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Matthew 16 New International Version (NIV) Matthew 16The Demand for a Sign 1 The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus and tested him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven. 2 He replied, “When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ 3 and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.[a] 4 A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.” Jesus then left them and went away. The Yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees 5 When they went across the lake, the disciples forgot to take bread. 6 “Be careful,” Jesus said to them. “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 7 They discussed this among themselves and said, “It is because we didn’t bring any bread.” 8 Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked, “You of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread? 9 Do you still not understand? Don’t you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? 10 Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? 11 How is it you don’t understand that I was not talking to you about bread? But be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 12 Then they understood that he was not telling them to guard against the yeast used in bread, but against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
Peter Declares That Jesus Is the Messiah 13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” 14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” 17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter,[b] and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades[c] will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be[d] bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be[e] loosed in heaven.” 20 Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah
Jesus Predicts His Death 21 From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. 22 Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!” 23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” 24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save their life[f] will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. 26 What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done. 28 “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”
Jesus knew he was going to be murdered, but he carried on healing people and teaching them about how to live and love each other, and all about heaven. He went to Jerusalem, the very heart of the government, and the people knew he was the Messiah that they had been waiting for, and they shouted HALLELUYA! and they waved palm branches like people wave the Union Jack when the Queen goes by. They knew He was the Messiah.But Jesus kept telling them the plain truth, he never hid it. He knew they were going to murder him. He wept in the garden, because he didnt want to suffer excrutiating pain, and be mocked, flogged and crucified. And the sad thing, he asked his friends to stay awake with him, to keep him company in that long dark night , but they all fell asleep. How sad Jesus was that night, but when the soldiers came, even when Peter denied he knew him, Jesus still allowed them to murder him. He could have stopped them, if he had cried out against us all, but he didn't. If he had, the human race would have been destroyed and I would not be writing this today
We humans didn't just break Jesus's body, we broke his heart. He was God, made flesh, come to show us how to live, come to heal us, and we murdered him. But he rose again 3 days later, and showed himself to the people. They were shocked and overjoyed. He went away again after a month and promised he would come back the same way he had gone, obscured by a cloud. He will come back exactly how he promised, and it could be any time, he said it would be suddenly, with no warning. He is coming for the ones who love him, who love justice, truth, goodness. The ones who despise him, the ones who hate him and persecute his children will be left behind. It reminds me a bit of Neil Youngs song, After The Gold Rush. It will be bad for the ones who get left behind. They will have got what they thought they wanted, but it will turn sour in their bellies. It will be a dreadful time for them, and they will wish so much that they had repented. It will make their hearts ache with bitter regret. They will remember what Jesus said, about Lazerus and Dives. Then there will be one last chance of redemption, but at a terrible price. Jesus always keeps his promises.
Today, I had a phone call from a broken hearted women, who is being persecuted in the secret family courts. The poor woman was weeping down the phone, it was awful to listen to. Woe to the people who gang up against women such as her, who try to suck the very blood out of someone else, someone who has never done them any harm, just so that they can make money. Unless those people repent they will suffer many times more the grief that they have caused. The time to repent is now, before the Lord comes back.
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