Jan 282017

Matthew 16:1-12

The Pharisees and Sadducees Demand Signs

1And the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and to test him they asked him to show them a sign from heaven.

  • To test him – their purpose is clear.
  • We are observing here what we see throughout the OT – Israel’s unbelief and putting the Lord to the test. Nothing new here folks.
  • They will not live by faith; they will not live by his word of promise.
  • “so Jesus – here is your test”.
  • Think about this – they are asking for something OTHER.
  • Jesus is the sign from heaven, but they want something else – something OTHER.

He answered them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’

  • He praises their ability to forecast the weather – which actually is very important in an agrarian economy.

And in the morning, ‘It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.

  • You know how to interpret the sky, but you cannot…
  • What have we been discussing about the signs of the times????
  • The kingdom of heaven has come – Messiah is here!!!
  • They cannot even see that the ‘sign’ is standing right before them.

An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.” So he left them and departed.

  • Evil & Adulterous speaks of spiritual evil and adultery.
  • They are seeking after a miraculous sign – one that is outside of Jesus.
  • To many people, several Christian groups included – Jesus is not enough.
  • Jesus recognizes this so he tells them the sign they will see is not now but later.
  • Remember this – those who look for signs and seek after signs are not the faithful Christian – but the evil and adulterous Christian (who is probably not a Christian at all.)
  • And he leaves them
  • Jesus once again is separating himself from old Israel – and he will go to be with an Israel created for himself. Those just hanging on.

The Leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees

When the disciples reached the other side, they had forgotten to bring any bread.

  • Time for some comic relief.

Jesus said to them, “Watch and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”

  • Jesus is trying to emphasize just how dangerous the opposition from the Pharisees and Sadducees will become.
  • What is the leaven in this situation? Their united front against Jesus.
  • The Pharisees and Sadducees did not agree on much – other than Jesus had to go.

And they began discussing it among themselves, saying, “We brought no bread.”

  • Jesus is speaking spiritual things
  • The disciples are talking earthly things – their bellies.

But Jesus, aware of this, said, “O you of little faith, why are you discussing among yourselves the fact that you have no bread?

  • We have now gone from the great faith of the Canaanite woman to little faith of the disciples.

Do you not yet perceive? Do you not remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many baskets you gathered?

  • Do you not understand? … obviously not.
  • Think about this – how could they forget such a miraculous time that they experienced firsthand not long ago? Do we ever do the same?

10 Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many baskets you gathered?

  • Evidence that the feeding of the 5,000 and the 4,000 were 2 separate events.
  • How could they not remember?
  • How do we not remember to apply these things to our day to day life situations?
  • What consumes our thoughts – the day to day or the eternal?

11 How is it that you fail to understand that I did not speak about bread? Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”

  • Now I ask you – class, do you understand?

12 Then they understood that he did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

  • Now they understand – Jesus is warning against the teaching – more clearly understood as the false teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees
  • Was there any common teaching between the Pharisees and Sadducees? Yes – their view of Jesus.


  18 Responses to “The Weekend Word”

  1. So what do we think of those who are looking for signs?

  2. Who are you referring to?

  3. anyone. Jesus said “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign,”

  4. I haven’t run into anyone asking for a sign lately…and if I did, I’m not sure this verse would speak to that.

    I think the evil and adulterous generation was the one He was addressing…the one that should have recognized Messiah…

  5. the comments of MLD and Michael raise a question in my mind… are we misusing the term sign? does discerning the signs of the times (yes, we have prophesy wonks going to seed on this), but does that equate to asking God for A sign, a supernatural affirmation of His presence? … do we need to ask ourselves if that is what we are really doing when we look for fulfillments of “end times prophesies?” … some here don’t believe there is such a thing, i guess… but that doesn’t invalidate the question, does it?

  6. Good teaching today Michael. We always forget what Jesus puts right in front of us…and clearly tells us.

  7. And what about the signs and wonders people? Isn’t chasing after signs seeking “other” as I say in the comments?

  8. Dusty, MLD writes these…but a good point anyway.

  9. Signs and wonders are promised to those who already believe in the sign of Jonah

  10. Good teaching MLD

  11. “‘An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.’ So he left them and departed.”

    What I find important here (and admittedly I don’t have it all worked out yet) is why Jesus did not use signs to attract followers. He could have run his ministry like a traveling road show of divine miracles. But, he decided that entry into His kingdom would come by faith, not by sight.

    This reminds me of Jesus’ post resurrection encounter with [doubting] Thomas: “Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’”

    If anyone has any thoughts on my question, I would love to read them.

  12. this topic is close to another question that has lingered in the back of my mind… did Jesus perform miracles as proofs of His divinity? or did His divinity, with the accompanying attribute of grace, demand that He have compassion on what were at that hour his fellow man? did He respond to their faith? or did their faith respond to His reputation? … or was it symbiotic and a testimony to just how God relates to us throughout time?

    what’d she say? …. dunno ….

  13. I think the key in the phrase from Jesus is those who “seek” after signs. As I said, they would rather have “other” than to just have Jesus – even if Jesus comes only in the form of word, water, bread and wine.

    So why would a Christian ever go seek after a sign? Because “other” is better to them.

  14. Thank you Dusty

  15. em, I think Jesus did his miracles because people needed them. They needed healing, so he healed. They needed feeding so he fed them. They needed resurrection, so he resurrected them. He calmed nature because nature needed calming. None of them needed a rabbit that came out of a hat. 😉

  16. I just want Jesus

  17. #15 – i think you’re right, MLD 😯 those miracles happened simply because Jesus was God and He was passing by…

    also… amen to the key word thought in #13… a VERY important thought IMHO

  18. amen also to dusty… what’s the old song? “Jesus is all the world to me, my life, my hope my all….”