There is nothing new about those who endeavor to give credence to others that they are something; in reality they are far removed from what they profess.  Matthew illustrates this in a sequence of references about persons that have an air of superiority in his Gospel. Bear with me!

In Matthew 16 the Pharisees and Sadducees, the so called leaders among the Jewish people, asked Jesus to show them a sign from heaven.  He rebukes them by illustrating how they can be accurate about the weather, but not about HIM.  He then demonstrates them by saying: “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and a sign will not be given it, except the sign of Jonah.”

Then Jesus said: “Watch out and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”  It is then that they began to discuss among themselves and concluded “He said that because we did not bring any bread.”  Obviously, they were way off target and so Jesus corrects their thinking.  Did you already forget about the five loaves and the four loaves and what was remaining?  He was correcting them for not understanding that He was speaking of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

Once again He deals with the ignorance of those who have been following Him.  “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”  They answered: “Some say John the Baptist; and others Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.”  Intent on having them focus on an accurate answer: “But who do you say that I am?”  As usual, Peter speaks: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God!”

Was Jesus speaking to Peter only or was He correcting and enforcing a fact that all of His disciples needed to understand?  He, Christ is the ROCK!  He equips them with the “keys”!  Immediately, Matthew moves on to: “From that time Jesus began to show 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 up on the third day.”

Matthew makes it clear that when Peter tries to correct Jesus, “God forbid it, Lord!  This shall never happen to You.”   The Lord lovingly rebukes what Peter said: “Get thee behind Me, Satan!  You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.”

“Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me’.”

“For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”

“For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?  Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”

“For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then repay every man according to His deeds.

“Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.” (Matthew 16:24-28)

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