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Service Archives > 40 Matthew - 2011 > Matthew 16:1-20

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Matthew 16:1-20

Taught on | Topic: Faith | Keywords: Pharisees, Sadducees, pope, legalism, liberalism, Peter

Through stern rebuke, gentle prodding, and powerful teaching, Jesus instructs those around Him about who He is and how we can know and serve Him. Matthew 16 records several lessons in faith - warnings and wisdom which encourage us in our own spiritual journey.

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4/11/2012
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Matthew 16:1-20
Matthew 16:1-20
Skip Heitzig
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Message Summary
Through stern rebuke, gentle prodding, and powerful teaching, Jesus instructs those around Him about who He is and how we can know and serve Him. Matthew 16 records several lessons in faith - warnings and wisdom which encourage us in our own spiritual journey.
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40 Matthew - 2011

40 Matthew - 2011

From its opening genealogy through its careful record of Old Testament prophecies fulfilled, Matthew's gospel forms a bridge between the Old Testament and the New Testament. In this in-depth study by Pastor Skip Heitzig we'll consider Jesus' ancestry, birth, public ministry, death, and resurrection, and we'll gain a clearer understanding of Jesus as both Messiah and King.

Visit expoundabq.org for more information on this series.

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Study Guide

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Matthew 16
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.”
Matthew 16:24
PRAYER: Father, teach me how to "come after Jesus" as I live my life. Help me discover what manner of person I ought to be as I study Matthew 16.
Journal your prayer here:


PREVIEW: In Matthew 16, we see the sign given to a wicked and adulterous generation that seeks after a sign, we learn to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees and what the keys to the kingdom are, we answer the question, "Who do you say Jesus is?", we find out what it takes to come after Jesus, we resolve a paradox that Jesus gives, and we discover the value of our souls, and what manner of persons we ought to be as disciples of Christ.
Matthew 16 Outline:
Debate Over a Sign from Heaven - Read Matthew 16:1-4
Withdrawal of Jesus - Read Matthew 16:5-12
Revelation of the Person of the King - Read Matthew 16:13-17
Revelation of the Church - Read Matthew 16:18-20
Revelation of Jesus’ Death - Read Matthew 16:21-23
Revelation of Jesus’ Reward - Read Matthew 16:24-26
The Prophecy of the Second Coming - Read Matthew 16:27-28

Debate Over a Sign from Heaven-Read Matthew 16:1-4
Matthew 16:1–4 (NKJV)
1 Then the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and testing Him asked that He would show them a sign from heaven.
2 He answered and said to them, “When it is evening you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red’;
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 the times.
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.” And He left them and departed.
1. What was the intention of the Pharisees and Sadducees in asking Jesus to show them a sign from heaven (v. 1)?

2. The Pharisees and Sadducees were able to discern the face of the sky by observing it in the morning and evening. What did Jesus say they weren’t able to discern (v. 4)?


3. PRODUCE: Jesus calls the Pharisees and Sadducees “Hypocrites!” for not being able to discern the signs of the time in Matthew 16:3. What “signs of the times” should the Pharisees and Sadducees have been able to discern? (See also Matthew 9:32-34, 15:31.)

4. PROCEED: What sign did Jesus say would be given the wicked and adulterous generation that seeks after a sign (Matthew 16:4)?

5. PROPOUND: What does the sign of Jonah represent, and why is that the sign that will be given to the wicked generation? (See Matthew 12:39-41)


Withdrawal of Jesus - Read Matthew 16:5-12
Matthew 16:5–12 (NKJV)
5 Now when His disciples had come to the other side, they had forgotten to take bread.
6 Then Jesus said to them, “Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.”
7 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “It is because we have taken no bread.”
8 But Jesus, being aware of it, said to them, “O you of little faith, why do you reason among yourselves because you have brought no bread?
9 "Do you not yet understand, or remember the five loaves of the five thousand and how many baskets you took up?
10 "Nor the seven loaves of the four thousand and how many large baskets you took up?
11 "How is it you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread?—but to 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 doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
6. What did the disciples forget to bring (v. 5)?


7. Jesus tells His disciples to, “take heed,” which means to guard against. What were they to guard against (v. 6)?


8. PROPOUND: In Hebrew life, leaven played an important part not only in breadmaking, but also in law, ritual, and religious teachings. Jesus explained to His disciples what He meant by the “leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.” What does that which Jesus told His disciples to take heed against represent (v.12)?


9. PRACTICE: Why is it important to take heed against even a little leaven (incorrect doctrine) in our lives? (See Galatians 5:9 and 1 Corinthians 5:6.)


10. PROPOUND: Jesus was aware (v. 8) that the disciples thought that He was telling them to take heed and beware because they had forgotten to bring bread (v. 7). Why does Jesus refer to the feeding of the four and five thousand (vv. 9-10)? What were the disciples to understand and remember about these miracles?


Revelation of the Person of the King - Read Matthew 16:13-17
Matthew 16:13–17 (NKJV)
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?”
14 So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
16 Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
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.
11. PROPOUND: John the Baptist was known for his proclamation of the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 3:2). Elijah was known for his miraculous works and prophetic statements (1 Kings 17-18, 21, 2 Kings 1-2). The prophet Jeremiah was known for his compassion and concern toward God’s people (Jeremiah & Lamentations). Why might the people have said Jesus was one of those men (Matthew 16:14)?



12. Who does Simon Peter proclaim Jesus to be (v. 16)? How does He know this (v. 17)? (See also Matthew 14:33.)

13. PROCLAIM: Jesus asked His disciples, “But who do you say that I am?” (Matthew 16:15). Share with the group your answer to this question “Who do you personally say Jesus is?”


Revelation of the Church - Read Matthew 16:18-20
Matthew 16:18–20 (NKJV)
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.
19 "And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
20 Then He commanded His disciples that they should tell no one that He was Jesus the Christ.
14. Jesus used two different words when telling Peter He would build His church. Jesus said, “you are Peter” (Petros), which means small stone. He then said, “and on this rock,” (Petra), which means massive rock. What massive rock is Jesus referring to when He says He is going to build His church upon it? (See Matthew 16:16, Romans 10:9-10.)


15. A key is a sign of authority. Jesus said He would give Peter the keys of the kingdom of heaven. How did Peter use these keys? (See Acts 2:38, 15:14,19-20.)

16. Peter has been falsely proclaimed as the first pope because of Matthew 16:18. One of the qualifications for the papacy is infallibility on spiritual matters. Was Peter infallible? (See Matthew 16:23, Galatians 2:11.)


17. PROPOUND: Why do you think Jesus commanded His disciples to not proclaim that He was the Christ? (See also John 6:15, 18:36.)


Revelation of Jesus’ Death - Read Matthew 16:21-23
Matthew 16:21–23 (NKJV)
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 the third day.
22 Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!”
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.”
18. What does Jesus begin to show His disciples (v. 21)?

19. Peter took Jesus aside and began to rebuke Him (v. 22) for the things He was showing to his disciples (v. 21). What was Jesus’ response to Peter’s rebuke (v. 23)?

20. PROPOUND: Why do you think Jesus told Peter that he was an offense (stumbling block) to Him (v. 23)?

Revelation of Jesus’ Reward - Read Matthew 16:24-26
Matthew 16:24–26 (NKJV)
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.
25 "For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.
26 "For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
21. PROTECT: Meditate upon the three things that Jesus said were to be done if a person were to come after Him (Matthew 16:24). What are those three things and what do they mean?


22. PROMOTE: When Jesus called His disciples, He said, “Follow me” (Matthew 4:18, 9:9). Share with the group what the life of a person who follows Him should look like.


23. PROPOUND: Matthew 16:25 seems to be a paradox. The person who wants to save his life must lose it. The person who loses his life for Jesus’ sake will find it. How do you resolve this paradox?
24. Jesus gives a perspective on the value of a man’s soul (the life given to him). What value does He put on a man’s soul? (See also Psalm 49:6-9, 1 Peter 1:18-19.)


25. Our souls are extremely valuable from God’s perspective—they are worth more than anything and everything in this world. What price did God pay to redeem your soul? (See John 3:16, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, 1 Peter 1:18-19.)


26. Since our souls are so valuable to God and nothing in this world can be given in exchange for them, what manner of persons ought we to be? (See 1 Peter 2:24, 4:1-6, 2 Peter 3:10-13.)



The Prophecy of the Second Coming - Read Matthew 16:27-28
Matthew 16:27–28 (NKJV)
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.
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.”
27. Jesus prophesies about His second coming. What did He say He would do when He returns in the glory of His Father with His angels (v. 27)? (See also Romans 2:6; 2 Corinthians 5:10, 1 Peter 1:17; Revelation 2:23.)


28. What works do you think Jesus is referring to in Matthew 16:27? (See Ephesians 2:10, Matthew 5:16, 2 Timothy 3:17, Titus 3:8, 1 Peter 2:12.)



PROCESS: Review what you’ve learned in Matthew 16. Highlight what the Lord has shown you so you can share it with the group.

PRAY: Father, thank You for valuing my soul so much. Help me to deny myself, take up my cross, and follow You, that I might receive from you eternal rewards for doing the good works You created me to do!
Journal your prayer here:




Detailed Notes

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  1. Introduction
    1. Jesus on earth, moving in Galilee
      1. Teaching, preaching, healing
      2. Lives changed
        1. News spread
        2. Some concluded this is Messiah
      3. Leaders suspicious; want to see for themselves
    2. Matthew 16: a turning point in Jesus' ministry
      1. First mention of church
        1. "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" (v. 18).
        2. What did He mean?
        3. How do we fit in?
      2. Jesus begins preparing His disciples for what they don't expect
        1. Predicted His own suffering, arrest, trial, beating, crucifixion, resurrection
        2. Goes over their heads
        3. Peter argues it won't happen (see v. 22)
        4. One year left in His public ministry
    3. Theme of Matthew 16: faith
      1. No faith
      2. Little faith
      3. Saving faith
      4. Serving faith
  2. No Faith (vv. 1-4)
    1. The Pharisees and the Sadducees
      1. Odd phrase
        1. Now together; almost never together
        2. Almost always opposed
        3. Enemies
      2. Pharisees
        1. Conservative theology
        2. Lived according to the minutiae of the oral law
          1. What would Moses do?
          2. Referred to the written law
        3. Believed in the spiritual world
          1. Angels/demons
          2. Resurrection
        4. Political separatists
      3. Sadducees
        1. Liberal theology
        2. Didn't believe in the spiritual world
          1. No angels/no demons
          2. No resurrection
        3. Rejected the oral law
        4. Political activists
      4. Paul in trial before the Sanhedrin used their differences to his benefit (see Acts 22-23)
        1. "But when Paul perceived that one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, 'Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee; concerning the hope and resurrection of the dead I am being judged!'" (Acts 23:6)
        2. The assembly was divided
          1. Pharisees now supported Paul
          2. Sadducees against him
      5. Agreed on their hatred of Jesus—both groups wanted Him dead
      6. Asked him for a sign from heaven
        1. ἐκ; ek - out of
        2. Something they could see in the sky as dramatic and miraculous
    2. Jesus' answer
      1. Mariners saying: "Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning; red sky at night sailor's delight"
      2. Jesus was the sign
        1. Simeon in the temple: "Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against" (Luke 2:34)
        2. Sent from the Father to the earth
        3. Predicted by the prophets
      3. Good at seeing the natural; lousy at seeing the supernatural
        1. Restored limbs
        2. Made blind see
        3. Made deaf hear
      4. Times
        1. Not χρόνος; chromos- chronological time; sequence of time
        2. Καιρός; kairos- epochs, eras, seasons
        3. In God's redemptive history, season of Messiah on earth
          1. Jesus held them responsible
          2. Bible students; they should have known
          3. "Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, 'If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation'" (Luke 19:44)
        4. Today
          1. Pinpoint weather forecast
          2. Economic forecast
          3. Fashion trends
          4. Ignorant of God's redemptive history
          5. Almost the end
            1. Israel re-gathered against all odds
            2. Hebrew spoken
            3. Coalition between Russian and Iran against Israel
          6. Warning: be aware of the times
      5. Wicked and adulterous generation
        1. Wicked - exceedingly sinful
        2. Adulterous - spiritual infidelity
          1. Israel referred to as the wife of God
          2. Married to systems of liberalism and legalism
      6. Sign of the prophet Jonah
        1. "For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth" (Matthew 12:40)
        2. Resurrection
  3. Little Faith (vv. 5-12)
    1. Bread
      1. Left in a hurry, didn't take much bread
      2. Took one loaf (see Mark 8:14)
      3. Had to prepare food in advance
      4. Their minds were on the physical: Disciples like us
      5. Leaven - yeast; fermented dough influences and corrupts
    2. Jesus on a spiritual wavelength; misunderstood
      1. Nicodemus: "'Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.'  Nicodemus said to Him, 'How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?'" (John 3:3-4)
      2. Samaritan woman at the well: "'Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.'" The woman said to Him, 'Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw'" (John 4:13-15)
      3. Jesus miraculously fed the 4000 and the 5000, He can provide
    3. Doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees
      1. Διδαχή; didaché - doctrine, teaching
      2. Pharisee's doctrine: legalism
      3. Sadducee's doctrine: liberalism
      4. Both legalism and liberalism can corrupt the church
        1. Lives destroyed
        2. Spiritual walks ruined
      5. Bible never treats false doctrine lightly
        1. "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence" (Matthew 23:25)
        2. "But others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh" (Jude 1:23)
          1. Save people out of false doctrines
          2. Don't linger or entertain it
        3. Beware of what you allow yourself to listen to or watch
  4. Saving Faith (vv. 13-20)
    1. Training the disciples
      1. 2 ½ years
      2. Telling, training, teaching
        1. About Himself
        2. About the truth
        3. Do they understand?
      3. Setting
        1. Away from the crowd; a private place
        2. Caesarea Philippi
          1. 25 miles NNE of Galilee
          2. Headwaters of the Jordan River
            1. Feeds life to Israel
            2. Stops at the Dead Sea
            3. According to Josephus, cave at the foot of Mt. Hermon
            4. Called Living Water
        3. Importance
          1. Geographic significance: entire land depended on it
          2. Important to Pagans
            1. 14 pagan temples (including Baal, Pan, and Caesar Augustus built by Herod)
            2. Notable place of worship
          3. Contrast with Himself
        4. Cool place
          1. 1700 feet above sea level
          2. Contrast Sea of Galilee
            1. Hot physically
            2. Hot politically
            3. Hot spiritually
    2. Jesus' two simple questions
      1. "Who do men say I, the Son of Man, am?" (v.13)
        1. He knew; wanted to contrast what people said with what they knew Him to be
        2. Son of Man
          1. Used 100 times in the gospels
          2. Jesus indentifying with mankind
          3. Used of Ezekiel
          4. Jesus adopted term
          5. Most frequent description in the gospels
        3. John the Baptist
          1. Herod Antipas worried John the Baptist was raised from the dead (see Matthew 14:2)
          2. As John was bold and uncompromising, so was Jesus (see Matthew 3:7)
        4. Elijah
          1. Dead 900 years
          2. "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And he will turn The hearts of the fathers to the children, And the hearts of the children to their fathers, Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse" (Malachi 4:5-6)
          3. Jews anticipated Elijah: vacant seat and open door at Passover
        5. Jeremiah
          1. The weeping prophet
          2. Jesus—a Man of deep emotion, filled with compassion, will weep over Jerusalem
          3. Story, legend: Before Babylonian destruction of the temple in Jerusalem, Jeremiah took the Ark of the Covenant and Altar of Incense and hid them on top of Mt. Nebo; before Messiah comes, Jeremiah will return and rightful place of Israel
      2. "Who do you say that I am?" (v. 16)
        1. Determines the fate of everyone
        2. "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God" (v. 16)
          1. Christ not His last name
          2. Yeshua Ben Yosef; Jesus son of Joseph
          3. χριστὸς; Christos - Christ
          4. מָשִׁ֫יח; mashiach - Messiah, anointed, smeared one
          5. Son of God
            1. Essence and nature of the Father
            2. Affirmation of His deity
    3. On this Rock
      1. Catholic church teaches the primacy of Peter
        1. Peter the first pope
        2. Vicar of Christ; Bishop of Rome
          1. Passed down through apostolic succession
          2. Pope speaks ex cathedra; from the chair
      2. Church not built on Peter
        1. That would be a weak church
        2. Not the understanding of the apostles
          1. Peter not in charge of the early church
          2. James was in charge and Peter submitted to James
      3. Play on words
        1. Πέτρος; petros - pebbles
        2. πέτρᾳ; petra - rock
        3. "You are a little pebble but upon this massive stone I will build my church"
        4. "I'm not building my church on you, pebble, but on what you said
        5. Build on people who believe and confess what you confessed
        6. "For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 3:11)
    4. Keys of the Kingdom
      1. Implement of authority
      2. If you have the keys, you have control; you are a steward
      3. "He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens"(Revelation 3:7)
      4. Eliakim had the key of David on his shoulder signifying charge of the doors and authority (see Isaiah 22:22)
      5. Peter acted as steward of the kingdom
        1. Opened the doors wide on Pentecost when 3000 were saved (first sermon)
        2. Opened the door of faith for the Gentiles with Cornelius

Hebrew terms: מָשִׁ֫יח; mashiach - Messiah, anointed, smeared one; Yeshua Ben Yosef; Jesus son of Joseph
Greek terms: ἐκ; ek - out of; χρόνος; chromos- chronological time; sequence of time; Καιρός; kairos- epochs, eras, seasons; χριστὸς; Christos - Christ; Πέτρος; petros - pebbles; πέτρᾳ; petra - rock
Figures referenced: Josephus
Cross references: Isaiah 22:22; Malachi 4:5-6; Matthew 3:7; Matthew 12:40; Matthew 14:2; Matthew 23:25; Mark 8:14; Luke 2:34; Luke 19:44; John 4:13-15; Acts 22; Acts 23; Acts 23:6; 1 Corinthians 3:11; Jude 1:23; Revelation 3:7

Topic: Faith

Keywords: Pharisees, Sadducees, pope, legalism, liberalism, Peter

Transcript

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Turn in your Bibles to the Gospel of Matthew chapter 16. The last few days have been refreshing for me. I was up in Pagosa Springs Colorado with a few friends. An invitation somebody that I know has a house up there and invited a few of us dinosaurs from the Jesus movement to gather together. So a couple of great days with Pastor Chuck Smith, Gregg Lori, Raul Reese, John Corson, myself, Joe Faust from Philadelphia, Don McClure, just a bunch of us together talking about how Jesus has moved throughout the years. And we have all concluded as I know you know that Jesus is still moving it wasn't back then, it wasn't a done deal; he's still very alive and very active and moving around the world.

Well when Jesus was on the earth she was moving in Galilee and creating quite a stir.  He was teaching and he was preaching he was healing. Lives were being changed and leaders were getting suspicious and many of the people who had their lives changed were spreading the news far and wide about what had happened and who this could this person might be; Many of them concluding this perhaps is the Messiah of the long-awaited deliverer that our prophets have told us about that we've been looking for. But many of the Jewish leaders who were not there when Jesus was preaching teaching and healing wanted to see him for themselves. And that opens us up to the 16th chapter where there is a confrontation that we have a turning point in the ministry of Jesus in this chapter.

First of all this is the very first time Jesus will use the term church, it's a familiar passage to you. Upon this rock I will build my church. So it becomes epic because it's the first mentioned of the Word in the New Testament. So it stimulates our curiosity since it's the first time as to what exactly did he mean by that and how we fit into that. Second Jesus will begin preparing his men and his disciples for what they don't expect. They'll predict his own suffering, arrest, trial, beating crucifixion and resurrection.  I think most of these have been riding in their heads.

Peter will argue the point like get that thought out of your mind that can happen to you. But we see the turning point as Jesus knows it's inevitable. There's about a year left in his public ministry and he wants to prepare his disciples for the inevitable. Now let me sort of lay the over-arching theme of this chapter which is faith. There are four levels of faith that are illustrated.  No faith, little faith, saving faith and serving faith.  So in this chapter you'll all probably going to get a faith left.

Your increase your dependents and trust, your faith in the Lord and so it should be. We'll begin with the first, No faith. Matthew 16: 1, Then the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and testing Him asked that He would show them a sign from heaven. 2 He answered and said to them, "When it is evening you say, 'It will be fair weather, for the sky is red'; 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 the times.

Go back to the first verse, what to you now should be considered an odd phrase.  It says the Pharisees and Sadducees. Now why should that be an odd phrase? Because these two groups which are now together are almost never together, they're almost always opposed to each other.  They are like diabolical enemies.  They don't agree on anything.  You ever see Pharisees and Sadducees get together on anything except one thing, and that's here. What do I mean by that?  Well the Pharisees were the conservatives.  They believed in not only the law, the written law, what Moses wrote the prophets but also the minutia of the Oral Law.

All the deliberations of the rabbis and the teachers of the past they memorized them quibbled over the meeting of them sought to apply the Oral Law and those deliberations to their own personal lives.  The Pharisees would often ask the question, "What would Moses do in this situation?  And then refer back to the writings that at that time the Oral Law had been committed to and sought to figure out what Moses would do.

So the written law and the Oral Law they were into highly conservative in their theology. The Pharisees believed in angels, demons, the spiritual world, resurrection. The Sadducees were on the other extreme. They were the liberals in their theology. They didn't believe in the existence of angels, or demons, or spirits. They did not believe in a bodily resurrection. They did not believe in the Oral Law. They were more politically inclined and political activists, where as you have the Pharisees that were very separatistic.  They didn't want to mingle with Rome, they hated the Roman yoke. They did not want to be around Gentiles.

The Sadducees on the other hand mingled with Gentiles and sought to use the politicians to their advantage.  So they hated each other.  They never got along with each other. You never see them together.  In fact, and I love this.  Paul the apostle knowing this truth, when he was arrested and brought before the Jewish leadership in the book of Acts you remember chapter 22,  Paul was in the temple, he was arrested because they thought he had brought a Gentile Trophimus the Ephesian into the court of the Jews.  So a big mob was around Paul.  They almost tore him apart.

The Roman garrisons came and arrested Paul to protect him and they said, "We've got to get this guard here or they're going to kill him."  So the Roman in charge indulge me just, just let me speak to this crowd, these are my "Pips" man.  I know their language I know their background.  Give me just a second to address them.  So Paul stood in front of the Jewish leaders and the crowd that had gathered and gave his testimony, how the Lord saved him on the road to Damascus and then after that Damascus conversion of meeting Christ in believing that he was the Messiah; he came back to Jerusalem and he said, "When I was there in Jerusalem you guys tried to kill me last time."

And so the Lord spoke to me then and said, "Paul get out of here, I'm sending you to the Gentiles".  When the crowd heard that word 'Gentiles' they threw a hissy fit. They were unglued; they so hated the idea that this ambassador, so to speak of the Jews would be sent to the Gentiles.  So again the Romans surrounded Paul, arrested him, and placed him under custody.  The next day the Romans called for the Jewish elders alone without the mob to give Paul his first trial.  So in that crowd it says, "Paul perceived that part of the group were Pharisees and part were Sadducees.  So he says, " I'm dealing with a group that believes in the resurrection, believes in angels, demons, spirits, Scripture, Oral Law, oral traditions and a bunch of liberals who deny all of that stuff and they hate each other. 

So this is how he started very clever. He says, "Gentlemen, I want you to know first of all that I myself am a Pharisee and I believe in the resurrection from the dead."  That's all it took.   The Pharisees said, "We like this guy". The Sadducees said, "We hate this guy" and they started arguing among themselves.  So it was a riot but not against Paul but they were at each other's throat very smart thing for Paul to do, got them divided.

So here we have a divided group.  They never get together on anything.  They never agree on anything but now they're together because they both agree on one thing they both hate Jesus Christ and want him dead.  It's the only thing they can agree on.  And I'll tell you what hostility makes strange bedfellows out of certain people who might never get together on anything else but there both together on this, Jesus Christ is gaining in popularity.  The rope of control is slipping from their hands and so they come to him, the Pharisees, and the Sadducees came.  Testing him, they asked, "You would show them a sign from heaven, literally out of heaven.  Show us some heavenly signs, something we can look up into the sky and see some dramatic miraculous atmospheric, unmistakable sign".  He answered, "When it is evening you say it will be fair weather for the sky is red 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 which you cannot discern the signs of the times."

Now that little bit of a backyard weather forecasting is very common if you've been around the ocean or you grew up by the sea, you know the Mariners have a little saying, "Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning.  Red sky at night, sailors delight."  If it's evening time you get that red sky in the horizon, it is usually when it's calm and you know the next day is going to be a great sailing weather.  But in the morning if you see a red sky, sailor take warning.  Probably a storm is happening at that moment to give you the early-morning red sky or an impending storm is on its way.

So Jesus uses that, everybody knew it.  They knew it.  Here is the ironic thing.  We want a sign!  What's weird about that, what's odd about, what's even stupid about that is they were looking at the sign.  They were eye to eye with the sign.  They were speaking to the sign.  Jesus himself was the sign.  We want a sign, I met.  Understand the difference, when Jesus was a baby and he was brought to be dedicated in the temple and old man in Simeon, remember Simeon, remember when he took little Jesus in his arms and he said to Joseph and Mary, "This child will be for the fall and the rising of many in Israel and a sign that will be spoken against."  He is the sign sent from the father to the earth, the one that has been predicted by the prophets do one, now here, the sign.  God is saying, in redemptive history, here's my deliverer, here's my son, here is your Messiah, he is the sign.

But Jesus says, "You know, you guys are great weathermen, you're just really bad Bible men."  You're great at looking at the natural; you're really lousy at discerning the supernatural.   You've missed the main sign which is me.  And so, of course you missed all the lesser signs that I've already done like what new limbs on people who didn't have any, make eyes that couldn't see – that were blind now being able to see perfectly, ears that were deft be able to hear.  All those were signs but I am the sign.   So he calls them hypocrites.  You know how to discern the face of the sky but you cannot discern the signs of the times now but the word for time here is not the typical word "chronos" but the word "kairos". 

Now 'chronos', you know what that is, chronological, chronometer as a watch.  We speak of chronology that his sequence of time.  When Jesus said you guys can't tell what time it is, he didn't mean, you can tell it's morning or evening or what day of the week it is or what month it is, of course they could.  But you can't discern 'kairos' which is the epox, the, the eras, the seasons - that this is the season of God's Messiah in redemptive history coming to the earth as predicted by the prophets.

You should know this, so she held them responsible for knowing what season it was in redemptive history.  Now here's what's ironic, this is for Bible students.  Of all of the people who ought to know what time it is in God's prophetic calendar, what time it is in God's redemptive history, it should have been Bible students.  This is why Jesus when he comes into Jerusalem will pronounce the wall on the nation of Israel because they did not know that time of their visitation or God coming to them. 

We live in a day and age when forecasting the weather is a lot more precise than red sky in the morning, sailor take a warning.  We have pinpoint Doppler radar, 10-day forecast, where exactly the tornado or hurricane will touch down, where you shouldn't be where you should be, what's following that in the week ahead, where the highs and the lows, the pressure systems are, and predictions can be very precise. Besides that, we are people who can predict the stock market, they think.  The housing market, what will happen to gold and silver in the next six months, brilliant economists that are able to foretell and forecast so that you can invest and live your life.  Then there's people will tell you what the fashion trends are going to be this coming year.  Will the skirts be long, or short, or sideways?  What are the trends, what's going to happen?  And you have effectively an entire society brilliant at telling the trends the weather and the economy in the short term and absolutely ignorant, dumb, clueless as to God's redemptive history.

I'm glad and you should be glad that you know what time it is.  I hope you know what time it is.  I hope you know enough of the Bible by now and have seen what's happening in the world to know what time it is.  It's almost the end of time.  We're almost out of time.  There are certain things that were predicted in the Bible that have come to pass within the last couple of generations.   Israel has re-gathered back into the land.  It is a sovereign nation once again, against all odds.  Hebrew is spoken in that land once again, against all odds. 

The Bible predicts that in the latter days a coalition between rulers of the north, what can be traced to modern-day Russia and leaders in the east of Israel, what is modern-day Iran, Ancient Persia will in the last days come together in a coalition against Israel.  Never before has that happened in history, it's happening before our eyes.  I hope you know what time it is.  I hope you read enough of your Bible and newspaper together that you know not just what the trends are to be like and what color you ought to pick for the spring or should I invest in silver or gold.  But how to live your life based upon God's redemptive calendar, else the Lord might say to us, "Hypocrites, you're really good at knowing what the fashions are and knowing what silver is going to do and how the market is going to fall or rise but you can't tell the kind 'kairos', the era, what time it is in God's redemptive history.

Verse 4 you wicked, that is exceedingly sinful and adulterous generation that is spiritually a spiritual infidelity.   Israel in the Old Testament was called the wife of God, wife of Jehovah, wife of Yahweh, they have forsaken him and they've been married to their systems of legalism and liberalism and they aren't seeking the Lord with all their hearts.  Thus there is a spiritual adultery, that's the idea of the term.   A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the Prophet Jonah and he left them and departed.

Now we also know what that is because we've read it in Chapter 12.  You know what the sign of the Prophet Jonah is, right?  It's the resurrection, as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish three days and three nights so the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights.  That's the sign.

I am the sign and soon you're going to see the sign dead and raised back to life like Jonah.  And that is the sign that I'll leave you with and he left him and departed.  Now when his disciples said, come to the other side that is the other side of the Sea of Galilee they have forgotten to take bread.  Mark's Gospel said they only had one loaf of bread and the loaf was just a flat cracker, so 12 guys, a big salty cracker plus Jesus and anybody else is not going to work.   So they had to leave in a hurry, they didn't bring bread.

Now you've got to understand how significant this is.  In those days there were no fast food restaurants.  You couldn't go do down to McDavids and get a falafel like you can today.  So you had to prepare in advance what you're going to bring or the food you're going to prepare.  So the disciples were in charge of that, the victuals.  Then Jesus said to them, I love this, "Take heed and beware of the Leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees".  And they reasoned among themselves saying, "It's because we have taken no bread", you can see easily where their mind is.  Their mind is on the mundane.  Their mind is on the physical.  Their mind is on the physical, their mind is on just satisfying the flesh.  Their mind is where most of our thoughts are all the time.  Which on one hand, you ought to take heart in that the disciples didn't run around with polished halos all the time.

They were just like you and I.  They had foibles and failures and follies like we all do.  They didn't bring bread.  Jesus mentioned something about Leaven and now you know that Leaven is that yeast that is put in bread and when a Jewish woman bakes her bread she leaves a little portion of the uncooked dough with yeast in it and puts it aside.  So that the next batch of bread she can put that inside the bread and the yeast which is a corruption influence will permeate through the entire loaf and it will rise.  That's what Leaven is, it makes the bread rise.  It permeates, it influences, it corrupts.  They also knew what Leaven was, so they thought, "Oh, it's a hint, I get it, he's mad that we didn't bring bread.  He's saying in effect, "You dummies! Don't you know that the yeast, the bread that you're going to get from the Pharisees and Sadducees is like really bad dough, that's what they think he means – by the Leaven of the scribes and Scribes and the Pharisees.  It's just like there's just living on this mundane level.

So here's what's interesting about Jesus and about people around him, he was on a wavelength and there are so many other people were like on every other wavelength except the right one. Jesus was talking about something spiritual and they always thought, "Oh it must be something physical".  To Nicodemus he said, unless a man in Born again he can't enter the Kingdom of Heaven.  How can a man get born again like crawl outside of his mother go back in his mother's womb - different wavelength.

Woman at the well, next chapter, drink of this water you'll get thirsty again.  Whoever drinks to the water that give will never thirst.  Sir, tell me where this water is why don't you bring a bucket everytime you know, running water - - I want that.  Totally didn't get it, just like us.   How often do we totally not get?  Well here are the disciples and I love this a lot.

Jesus, being aware of it said to them, "Oh, you of little faith, why do you reason among yourselves because you have no bread.  Why did he call them little faith?  Well, a couple of chapters back, he fed 4,000 men plus children and women miraculously.  A few chapters before that he says 5,000 men plus women and children.  I don't know 35,000 to 50,000 people in those two miracles one gentile territory when a Jewish territory.  You guys really think is about a hamburger or a whole falafel? You really think is about not having enough bread can't even remember what I've done in just providing I can bring bread and fish and meals.  Really this is what you think it is about?  Oh you of little faith.

Do you not yet understand or remember the five loaves of the 5000 and how many baskets he took up nor the seven loaves of the 4000 and how many large baskets you took up?  How is it that you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread but to beware of the Leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees?  Then they understood that he did not tell them to beware of the Leaven of bread but of the doctrine, notice that word 'the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.  Doctrine, what does that mean, what does doctrine mean?  Its basic meaning is teaching.   You're hearing doctrine.  Anytime you are being taught something, any value system, anything that is being conveyed to you as being truth and right and real that teaching is doctrine.  

Beware of the Leaven of the Pharisees, what would the leaven of the Pharisees be?  Well they were legalists so legalism would be the doctrine of the Pharisees.  You have to keep all of these rules and regulations and the Oral Law and the seasons and the dates and every Sabbath and every Jewish holiday exactly and you can't do this on the Sabbath or do that, legalism that's their doctrine.  What's the doctrine of the Sadducees?  Liberalism there are really not miracles, there are really not angels, these things really don't happen.  Both legalism and liberalism can permeate like the corruption of the yeast into bread and ruin the whole batch.

Lives be destroyed, spiritual walks can be ruined as you allow a legalistic teachings or liberal teachings, they that deny the miracles of Christ the person, work and nature of Christ into your life.  Listen the Bible never treats false doctrine lightly, always with a heavy hand

Jesus in Matthew 23 will unleash and unload woe unto you scribbles, you Pharisees, and you hypocrites.  You are like a nice cup on the outside and inside you are filled with filth and corruption.  Ouch! Read the book of Jude you can read it in one quick setting.  He talks about pulling those out of the fire quickly, lest your own garments be defiled by the nastiness in the filth.  In other words, save people out of false doctrines but don't linger around it, don't entertain it. Get out of there quickly.  Beware of what you allow yourself to listen to or allow yourself to watch because it can permeate and it has the ability to destroy.

So probably the disciples went, at this point, "Oh, okay I get it."  So we've dealt with no faith, that's the first paragraph, little faith that's the second paragraph where Jesus is talking to his disciples and now we have saving faith.  I love this section, one of my favorites.  When Jesus came in to the region of Caesarea Philippi he asked his disciples saying, "Who do men say that I, the Son of Man am?"  So they said, some say John the Baptist, some Elijah and other Jeremiah were one of the prophets. He said to them, "Who do you say that I am?"  Simon Peter answered and said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."  Jesus answered and said to him, "Simon or Blessed are you Simon bar Jonah for flesh and blood does not reveal this to you but my Father who is in heaven and I also save you that you are Peter and on this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell or Hades shall not prevail against it and I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in Heaven. Whatever you loose on earth will be loosed heaven".

And he commanded his disciples that they should tell no one that he was Jesus the Christ.  We'll go back to that little beginning of the paragraph.  It's been about 2 1/2 years since our Lord has been training his disciples, discipling his disciples telling them, showing them, teaching them about himself about their identity, his identity, about truth.  They've seen so much, they've heard so much but how much do they grasp as to his own identity.  Do they really understand who I am?  So he takes them away, away from the crowd, away from the leaders, away from the detractors; It's private time.  Man it's just Jesus and his men.  And it says they went to a place called Caesarea Philippi or Philippi.  If you were to take the Sea of Galilee in your map back to your book, back at the Bible, find the Sea of Galilee and go 25 miles on the scale north northeast, you would be in Caesarea Philippi.  It is this place, and I need to describe it to you, so you can understand the meaning of what we just read.  Here is the place where the Jordan River begins, the headwaters of the Jordan River.

The Jordan River is the artery that feeds life to the whole country of Israel.  It starts up north, goes into the Sea of Galilee, goes out of the Sea of Galilee, goes south into the Dead Sea and there it stops and has evaporated.   According to Josephus, the Jewish historian, there was a huge cave at the foot of Mount Herman where they are with water in it from whence Josephus said that Jordan River had its beginning. Now if you go there today and when we go to Israel, we often go to this place.  If you've been with us on a tour to Israel, you know this spot; you know that we linger at this spot.  And we go over the text we are reading at that spot and you know, if you remember you'll see that huge rock and you can see that huge cave that has been collapsed by an earthquake since the time of Josephus and the time of Christ, but it's basically all there.

So understand this, Caesarea Philippi was important to the Jews because it was the headwaters of the Jordan River or their artery, their life source.  The Jordan River, the flowing river was called living water. The living water for the land began there.  So Jesus brings them to a place of historical geographical significance upon which the entire land of Israel depended, number one.   Number two, it was important not only to the Jews but also to pagans.  There were no less than 14 pagan temples on that site.  Temples to Baal, temples to the god Pan.  A temple built by Herod Philippi for Caesar Augustus who is one of the heads of Caesar worship.

So it was already a notable place of worship with all sorts of deities and paganism and political intrigue as well as a source important to the Jews.  It's as if Jesus deliberately took them to this spot, significant to Jews, significant to Greeks to contrast all of that with himself for a private meeting.  Now I mentioned that one of the gods that was worship there was called Pan.  You know about Pan from your history and mythology.  Pan was the guide his upper body was a man, the lower body was a goat.  He had little horns and he played the flute.  The Pan flute comes from the god Pan or Peneus.

It is believed that he was born in a nearby cave or grotto there and you can see some of the little carvings on the side of the mountain even to this day where they worshipped Pan in that place.  Something else, it is an awesomely cool place, and I mean cool in temperature.  You're about 1,700 feet above sea level and you've come from the Sea of Galilee, 680 feet, let me tell you something in this, during summer times the Sea of Galilee is a scorcher.  I've been dehydrated on the shores of he shores of the Sea of Galilee.  I spent all day throwing up because I didn't drink enough water, it was just so hot.  So after being down at the Sea of Galilee were it's hot politically it's hot physically, it's hot spiritually, Jesus takes them away to a very cool retreat, where waters flowing out of the rock and he's there with his disciples. So he decides to ask them two questions of simple tests are like chooses you can save by 10 questions for governor councils is basically I have two questions, just a simple test.

I like Jesus, he didn't say I have 10 questions, take out your pencils.  He's basically, I have two questions and the first one does not even count, the second one is pass or fail.  Question number one, who do men say that I am?  Did he ask that because he really did not know what people said about him?  No, He knew exactly – He wanted to hear it from them as if to contrast what people said about him with what they knew him to be. Who do men say that I, the Son of Man am?  Now Jesus used that term of himself that was used about a hundred times in the Gospel, 'Son of Man'. Jesus is identifying with mankind.  Actually Ezekiel was called the Son of Man but Jesus adopts that term for himself and it's the most frequent description of Christ and the Gospel, 'Son of Man'.

I am Jesus, identifying as God in the form of a man identifying with human beings.  Who do people say that I the Son of Man am?  Listen to the answers.  So they said, some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, others say Jeremiah or one of the prophets but what I find interesting is not of them said, some say your Beelzebub the prince of demons, right?  Because a few chapters back that's exactly what they said he was.  But they understood that this question – What are some of the positive things, not the negative things, we all know, I know, you know what they say about me.  What are the positive things that others would say that I am?  Interesting list, some say you're John the Baptist.  Why would they think that?

Well, remember Herod Antipas who killed John the Baptist was really worried in hearing about Jesus Christ with all the signs and miracles and he perpetrated a rumor saying that must be John the Baptist resurrected from the dead coming back to get me.  I'm going to be haunted every night.  So he started that and that was one of the rumors he's John the Baptist risen from the dead.  Not only that but John the Baptist was a pretty bold guy wouldn't you say, uncompromising?

Like when the leaders came down to the Jordan River and he said, "You bunch of slimy snakes.  Who warned you to flee from the wrath, the judgment, the damnation that's coming on you?" Bold! Don't mess with J.B., John the Baptist can be a mean dude.

Jesus was also bold and uncompromising and perhaps in noticing that aspect of his character like when he overturned the tables in the temple and took out a whip to go after the leaders at the beginning of his ministry.  They thought, "Boy, that guy reminds us a lot of John the Baptist" and the way he unloaded on some of the religious leaders.  So there was a corollary and so one of the rumors this is John the Baptist.

Notice number two on the list, Elijah.  Why would anybody think Jesus was a prophet who's been dead 900 years?  That's how long Elijah has been dead.  He hasn't been around.  He was one of the prophets in ancient Israel 900 years before this.   Why on earth would they think this is Elijah?  Well, because in the last book of the Old Testament the book of Malachi almost the very last verse, the last couple of verses in fact God says, "Behold, I send to you Israel Elijah before the great and dreadful day of the Lord to turn the hearts of the children back to the fathers and the hearts of the fathers back to the children lest I come and smite the earth with a curse."  So the Jews anticipated that before the Messiah and Elijah will come that is why they then and today keep at pass over a seat and the door open, vacant seat just in case Elijah would happen to come in and take a seat at the Passover table because if Elijah comes and takes a seat at the Passover table the Messiah is not far away.They didn't think he was the Messiah. Some thought he's the forerunner of the Messiah, Elijah the prophet.

Third on the list, and others say you are Jeremiah.  Jeremiah, how on earth could they think Jesus is Jeremiah?  Well, do you remember the nickname of the prophet Jeremiah?  What's right after the Old Testament book of Jeremiah in your Old Testament - The book of Lamentations written by Jeremiah.  Here's Jeremiah lamenting weeping over the city of Jerusalem, crying because God is punishing her.   The doom has fallen upon that city.  He is called the weeping prophet, that's his nickname.  Jesus was also a man filled with compassion moved deeply in spirit.

In fact later on we'll be weeping over the same city that Jeremiah wept over.   Boy this guy reminds us of Jeremiah.  But why would they think Jesus was Jeremiah even though he was a weeping prophet?  Interesting, I did a little digging.   There was a belief, there is a story.  Some call it a legend some have called the history that says before the Babylon, but the Babylonians came in and destroyed the temple in Jerusalem, that Jeremiah went into the temple took the Ark of the Covenant and the altar of incense out of the temple and stashed it away on top of Mount Nebo.  That's the mountain that Moses went to and is in present day Jordan.  And the same story says that before the Messiah comes Jeremiah the prophet will come back take the Ark of the Covenant from Mount Nebo and the altar of incense, take it to the temple in Jerusalem and restore the rightful place of Israel before the kingdom begins.  That was one of the stories circulating, so one of the rumors that Jesus was Jeremiah or generically one of the prophets.

So get the picture, here's Jesus, his men, waters coming out of the rock.  This massive rock is in front of them, it says –Philippi.  If you've been there you'll remember this, sheer cliff almost.  It's imposing and he starts a discussion.  Hey, lets talk about what others say about me.  So you know - Yeah I heard this guy saying you're John the Baptist. Really, you know, the other day this dude in Galilee said that he was Jeremiah. Can you believe it? They're just discussing what people are saying about them.

That's why I said, the first question on the quiz doesn't count, it is just for warm up.  The second question is the question that not only would determine the fate of everyone then but the fate of everyone now to question everybody tonight must answer.  Who do you say Jesus is?  That's pass or fail.  Simon Peter answered and said, "You are the Christ". Do you know what Christ means?  We're talking about Jesus Christ.  Christ was not his last name.  Now I've heard people who think that. I hear them swear, Jesus H. Christ. And they think like, it was the Christ family and there was Joseph and Mary Christ and then there was young Jesus and that was like their last name.

It is not their last name.  Jesus' name was Yeshua Ben Yosef, Jesus the son of Joseph.  Christ is the Greek form Anglicized of the Greek Khristós, a Greek term that is the equivalent of the Hebrew 'mashiach', Messiah.  So Christ means Messiah.  Now, do you know where Messiah comes from as a word?  It literally means 'to smear', because the idea is that you would take olive oil and he would smear it on a head or face and the smearing is that term from which 'mashiach' comes from.   Because when kings were anointed or people were inaugurated they would smear them with an anointing oil, thus, that person became a smeared one, an anointed one.  So Christ means the anointed one, the one chosen by God and anointed just like they would pick Kings and initiate, inaugurate them for service.

You are the Messiah, you're promised one, you're the one the prophets have spoken about.  You're the Christ; you are the Son of the living God.  Now Jesus calls himself the Son of Man.  Peter answers that you are the son of the living God, you're Son of Man and Son of God.  The idea of the Son of God is that he's got the essence and nature of his Father, just like my son has the essence and nature of his mother and I.  And every child has the essence and nature of his or her parents.  You are the Son of the Living God.  It is an affirmation of his deity.  You're the Christ, the Son of the Living God.  And Jesus answered and said to him, "Right on man".  That's the NSV New Skip Version for Blessed are you Simon son of Jonah for flesh and blood has now revealed this.   Dude, you didn't figure this out on your own.  This isn't something that you've come up with on your own.  This comes from God.  This is a revelation to your heart from my Father, or my Father who is in Heaven.

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.  I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven etcetera.  Now, what does that mean?  Well, if you grew up like I grew up, you believed, I believed that the first Pope was Peter and that the church was built on the primacy of Peter, that's the Catholic doctrine, the primacy of Peter and that Peter passed down that rule as vicar of Christ, that's the Catholic terminology and Bishop of Rome to various other people down through history in a lineage known as apostolic succession. So that the pope speaks Ex Cathedra from the chair and whenever he speaks whatever he says is as if God himself is talking and must be believed and must be submitted to.

Yo! Peter dude, I'm building my church on you Peter.  It's a weak church if it's built on Peter, may I say.  And if Jesus meant the church is going to be built on Peter, I guess the rest of the disciples didn't pick up on that or cop a clue.   Because in the book of acts, Peter was not in charge of the early church, James was and Peter submitted to James and is rebuked by Paul.  So if he is the first Pope, the other guys didn't get that e-mail, just bypassed their computer altogether.   So what do we have here?  Well, what we have here is the plan worked, if I may.

You Simon are Petros, you're a little stone, you're a pebble.   A little rock on the side of the road and you might kick down the path.  And, or, and some translators say but, as a word of contrast, upon this 'petra' I will build my church.  You are a little stone, you're a pebble, but upon the massive stone Im going to build my church – words, I'm not building my church on you stone, pebble, Rocky... but I'm going my church, my called out assembly, my group of people that I will assemble together through history, not on you as a person Peter but on what you've just said.  You just confessed that I am the Messiah, the Son of the Living God and I'm to build my whole program on the lives of people who confessed what you just confessed, to believe what you just believed by faith, who believe that I am the Son of God.  I'm going to build my church that.   That is a solid rock, that's a massive rock.  I'm not going to build it on – Listen, the church is not built on  Peter pebbles, but I know Messiah, that's the idea, the rock, not the little pebble, the rock. 

Paul said, no other foundation can anyone lay than what has already been laid, 1 Corinthians 3 and that is Jesus Christ.  It is built on Christ and everyone who confesses that he is who he said he is, that's what he builds his church on.  And we have a question, I'm just going to tip my hat to it and explain it as we finish out this text tonight.  Could verse 18 be understood in the context of Ephesians 2:20?   It mentions the foundations of the apostles and prophets.  Answer 'yes', good question and a rhetorical question, yes of course that's exactly what we have here but let me explain.  So you are Peter pebble, little rock.   On this rock, this massive rock, imagine, they're standing in front of that huge rock where the source of the water of the land is gushing forth from and all around on the ground are little pebbles, little rocks.

Peter what you just said, I'm going to build my church upon that confession and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.  And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven.  The idea of the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, keys is an implement of authority, if you have the key you can get in something.  You can lock something up.  You have control of it or better yet, you're a steward of it.  In the book of Revelation Jesus says I have the keys of David and I open what no man can shut and I shut but no one can open. 

Okay, we're almost done, so just keep tracking with me.  Don't le me lose you.  That Scripture ties back to Isaiah chapter 22 when a man by the name of Eliakim had placed on his shoulder the key to the house of David.  He was the steward in the Davidic house at that time.  He would have charge of opening the doors in the morning and shutting the doors in the evening.  He was the steward over the house of David, a position of authority.  He would open the doors to people coming he closed the doors to people going out.  What Peter did is act like Eliakim, a steward for the kingdom, a steward of the kingdom.

It is Peter who on the day of Pentecost opens the doors wide as 3000 souls confess Jesus Christ and come to know him as Lord and Savior.  Who opened that door? Peter opened that door and gave the first sermon.  Who went to Cornelius and opened the door of faith to the Gentiles?  Peter.  So the key, the stewardship was given to Peter.  The church is not built on Peter but God used Peter as a steward to open wide the door of faith to Jews and Gentiles. And he commanded his disciples that they should tell no one that Jesus was the Christ.

Now, why on earth if Jesus was the Christ and if Jesus was so insistent upon his disciples knowing that he was the Christ and St. Peter, you got it you aced the test dude, you got straight A.  Why then would Jesus say, don't tell anybody else, especially when later on, he says, tell everybody else.  Go in to all the world and preach the Gospel.  We'll answer that next week we're out of time. Don't you love it when I do that?  I know you don't, I do though.

Father, it's glorious, it's amazing when we think that a door has been opened to us that you first use Peter to open a door to the Jews in Jerusalem and the Gentiles at the house of Cornelius.  And the doors have been opened ever since and we walked through one of those doors.  You knocked on the door of our own heart.  We opened it up to you and I pray like Peter we would be Stewart's being used Lord to open up doors.  Use us Lord, open up doors to us and use us to open up doors in people's hearts when it comes our relationship with Christ.  We've seen tonight Lord, people of no faith, those who were completely blinded and didn't want to see anything, people of little faith, those disciples who were thinking on the mundane, materialistic, the level of this world, what their next meal was going to be, to people of saving faith.  As Peter discovered the identity of Jesus Christ as the Messiah, the deliver, the sin conqueror, the Son of the Living God - What a contrast that must've been to discover in the midst were there, a place where there was dead idols scattered all around that area of Caesarea Philippi Temples to get deities, deities that didn't exist to realize that Jesus came out of heaven and was the Son of the Living God.  And because Jesus is alive, and our God is alive, our faith and our hope is also alive.  May it blossom in Jesus' name, Amen.

Additional Messages in this Series

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9/7/2011
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Matthew 1:1-18
Matthew 1:1-18
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As we turn our attention to the New Testament, Pastor Skip explains what transpired during the 400 years of silence since the Old Testament. Our firm grasp of the political setting, language, and Matthew's purpose and perspective establishes a solid foundation for understanding his gospel. In Matthew 1, we see Jesus revealed as the royal Heir to the throne of David—the Messiah, Immanuel: God with us.
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9/14/2011
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Matthew 1:18-2:23
Matthew 1:18-2:23
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Every year people around the world recognize the birth of a poor Jewish child born in an insignificant city. The birth of Jesus Christ, as recorded in the Scriptures, beckons us to worship and obey the King of the Jews. Let's examine Matthew's account of the miraculous circumstances of the nativity and the prophecies it fulfilled.
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9/21/2011
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Matthew 3
Matthew 3
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Jesus called John the Baptist the greatest man among those born of women. John saw himself in the light of who Jesus is: not even worthy to loose His sandal. From the womb, he was filled with the Spirit, continually pointing people to Christ. Let's consider this powerful prophet, his ministry, and the message he preached.
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9/28/2011
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Matthew 4:1-17
Matthew 4:1-17
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Prior to the start of Jesus' public earthly ministry, He was led up to be tempted by the devil. As we review His encounter with Satan, we uncover important principles of spiritual warfare. We consider not only when and how Jesus was tempted, but also how He fought—and the ministry that began on the heels of the battle.
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10/5/2011
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Matthew 4:18-5:4
Matthew 4:18-5:4
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Leaving life as they knew it, the disciples followed Jesus and became intimate witnesses of Jesus' teaching, preaching, and healing. As we dive into this portion of Matthew, we turn our attention to their calling and listen in as Jesus begins the greatest sermon ever preached.
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10/19/2011
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Matthew 5:5-16
Matthew 5:5-16
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The economy in God's Kingdom is quite different from that of the world: it's paradoxical; it's progressive. Let's consider the Beatitudes and discover what kingdom living looks like, and how it impacts those around us.
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10/26/2011
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Matthew 5:17-32
Matthew 5:17-32
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The multitudes listening to Jesus teach were undoubtedly shaken by His powerful statement: "Unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:20). How, then, could one be saved? As we continue our study of the Sermon on the Mount, we remember that salvation is not available through human achievement--only by divine accomplishment.
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11/2/2011
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Matthew 5:33-6:8
Matthew 5:33-6:8
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As we continue our study of the Sermon on the Mount, we'll grow in our understanding of the contrasts between the world and the kingdom of heaven. Followers of Jesus are called to a righteousness that exceeds that of the scribes and the Pharisees—a righteousness based on our genuine relationship with Christ, rather than mere outward obedience.
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11/9/2011
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Matthew 6:9-34
Matthew 6:9-34
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Jesus taught His disciples to pray in this manner: "Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:10). As we continue our study of the Sermon on the Mount, we learn that when we make God's kingdom our focus, He provides everything we need.
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11/16/2011
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Matthew 7
Matthew 7
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Jesus calls His followers to live differently from the world -- to live a kingdom lifestyle. In this study from the Sermon on the Mount, we consider what kingdom living looks like in both our relationships with others and our relationship with God.
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12/7/2011
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Matthew 8:1-26
Matthew 8:1-26
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Throughout his gospel account, Matthew presents Jesus as the Messiah. Building upon the foundation of fulfilled prophecy, Jesus' identity is authenticated by miraculous signs. As we examine Matthew chapter eight, let's consider the compassion and grace Jesus demonstrates.
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1/18/2012
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Matthew 8:23-9:9
Matthew 8:23-9:9
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Matthew carefully crafted his gospel to speak directly to the hearts of his Jewish audience. Through his detailed record of Jesus' genealogy, fulfilled prophecy, Jesus' actions, instructions, and miracles, Matthew proves that Jesus is Messiah. Let's take a close look at several of those miracles, and gain a firm grasp of His Deity.
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1/25/2012
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Matthew 9:10-31
Matthew 9:10-31
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To the Pharisees, tax collectors and sinners were part of a lower, unpleasant class. But Jesus longed for fellowship with all people. He shared intimate meals with them, ministered to their needs, and reached out to the unlovely. As we study this passage in Matthew 9, we learn how we are also called to be heralds of the good news that brings spiritual health and enduring joy.
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2/1/2012
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Matthew 9:32-10:31
Matthew 9:32-10:31
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The Lord calls His followers to proclaim His message to the world—we are appointed to carry out a divine purpose. We learn in this study that we, like the apostles, find abundant life only in letting go of our own ambitions, plans, and comfort.
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2/8/2012
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Matthew 10:32-11:19
Matthew 10:32-11:19
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In His second major discourse of Matthew, Jesus equips and instructs His apostles about going into the world and reaping the spiritual harvest. In this passage, Jesus expounds on the courage needed to complete the mission and warns His followers of certain persecution. He reminds us that while not all who hear will believe, God's wisdom is powerfully demonstrated in changed lives.
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2/15/2012
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Matthew 11:16-30
Matthew 11:16-30
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In order to truly worship God, you must know Him. Speaking clearly and openly in this passage, Jesus proclaims some of His strongest warnings and makes some of His most intimate promises. He reveals the Father to His followers and assures us that life lived under His rule yields peace and rest.
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2/22/2012
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Matthew 12:1-21
Matthew 12:1-21
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Though God intended the Sabbath to be a day of rest, keeping the Sabbath became difficult work by New Testament times. The oral traditions of the Pharisees had become weighty burdens-burdens the Lord did not mean for His people to bear. In this passage, Jesus demonstrates mercy and the true intent of the Sabbath as He and His disciples meet physical needs in the face of strong opposition.
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2/29/2012
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Matthew 12:22-42
Matthew 12:22-42
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Though our current culture embraces a form of spirituality, the biblical view of God, Satan, and good versus evil has been dismissed by most. Ignorance and indifference cause them to relegate Satan to the stuff of fairy tales and myth. In this study from Matthew 12, Jesus demonstrates His authority over the devil and his minions--giving us a glimpse into the supernatural and a reminder that, "He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world" (1 John 4:4).
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3/7/2012
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Matthew 12:43-13:17
Matthew 12:43-13:17
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Jesus consistently brought His message of hope to the common man: He spoke in parables to bring revelation to His followers and to conceal heavenly truth from the hard-hearted. In this message, we examine parables of our Master Teacher and Holy Judge, and discover that truth can be a blessing, but also a curse--we must be diligent to understand and apply God's Word to our lives.
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3/14/2012
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Matthew 13:18-52
Matthew 13:18-52
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Jesus often used parables to explain spiritual truth to His followers. In Matthew 13, His seven kingdom parables are recorded--word pictures which explain the beginning, opposition, expansion, and culmination of His kingdom. Let's consider His teachings and apply these lessons, so that we may be fellow workers with Him in spreading the good news.
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3/21/2012
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Matthew 13:53-14:36
Matthew 13:53-14:36
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In this passage from the gospel of Matthew, we see powerful examples of the results of both faith and the lack of it. Those who might have known Jesus best failed to trust in Him and missed out on His work in their lives, while others were carried through the storm in His care. As we consider our own trials, we should rest in His hands, knowing He has power to change us and use our lives for His glory.
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3/28/2012
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Matthew 15
Matthew 15
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God is less concerned with the outward appearance than He is with the inward attitude. In this passage, Jesus boldly proclaims truth in a confrontation with the Pharisees, warning his followers to avoid hypocrisy. We also witness His tender response to the persistent faith of a Gentile woman, and His mercy for the multitudes. As we study Matthew 15, let's consider our own approach to Him: Do we recognize that we cannot live without Him?
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4/25/2012
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Matthew 16:21-17:27
Matthew 16:21-17:27
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Jesus calls His followers to deny themselves, take up their cross, and follow Him. From this passage, we gain a clearer understanding of what it means to exalt Him as King in our lives and also get a preview of His future glory, when He will reign over all the earth.
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5/2/2012
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Matthew 18
Matthew 18
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How should sin be dealt with? As we examine Matthew 18, we learn not only to deal radically with sin in our own lives, but also the steps toward reconciliation with a sinning brother.
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6/13/2012
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Matthew 19
Matthew 19
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In the U.S., the lifestyle of Christians often mirrors that of unbelievers--divorce, self-indulgence, misaligned priorities. Using God's Word to teach lessons about divorce and eternal life, Jesus exhorts his followers to enter the kingdom of heaven--to live in wholehearted faith and obedience to the Him. Let's consider what Scripture says about godly living and the reward Jesus promises to His faithful followers.
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6/20/2012
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Matthew 20
Matthew 20
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As followers of Christ, what awaits us in eternity? In this study, we consider not only our eternal home but also our eternal reward. Saved by grace through faith, we must see beyond the circumstances and status of this world, and look toward our future glory.
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7/11/2012
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Matthew 21:1-32
Matthew 21:1-32
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In this intriguing passage, Jesus enters Jerusalem in a precise fulfillment of prophecy. It's an exciting study, where those who know they need forgiveness find refreshment and hope—and those who rely on their own righteousness receive a stern rebuke.
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7/18/2012
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Matthew 21:33-22:22
Matthew 21:33-22:22
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Jesus taught with complete authority, denouncing the misconceptions of the religious leaders of the day. With skill and precision, Jesus uses parables and their own words to silence their challenges and expose their motives. Let's consider His words, heed His warnings, and remember that He alone is righteous and worthy of praise.
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7/25/2012
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Matthew 22:23-23:39
Matthew 22:23-23:39
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In dealing with the Pharisees and Sadducees, Jesus speaks wisely, uncompromisingly, and with the authority of heaven—His Words shoot straight to the heart. Though many try to fit Jesus into their pre-conceived mold—to accept Him and His Words only as far as they are comfortable—we learn here danger of that the perilous position.
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8/1/2012
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Matthew 24:1-30
Matthew 24:1-30
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In this passage—the Olivet Discourse— Jesus provides a summary of end time events: the future of the world. We look forward to the Rapture and the Second Coming of Jesus, but those found outside of Christ face unparalleled suffering and judgment. Let's contemplate the wrath of God that's in store for this world—and share the hope of the gospel with those who don't yet know Him.
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8/8/2012
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Matthew 24:31-25:46
Matthew 24:31-25:46
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In this section of the Olivet Discourse, we consider Jesus' Warning Parables. As we examine the text, let's remember that while the church escapes judgment, many are left to suffer the Great Tribulation. We must be righteous, be ready, and be responsible.
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8/15/2012
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Matthew 26:1-30
Matthew 26:1-30
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As Jesus gathered with His disciples to observe the Passover one last time, He brought fresh meaning to a festival which had been celebrated for thousands of years. Rather than a memorial to their physical deliverance from bondage in Egypt, the meal represents His broken body and shed blood—and spiritual deliverance from sin for those who believe.
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8/22/2012
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Matthew 26:31-75
Matthew 26:31-75
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Following the Last Supper, Jesus entered the Garden of Gethsemane and willingly surrendered Himself to the will of the Father: Jesus was crushed for our sin, abandoned to the Cross, so that we might have fellowship with Him. As we study Matthew 26, we consider the spiritual battle before us, the choices we make, and the ultimate victory that is ours through Jesus Christ.
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8/29/2012
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Matthew 27:1-50
Matthew 27:1-50
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In this message, we see the ultimate demonstration of God's love—the cross. Jesus, the King of the Jews, was betrayed, falsely accused, illegally tried, scourged, and ultimately crucified. As we consider the details of His crucifixion and death, how could we be anything except amazed and humbled?
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9/19/2012
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Matthew 27:50-66
Matthew 27:50-66
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As He hung on the cross, betrayed by his friends and separated from His Father, Jesus declared "It is finished!" Victorious, not defeated—He completed the work the Father gave Him to do. In that dark hour, the grave gave up some of her dead, the earth quaked, and in the temple, the curtain that separated men from God was torn from top to bottom. As we study this text, let's consider the price Jesus paid to redeem us and the personal, intimate fellowship with God now available.
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9/26/2012
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Matthew 28
Matthew 28
Skip Heitzig
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Message Summary
Jesus' resurrection: great news for His disciples—troubling news to his enemies. As the chief priests grappled with a cover up, the disciples met with the risen Lord and were commissioned to "Go and make disciples of all the nations." As we consider our text, we discover the good news for ourselves: Jesus is not dead—He's alive and has all authority in heaven and earth.
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There are 36 additional messages in this series.