Jesus is the Son of God, the foundation stone of the church. He died for the sin of the world, arose for the justification of the believer and is coming back in glory to reward His own. The cross of Calvary was God’s program for Him, essential for the salvation of men and all attempts to turn Him from it were Satan-inspired (as are all denials of its necessity today).
1 The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired him that he would shew them a sign from heaven.
2 He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red.
3 And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?
4 A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed.
5 And when his disciples were come to the other side, they had forgotten to take bread.
6 ¶ Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.
7 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have taken no bread.
8 Which when Jesus perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread?
9 Do ye not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up?
10 Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets ye took up?
11 How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees?
12 Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.
13 ¶ When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?
14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
20 Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.
21 ¶ From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.
22 Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.
23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.
24 ¶ Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.
28 Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.
Matthew 16:1-12 – J. Vernon McGee
Matthew 16:13-14 – J. Vernon McGee
Matthew 16:15-20 – J. Vernon McGee
Matthew 16:21-27 – J. Vernon McGee
Matthew 16:28 – 17:2 – J. Vernon McGee
Matthew 16:1-12 – Beware of Evil Influences
The signs of the times in our own day are much as they were in that. Still men are lovers of pleasure rather than of God. Still they who will live a godly life must be prepared to suffer persecution. The forms of hatred and dislike of the gospel change, but the hatred of the Cross is as inveterate as ever. The sign of Jonah was his resurrection to take up his cry against Nineveh; the resurrection of Jesus is the Father’s seal of endorsement. See to it that He shall rise, not only in Joseph’s garden, but in thy heart! That is the best evidence of the truth of our holy faith.
There is abroad today much teaching which may be compared to leaven. The germs of hurtful and false doctrine are as thick as microbes. Propagated by the agencies of the spoken address and the written page, they produce fermentation and unrest in the young and unstable. We must judge these pernicious teachings, not by their pleasant and innocent appearance, but by their effect on heart and character. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Matthew 16:6 – Every variety of character has its own danger, perhaps its own form of Pharisaism. It is easy for us to see the Pharisaism of others. We can stone the Pharisee in an indignant zeal, and what then? When the storm is over, and we have hurled the lightnings, there stands the Master, with eyes that search us through, and He bends over us, and saith unto His disciples, first of all, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees.” We, too, may have our own form of Pharisaism eating the life out of us; spoiling all the beauty and blessedness of our religion. To those that are nearest and dearest to Him this word is spoken by the Lord Himself. (Mark Guy Pearse)
Matthew 16:13-20 – “The Son of the Living God”
The shadows of Calvary were beginning to gather and the Lord desired to prepare His friends for all that it stood for. His questions elicited Peter’s magnificent confession.
Notice the date of the Church. It was still future when He spoke. I will build. The materials may have been prepared beforehand, but the actual building began at our Lord’s resurrection. He is the Architect. Through the centuries He has been building, and if we are in His Church today, we are there because He excavated us out of the first Adam, and placed us in the very position we now occupy. The foundations of that Church were not in the Apostle (Petros) but in his confession (petra) of the divine sonship of Jesus. See John 5:18. Its impregnability is attested, for the Lord Himself defends it. See Revelation 2:1. The gates of Hades, that is, the unseen world, include all the principalities and powers that are allied against God’s people. They cannot prevail, Ephesians 6:12. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Matthew 16:21-28 – Bear the Cross for Jesus
The gospel has two parts: Jesus is the Christ; and the Christ must suffer, if He shall enter His glory. Our Lord made sure of the first, before He held to the second. There had been veiled hints of His death before, as in John 2:19; Matthew 9:15; 12:40; but henceforth it was taught without a veil. The Cross had always cast its shadow over our Lord’s path. He did not die as the martyr on whom death comes unexpectedly, but He stepped from the throne and became incarnate that He might die. Notice that solemn must, Matthew 16:21.
How soon Peter fell from his high estate! Beware! The voice that bids us spare ourselves is Satan’s. Self-pleasing ends in destruction. Self-denial and self-sacrifice are the divine path to life. Let us be more eager to lose ourselves than to find ourselves; more set on the cross than on the glory; more eager to promote the well-being of others than our own. We do not choose or make our cross; Christ gives each a little bit of His true Cross to bear as He pleases. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Matthew 16:22—Be it far from Thee, Lord: This shall not be unto Thee.
Throughout his life these words were perpetually flung at the heart of Christ. Spare Thyself this hunger, the devil said in the wilderness, on the threshold of his public ministry; spare Thyself this agonizing death, he said again in the garden, on the eve of the crucifixion.
It is noticeable that the cross was surrounded by voices that repeated the same words. They that passed by it wagged their heads, and said, “Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself” (Matthew 27:40). The chief priests mocked Him, with the scribes and elders, and said, “Himself he cannot save” (Matthew 27:42). The soldiers also mocked Him, coming to Him, offering Him vinegar, and saying, “If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself” (Luke 23:37). And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on Him, saying, “If thou be Christ, save thyself and us” (Luke 23:39). All these voices spoke after the methods of human wisdom.
This made our Lord turn so quickly on Peter, saying (Matthew 16:23), “Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me.” How often are the same words addressed to us: “Pity thyself. Have mercy on your sensitive human nature; do not be too lavish with your money; give yourself a little more licence.” But it cannot be. You cannot save others and yourself as well. Those that would follow Jesus in his steps of redemptive help to mankind must deny themselves, take up the cross, and fellow Him into rejection, shame, spitting, and the grave. They who have mercy on themselves will never show much to others, or receive much; but the merciful are blessed, because they obtain mercy. Thus mercy is “twice blest; it blesses him that gives, and him that takes.” —Our Daily Homily
Matthew 16:24 – Christ’s cross is the sweetest burden that ever I bore; it is such a burden as wings are to a bird, or sails to a ship, to carry me forward to my harbor. (Rutherford)