3 And in the morning, ‘It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and has a threatening look.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but cannot interpret the signs of the times? 4 An evil and [morally] unfaithful generation craves a [miraculous] sign; but no sign will be given to it, except the sign of [the prophet] Jonah.” Then He left them and went away.(A)
5 When the disciples reached the other side of the sea, they realized that they had forgotten to bring bread. 6 Jesus said to them, “Watch out and be on your guard against the [b]leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 7 They began to discuss this among themselves, saying, “He said that because we did not bring bread.” 8 But Jesus, aware of this, said, “You men of little faith, why are you discussing among yourselves that you have no bread? 9 Do you still not understand or remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many baskets you picked up? 10 Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many large baskets you picked up? 11 How is it that you fail to understand that I was not talking to you about bread? But beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 12 Then they understood that He did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the [false] teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
Peter’s Confession of Christ
13 Now when Jesus went into the [c]region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”(B) 14 And they answered, “Some say John the Baptist; others, Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah, or [just] one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed), the Son of the living God.” 17 Then Jesus answered him, “Blessed [happy, spiritually secure, favored by God] are you, Simon son of Jonah, because flesh and blood (mortal man) did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 And I say to you that you are [d]Peter, and on this [e]rock I will build My church; and the [f]gates of Hades (death) will not overpower it [by preventing the resurrection of the Christ].(C) 19 I will give you the keys (authority) of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind [forbid, declare to be improper and unlawful] on earth [g]will have [already] been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose [permit, declare lawful] on earth [h]will have [already] been loosed in heaven.”(D) 20 Then He gave the disciples strict orders to tell no one that He was the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed).
Jesus Foretells His Death
21 [i]From that time on Jesus began to show His disciples [clearly] that He must go to Jerusalem, and endure many things at the hands of the elders and the chief priests and scribes (Sanhedrin, Jewish High Court), and be killed, and be raised [from death to life] on the third day.(E) 22 Peter took Him aside [to speak to Him privately] and began to reprimand Him, saying, “May God forbid it! This will never happen to You.” 23 But Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on things of God, but on things of man.”
Discipleship Is Costly
24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to follow Me [as My disciple], he must deny himself [set aside selfish interests], and take up his cross [expressing a willingness to endure whatever may come] and follow Me [believing in Me, conforming to My example in living and, if need be, suffering or perhaps dying because of faith in Me]. 25 For whoever wishes to save his life [in this world] will [eventually] lose it [through death], but whoever loses his life [in this world] for My sake will find it [that is, life with Me for all eternity]. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world [wealth, fame, success], but forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory and majesty of His Father with His angels, and then He will repay each one in accordance with what he has done.(F)
28 “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, there are some of [j]those standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”
- Matthew 16:2 Early mss do not contain the rest of v 2 and all of v 3 beginning with “When it is evening” in v 2.
- Matthew 16:6 Here, leaven represents the man-made traditions and false teachings of the Pharisees which were preventing the nation of Israel from attaining right standing with God and from recognizing and accepting the Messiah.
- Matthew 16:13 In Jesus’ day this was Gentile territory. Today this region is known as the Golan Heights. The ancient city of Caesarea Philippi was located at the foot of Mt. Hermon, near the Banias Spring, one of the three springs which feeds into the Jordan River.
- Matthew 16:18 Gr petros, a small or detached stone.
- Matthew 16:18 Gr petra, bedrock or a huge rock. Jesus uses a simple play on the Greek words petros and petra in this verse. Throughout the N.T. Christ is clearly depicted as both the foundation petra and chief cornerstone of the church. Here He praises Peter for his accurate confession of faith in Him as Messiah. Peter explains the role of believers as “living stones” in the church which is built on Christ as the foundation and cornerstone (1 Pet 2:5, 6).
- Matthew 16:18 The physical death of Christ will not hinder the establishment of the church nor will death overtake the church.
- Matthew 16:19 Gr estai dedemenon, future perfect passive referring to a state of having already been bound.
- Matthew 16:19 Gr estai lelumenon, future perfect passive.
- Matthew 16:21 This marks a turning point in the book. 4:17 marked the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry offering the kingdom to Israel. Since Israel rejected the Messiah, the kingdom is held in abeyance and the Messiah must suffer death. But He had to die in any case to provide salvation.
- Matthew 16:28 Undoubtedly a reference to Peter, John, and James, who were to witness the transfiguration a few days later.
Four Thousand Fed
8 In those days, when there was again a large crowd [gathered before Him] and they had nothing to eat, Jesus called His disciples and told them,(A) 2 “I feel compassion for the crowd; they have been with Me now for three days and have nothing [left] to eat. 3 If I send them away to their homes hungry, they will faint [from exhaustion] on the road; because some of them have come a long way.” 4 His disciples replied to Him, “Where will anyone be able to find enough bread here in this isolated place to feed these people?” 5 He asked them, “How many loaves [of bread] do you have?” They said, “Seven.” 6 He directed the people to sit down on the ground; and taking the seven loaves, He gave thanks and broke them, and [repeatedly] gave them to His disciples to set before them, and they served the crowd. 7 They also had a few small fish; and when Jesus had blessed them [and given thanks], He ordered these [fish] to be set before them as well. 8 And the people ate and were satisfied; and they picked up seven large baskets full of the broken pieces that were left over. 9 About four thousand [men] were there [besides women and children]; and He sent them away. 10 Then immediately He got into the boat with His disciples and went to the district of [a]Dalmanutha.
11 The Pharisees came out and began to argue [contentiously and debate] with Him, demanding from Him a sign from heaven, to test Him [because of their unbelief]. 12 He groaned and sighed deeply in His spirit and said, “Why does this generation demand a sign? I assure you and most solemnly say to you, [b]no sign will be given to this generation!” 13 Leaving them, He again boarded the boat and left for the other side.
14 Now the disciples had forgotten to bring bread, and they had only one loaf with them in the boat. 15 Jesus repeatedly ordered them, saying, “Watch out! Beware of the [c]leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” 16 They began discussing this with one another, saying, “It is because we have no bread [that He said this].” 17 Jesus, aware of this [discussion], said to them, “Why are you discussing [the fact] that you have no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened?(B) 18 Though you have eyes, do you not see? And though you have ears, do you not hear and listen [to what I have said]? And do you not remember,(C) 19 when I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces you picked up?” They answered, “Twelve.” 20 “And [when I broke] the seven [loaves] for the four thousand, how many large baskets full of broken pieces did you pick up?” And they answered, “Seven.” 21 And He was saying to them, “Do you still not understand?”
22 Then they came to Bethsaida; and some people brought a blind man to Jesus and begged Him to touch him. 23 Taking the blind man by the hand, He led him out of the village; and after spitting on his eyes and laying His hands on him, He asked him, “Do you see anything?” 24 And he looked up and said, “I see people, but [they look] like trees, walking around.” 25 Then again Jesus laid His hands on his eyes; and the man stared intently and [his sight] was [completely] restored, and he began to see everything clearly. 26 And He sent him to his home, saying, “Do not even enter the village.”
Peter’s Confession of Christ
27 Then Jesus and His disciples went out to the villages of [d]Caesarea Philippi; and on the way He asked His disciples, “Who do people say that I am?”(D) 28 They answered Him, “John the Baptist; and others say Elijah; but others, one of the prophets.” 29 And He asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter replied to Him, “You [in contrast to the others] are the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed).” 30 Then Jesus strictly warned them not to tell anyone about Him.
31 And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must [of necessity] suffer many things and be rejected [as the Messiah] by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and must be put to death, and after three days rise [from death to life].(E) 32 He was stating the matter plainly [not holding anything back]. Then Peter took Him aside and began to reprimand Him. 33 But turning around [with His back to Peter] and seeing His disciples, He rebuked Peter, saying, “Get behind Me, Satan; for your mind is not set on God’s will or His values and purposes, but on what pleases man.”
34 Jesus called the crowd together with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to follow Me [as My disciple], he must deny himself [set aside selfish interests], and [e]take up his cross [expressing a willingness to endure whatever may come] and follow Me [believing in Me, conforming to My example in living and, if need be, suffering or perhaps dying because of faith in Me]. 35 For whoever wishes to save his life [in this world] will [eventually] lose it [through death], but whoever loses his life [in this world] for My sake and the gospel’s will save it [from the consequences of sin and separation from God].(F) 36 For what does it benefit a man to gain the whole world [with all its pleasures], and forfeit his soul? 37 For what will a man give in exchange for his soul and eternal life [in God’s kingdom]? 38 For whoever is ashamed [here and now] of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”
- Mark 8:10 This may have been another name for Magadan or Magdala.
- Mark 8:12 Lit if a sign will be given. The statement takes the form of an oath, which is an emphatic way of forbidding something.
- Mark 8:15 A substance such as yeast that consists mostly of fungi. This analogy relates the impurity of a leavening agent to the impurity of the man-made tradition and hypocrisy of the Pharisees that was preventing the nation of Israel from accepting the Messiah.
- Mark 8:27 Located in the area known today as the Golan Heights.
- Mark 8:34 See note Matt 10:38.
18 Now it happened that as Jesus was praying privately, the disciples were with Him, and He asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?”(A) 19 They answered, “John the Baptist, and some say, Elijah; but others, that one of the ancient prophets has come back to life.” 20 And He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter replied, “The Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed) of God!” 21 But He strictly warned and admonished them not to tell this to anyone, 22 saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected [as the Messiah] by the elders and chief priests and scribes (Sanhedrin, Jewish High Court), and be put to death, and on the third day be raised up [from death to life].”(B)
23 And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to follow Me [as My disciple], he must deny himself [set aside selfish interests], and take up his cross daily [expressing a willingness to endure whatever may come] and follow Me [believing in Me, conforming to My example in living and, if need be, suffering or perhaps dying because of faith in Me]. 24 For whoever wishes to save his life [in this world] will [eventually] lose it [through death], but whoever loses his life [in this world] for My sake, he is the one who will save it [from the consequences of sin and separation from God]. 25 For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world [wealth, fame, success], and loses or forfeits himself? 26 For whoever is ashamed [here and now] of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory and the glory of the [heavenly] Father and of the holy angels. 27 But I tell you truthfully, there are [a]some among those standing here who will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God.”Read full chapter
- Luke 9:27 Perhaps a reference to Peter, John, and James who were to witness the transfiguration a few days later.