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MATTHEW CHAPTERS 14 - 16

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1-14 At that time Herod the tetrarch heard the news about Jesus, 2 and said to his servants, "This is John the Baptist; he has risen from the dead, and that is why miraculous powers are at work in him." 3 For when Herod had John arrested, he bound him and put him in prison because of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip. 4 For John had been saying to him, "It is not lawful for you to have her." 5 Although Herod wanted to put him to death, he feared the crowd, because they regarded John as a prophet. 6 But when Herod's birthday came, the daughter of Herodias danced before them and pleased Herod, 7 so much that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked. 8 Having been prompted by her mother, she said, "Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist." 9 Although he was grieved, the king commanded it to be given because of his oaths, and because of his dinner guests. 10 He sent and had John beheaded in the prison. 11 And his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother. 12 His disciples came and took away the body and buried it; and they went and reported to Jesus. 13 Now when Jesus heard about John, He withdrew from there in a boat to a secluded place by Himself; and when the people heard of this, they followed Him on foot from the cities. 14 When He went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and felt compassion for them and healed their sick.

 

Mat 14,1-5

(95a) Thy kingdom come >> Perspective >> False perspective in the world – Herod would regularly venture into the dungeon and converse with John, who no doubt had many stories to tell about the wilderness, living on locus and wild honey, though Herod’s ego was only paper-thin and could not endure criticism. John told Herod to repent, and nobody tells Herod to repent. All rulers live and rule by their egos, and if anyone messed with Herod’s self-image, his life was in jeopardy. In another gospel account of this story it speaks about Herod while John was still alive, “For Herod was afraid of John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man and kept him safe. And when he heard him, he was very perplexed; but he used to enjoy listening to him” (Mk 6-20). When we put these two accounts together we get that Herod wanted to put John to death but was afraid of the crowd, in conjunction with Herod being afraid of John but protected him from Herodias. Helping to resolve the conflict, these separate gospel accounts refer to two different times, an earlier time when John was first thrown in prison and a time after Herod had come to know John. The people were offended at John yet honored him as a prophet, whereas Herod did not respect his position as a prophet. Herod was not a Jew and had no interest or respect for Israel’s religion and laws. We might think Herod would respect a person who receives knowledge from God, but when it comes to worldly people, the things they respect and hold dear rarely have anything to do with God.

(103l) Thy kingdom come >> Purifying process >> Purified by circumstances >> Purified Through hardship – John represents the transition between the old and new covenants, the old based on the faith of Abraham in combination with obeying the Law of Moses. When we think about John, how he was led into the wilderness, being similar to the life of Abraham, who also was led by the Spirit to a land that he did not know and start a new life apart from his relatives, it must have been difficult for both of them. It seems that God took care of Abraham better than He took care of John, though John readily adapted to the wilderness. A person who is able to live in the wilderness is an amazing character in his own right.

Mat 14-1,2

(18e) Sin >> False Judgment lacks evidence >> Presumptuous speculation

(177k) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Presumption (Hinduism) >> Presuming the will of God >> Man’s knowledge of God is based on presumption – We can talk to a worldly person about God, either quoting Scripture to him or else getting philosophical or theological, and he might reply with reasoning similar to King Herod in these verses with a lot of speculation, conjecture, observation, interpretation and making conclusions without researching the subject. If Herod really wanted to know if Jesus was John the Baptist, he could have easily ascertained that knowledge; instead, he preferred his own ideas better than the truth, which is typical of worldly people. It was fanciful to him that a man came back to life and was doing miracles, and he probably felt he deserved partial credit for the miracles Jesus was performing, since he had John murdered.

Mat 14-3,4

(134j) Temple >> Your body is the temple of God >> Sins of the body >> Immorality >> Physical adultery

Mat 14,6-12

(85k) Thy kingdom come >> Words of your mouth >> Better not to say anything >> Words will make you obligated 

(183b) Works of the devil >> The origin of lawlessness >> Spirit of Error (Anti-Christ / Anti-Semitism) >> Witchcraft >> Sin is the incubator of witchcraft >> Through satanic influence -- King Herod did not have anything personal against John the Baptist; the king had him beheaded because Herod opened his big mouth and promised a pretty girl anything she wanted. He offered her half his kingdom in terms of marriage and the position of queen, but the girl who danced for Herod had a mother with the heart Jezebel. Being a witch she chose spite over greed, because she hated John the Baptist's message. She opposed the gospel because it opposed the demons that lived in her as much as it opposed her deeds.

Mat 14,13-21

(143j) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Witnesses of Jesus >> Jesus is popular because of His works

Mat 14-14

(145c) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Jesus’ works bear witness of Himself >> Healing >> Jesus healed them all -- This verse goes with verses 35&36

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15-22 When it was evening, the disciples came to Him and said, "This place is desolate and the hour is already late; so send the crowds away, that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves." 16 But Jesus said to them, "They do not need to go away; you give them something to eat!" 17 They said to Him, "We have here only five loaves and two fish." 18 And He said, "Bring them here to Me." 19 Ordering the people to sit down on the grass, He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up toward heaven, He blessed the food, and breaking the loaves He gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds, 20 and they all ate and were satisfied. They picked up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve full baskets. 21 There were about five thousand men who ate, besides women and children. 22 Immediately He made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side, while He sent the crowds away.

 

Mat 14,15-32

(147c) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Jesus’ works bear witness of Himself >> God exercises authority over His creation Although Jesus stripped Himself of all His glory from the Father, He still retained His authority over the creation. He simply chose not to use it in most cases. For example, He let the soldiers spit in His face, pull out the hair of His beard and mercilessly whip Him. Although He could have called twelve legions of angels, it was not the will of His Father. It will always be a miracle whenever God does something to His creation; we will forever be awed by Him because we will never comprehend how he does it.

Mat 14,15-20

(227i) Kingdom of God >> God’s kingdom is a living organism >> God working in you >> Dependence on Jesus >> Depending on Jesus to impart His gifts into us >> To give us what we give to the world

Mat 14,22-36

(187h) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Die to the flesh >> Spirit versus the flesh >> Deny the flesh to walk in the Spirit >> More the flesh dies, more the spirit lives – The flesh needs to be frequently reminded, sometimes subjected to prayer for long periods and made to understand that it is not in charge. The flesh will never benefit from salvation, for it has not been included in God’s redemptive plan. There will be a resurrection from the dead, and we will receive spiritual bodies, but what is a spiritual body? It is an oxymoron to our finite understanding. The flesh that we know in this life will not be the flesh that we will know in our resurrected bodies. Our present physical state is on a dead-end course with time with no cure; instead, but our spirit has been redeemed. Our faith serves no benefit to our flesh, but is destined to perish, so it has no incentive to serve the Lord? The only benefit our faith offers our flesh is a righteous life, causing us to eat right and live right and keeping us from abusing our bodies with alcohol and other forms of dissipation that can shorten the lifespan, but these are incidental benefits that the flesh does not appreciate. It prefers what it wants, not what it needs. If we allow our flesh to seek its own benefit, it will undermine our faith in the process of destroying itself before the time. Therefore Paul said, “I buffet my body and make it my slave” (1Cor 9-27), and this is what Jesus was doing with his flesh on the mountain, subjecting Himself to long hours in prayer and depriving His body of sleep, a type of fasting. Jesus subjected His flesh to the will of God in prayer for many hours, and then came from the mountain spiritually refreshed, though His flesh deprived. We too need to expose ourselves to the presence of God on a regular basis, so that we are always prepared for ministry and happy to do the will of God.

 

23-26 After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone. 24 But the boat was already a long distance from the land, battered by the waves; for the wind was contrary. 25 And in the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea. 26 When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, "It is a ghost!" And they cried out in fear.

 

Mat 14-23

(7k) Responsibility >> Use time wisely >> Get ready >> Make time to pray – Jesus often spent the whole night in prayer. Even when He prayed with His disciples, they prayed many hours, but when he went alone, He sacrificed his sleep. He returned from the mountain after a day and a night of praying and began ministering for days after that. Instead of preparing for ministry with a good night sleep, knowing they wouldn’t get much once the journey started, He did just the opposite; He prepared in prayer. The physical aspect would take care of itself was his attitude; what He needed was that connection with God.

(82g) Thy kingdom come >> Three elements of prayer >> Where to pray – Where we pray is significant. It can mean the difference between breaking though to spiritual wisdom and understanding or spending a boring session with God as it were talking to ourselves. Jesus had special places where He enjoyed praying, and all those places were outdoors in a beautiful setting, such as in the mountains or in a flower garden. He preferred surrounding Himself with natural beauty, perhaps to remind Him of whence He came, and if it is good enough for Jesus, it should be good enough for us. One of my favorites places is next to a river. It is good to have a handful of favorite places and switch from one to another. The idea is to maintain a balance between a moderate stimulation of interest but not so much as to distract your attention from our prayers.

Mat 14,24-33

(164f) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> The world system >> Satan’s system of authority >> He is the prince of the power of the air -- Yes, it was just a storm, or was it? Perhaps it was Satan attempting to destroy Jesus' chosen men whom He had already invested much time, effort and patience. 

Mat 14-24,25

(215a) Sovereignty >> God controls time >> God’s timing >> God Has Good Timing >> God is always right on time -- If the disciples could have chosen when Jesus came, would they have voted for an earlier time than when He finally came? What about us, when the world is in turmoil like the storm the disciple faced; we expect Jesus to come any time, but according to this verse, we could be waiting a lot longer for His return. Why, because He is always late? No, His timing is perfect. Than why does He wait so long to show up when He is needed? He is pulling as much faith from us as He can, since Jesus wants us to be like Him. 

Mat 14,25-31

(122l) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Boldness to rebuke the Church for unbelief -- After Peter was so bold and jumped out of the boat after Jesus, at first glance it appears all He got for his faith was reproof for sinking. However, maybe he received something out there on the water that no one knows, since he was the only one out there with the Lord, and maybe it was something indescribable, so Peter could more than tell us about his experience with the wind and the waves. We will never know, unless we follow Peter and experience God for ourselves. 

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Mat 14,26-33

(206i) Salvation >> God makes promises on His terms >> Conditions to promises >> Conditions to doing the works of Jesus -- It was a great thing Peter did, leaving the false security of the boat believing that it was safer with Jesus than with the failing boat, though He offered no vessel of security except faith itself. Faith made a better boat than that old wooden bucket they were steering, but when Peter's faith failed it wasn't any better than the boat that failed them. Although it was noble of Peter, yet spiritual principles cannot be broken, not even for nobility. God operates through faith, period. We quit believing God, we sink. His spiritual principles are like the laws of gravity; don't transgress them. But Peter had something greater than his faith in Jesus; he had Jesus Himself, and so do we when we realize our beliefs are actually true!

Mat 14,26-32

(232e) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Seeking the kingdom >> Count the cost >> Assess the property before you buy it -- Peter counted the cost and assessed the boat's value and determined it was safer standing next to Jesus, so he abandoned ship and found his way to Jesus, though he tripped on the way there. Peter received mounds of criticism for sinking, but none of it is warranted, for he alone had courage to venture from the flailing craft. It was his greatest triumph!

Mat 14,26-28

(70c) Authority >> Righteous judgment (outcome of discernment) >> Being sensitive to the Spirit >> Test the spirits -- Up to this point the disciples had seen many strange things while walking with Jesus, and though Peter was probably confident that it was Him, he wasn't interested in jumping into the sea after an aberration.


 

27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, "Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid." 

 

Mat 14,27-33

(122j) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Boldness in adverse circumstances >> Do the will of God in the face of adversity – Peter stepped from the boat, leaving the others in the safety of the craft. We give Peter a hard time because he was an impulsive blowhard, needing to be the leader. Great leaders have the gift of leadership. Many people want to be leaders but are not gifted as such, and whether Peter was a good leader is questionable, but what we do know is that Jesus loved him and even respected him to the point of being one of His three closest disciples. He loved the Lord with all his heart; there is no questioning that, but for the rest of Peter and His foibles, his name is mentioned in ridicule of the disciples' many flaws. However, this one incident makes up for every blunder he ever did. He not only climbed out of the boat; he actually walked on water. With Jesus there, all he needed was His permission, “Come”. Had Jesus said ‘no’ to him, that would have been it, but with Jesus’ invitation, Peter knew he could walk on water before he set foot on the lake, and he also knew if he couldn’t, Jesus was there to save him, so it was a no-risk opportunity to miraculously with with Jesus. These are the two things we need to know before we venture into anything that God calls us to do: we need to know that God is calling us to do it, and we need to know that if we fail, Jesus will save us. He will make up the difference for our doubts.

(146j) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Jesus’ works bear witness of Himself >> Purpose of Miracles, Signs And Wonders >> Proof that Jesus is the son of God >> That the Church may believe – Peter never walked on water again to our knowledge; instead, people brought the sick on cots, and when the apostle Paul walked past them, even if His shadow touched them they were cured. How were Jesus’ miracles greater than the miracles of the apostles? The question is not that which is greater, but how Peter and Paul were able to perform miracles? We understand why Jesus performed miracles, because he was the Son of God, but how did Peter walk on water and how could Paul perform miracles? They were just ordinary men, and other miracles occurred too. Peter and John grabbed a lame man saying, “I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene -walk!” (Act 3-6), and the lame beggar was healed. For everyone who has performed miracles, whether Jesus or the apostles or someone from the 21st century, we know that God the Father was at work.

(254d) Trinity >> Holy Spirit’s relationship between Father and Son >> Jesus is the life of the Spirit >> We live because He is life >> God gives life to our faith in Jesus – Walking on water with the Son of God was something Peter took with him the rest of his life; it became his badge of honor. It wasn’t Peter’s faith that empowered him to do this; it was the power of God that enabled him, and he accessed this power through faith. Do we actually understand faith? No we don’t, but we do know that if we take a shortcut and say faith alone enabled Him to walk on water, we step into humanism and run into all sorts of trouble in our understanding of God. What is the essence of faith? From a human standpoint, of course we understand faith; it is a sense of conviction, an act of our volition to believe something is real. However, the faith Peter used to interact with God was not the same as human faith; after all, walking on water is not normal. Rather, he received a God-given faith. He didn’t walk on water because he believed in certain doctrines, nor because of certain convictions, but these were no doubt the basis of him stepping from the boat. Peter interacted with Jesus while he stood on the lake and made baby-steps in His direction. He walked on water from a knowledge he possessed from God, not just knowledge but a revelation: knowing God as He is and not as we perceive Him. God as we perceive Him is a person who resembles us in a way, but the revelation that Peter received of God was an understanding that transcended our own person. He saw God as One who could do anything, who created the heavens and the earth, who was present and with whom nothing is impossible. This makes Him a person who is unique in Himself, and someone we can believe, even if He says we can walk on water. Peter believed He could walk on water because God can do anything, and if Jesus invited Him to come, then he knew specifically that it was the will of God for Him at that moment. It may not always be the will of God that we could walk on water; we may not be able to choose that day and hour when God is willing for us to perform a miracle, but if we believe in God that He can do anything, a day will come when He will beckon us from our boats. If we come to Him with the intension of completing His will and purpose, whatever He is calling us to do we can do.

Mat 14-27

(23l) Sin >> Poverty (Oppression) >> Fear of the unknown >> Fear of miracles

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28&29 Peter said to Him, "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water." 29 And He said, "Come!" And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus.

 

Mat 14,28-33

(107a) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Hearing from God >> Word creates faith >> Receiving unction from God -- Peter did it right; he didn't just jump out of the boat, he first asked permission and affirmed the will of God before he jumped. In so doing he also confirmed that it was the Lord. The power of this story is in the fact that when Jesus permitted Peter to come after Him, Peter immediately knew he was safe. Whether he walked or sank, it was okay because Jesus was there to save him. When Peter saw Jesus coming after them walking on water, he just wanted to play in the water with Him, but before they saw Jesus they wondered if they would ever feel the ground under their feet again.  

Mat 14,28-31

(68g) Authority >> We have been given authority to be the children of God – Peter came to the conclusion to walk on water from the very teachings of Christ, which basically revolved around this statement: ‘Whatever I do, you can do also’ (Jn 14-12), which means, ‘I am the Son of God, and you are all sons of God’ (Mat 5,43-45). Jesus taught that once He goes to heaven, this authority still belongs to us. Of course the problem is, most people don’t have that kind of faith, but there is a reason for this; there is a lack of unity in the Church. With unity everything Jesus said would be possible. We would be growing both spiritually and numerically; signs and wonders would be relatively common, and faith would abound. We would become the salt of the earth and light of the world as God has called us. Those who didn’t get saved would benefit from our conscience, and others would see and believe. In short, we would cause the world to think twice about sinning, and it would be a better world because of us. As it is, though, we live in a world where the Church has lost its faith; there are still pockets of faith and many believers have a strong commitment to Christ, but their numbers are fearfully decreasing.

(78e) Thy kingdom come >> Sincerity >> Taking God to heart >> Having pure motives and desires – If Peter had little faith, how much littler faith had the other disciples and how little is our faith? It makes us wonder what was his motive for wanting to walk on water. Knowing Peter, a blustery fellow and highly emotional, he was must have been at least partially motivated by pride, but there was something that Jesus honored and admired about him. Peter no doubt had the feeling he was in the will of God to climb from the false security of the boat toward the safety of Christ. Also he must have figured it was a no-lose situation and well within his authority to leave the boat, so long as Jesus was with him. There was no mention of any of the other disciples walking on water either before or after Jesus ascended to heaven, not even after Pentecost when He sent the Holy Spirit in His place, of whom Jesus said was to their advantage (Jn 16-7). Miracles, however, were present among them through the anointing of the Holy Spirit, the unction that causes the word of God to burst into flames in their hearts. The disciples didn’t have the advantage of the Holy Spirit prior to Pentecost, and by the time they received it, Jesus was gone, so there was never a time when Christ was present with the anointing in His people. We will just have to wait for heaven before we can experience such rapturous joy.

(96e) Thy kingdom come >> Attitude >> Positive attitude toward God >> Good attitude toward Jesus – Peter had a positive attitude about Jesus; He knew what would please the Lord. There was no other purpose for Peter climbing from the boat than to simply demonstrate his faith; he knew it was the Lord’s will, and Jesus credited him by letting him walk on water. People who no longer see signs and wonders say miracles are no longer possible, but they are just making excuses for the Church’s lack of faith. We are living in an age of apostasy, and God is unwilling to perform miracles even among those who believe in Him, because He doesn’t want to associate with the Church’s sin. If God performed miracles among those who believed in Him in an age of apostasy, the next day those in the world who witnessed the miracle would see another Christian behaving poorly and would think God endorses such behavior, when if fact He doesn’t. People think they are getting away with their poor behavior, but the absence of miracles is a sign that judgment is just around the corner. Peter walked on water because he was a good man and because his fellow disciples were good men, faithful and holy to the Lord. They were committed and dedicated to the faith, and every one except John paid with their lives as martyrs. Will God allow them to walk on water? Yes! He will endorse their lives, but to endorse the Church today, no so much. A day is coming, though, when signs and wonders will return through a Great Endtime Revival. God will re-institute the true doctrines of the Church through his Jewish witnesses, and God will endorse them through the working of miracles.

(114g) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Working the grace of God >> Obeying the Holy Spirit >> Implementing the revelation of the Holy Spirit -- It is one thing to get a revelation from heaven, but it is quite another to implement that revelation, because it always does battle against the natural elements of the world, whether those forces be of men or of sea. Until our revelation materializes we are  incomplete, but when it is complete, it has the power to complete others. First we must dream the right dreams, and then see them fulfilled. In this way we will grow as the people of God. 

(121h) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Hope >> Expectation >> Expecting good things based on God’s character >> Expecting good things because He is God -- Peter learned to expect nothing but good things from Jesus, regardless of the circumstances. Peter could even get out of the boat during a storm that threatened their lives, and it would somehow be okay. Peter believed in Jesus' proven character, that He was both big enough and good enough to never let him down. 

Mat 14-28,29

(70jb) Authority >> Believer’s authority >> We have been given authority over all creation >> We have authority over the elements

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30-36 But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, "Lord, save me!" 31 Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, "You of little faith, why did you doubt?" 32 When they got into the boat, the wind stopped. 33 And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, "You are certainly God's Son!" 34 When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret. 35 And when the men of that place recognized Him, they sent word into all that surrounding district and brought to Him all who were sick; 36 and they implored Him that they might just touch the fringe of His cloak; and as many as touched it were cured.

 

Mat 14-30,31

(29d) Gift of God >> God is our advocate >> Delivered from adversity

(198i) Frustrating the Grace of God (Key verse)

(198j) Denying Christ >> Man exercises his will against God >> Frustrating the grace of God >> Frustrating Jesus through unbelief -- Jesus takes our unbelief very seriously. It is like telling God He is incompetent, worse, it demonstrates our distance from Him, and how little we know of Him. This is a direct insult to Him of which there no excuse, except that we are weak, fleshly creatures and faint at the slightest test of faith. The contrast is that God is made of faith, while we are made of dust. 

(227j) Kingdom of God >> God’s kingdom is a living organism >> God working in you >> Depending on Jesus to fulfill His purpose in us -- God calls us to do and to be certain things with a purpose and then ultimately does most of the work to complete His purpose in us. God calls us to be Spiritual creatures and to live our lives accordingly, yet we know nothing about God's Spirit except that it opposes our carnal nature. Look at Peter in this example, Jesus called Peter to believe in Him, yet Jesus did most of the work to keep Peter from drowning. Did Peter do something wrong? He doubted, but otherwise no, Peter did his part, he got out of the boat, and then it was up to God to do the rest. (After all, how could God ask Peter to walk on water?) God does not expect a lot from us; He just expects us to believe in Him enough to climb out of the boat. To us that sounds like a lot. 

Mat 14-30

(171l) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Outward appearance of circumstances – This is an amazing statement, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” It means that doubt was the reason he began to sink. He started looking at the wind and the waves and knew throughout his life the danger it posed. This was the fisherman’s greatest fear to be in the middle of the lake when a storm hit. Throughout their adult lives they navigated the lake and fished for a living, and they knew storms could suddenly appear from nowhere and swamp their boat, and they could drown. He began to recall his fears, and before long they started eating into his faith, and then he couldn’t recall how he was standing on the lake. Faith suddenly became a very nebulous, intangible and theoretical concept, while the wind and the waves grew into a very real natural force, but while he was standing on the water their rolls were reversed: faith was the tangible part and the wind and the waves were speculative. He must have looked at Jesus and thanked God He was there, His presence being the reason he left the boat in the first place. This was the plan: if and when he failed, Jesus would save him.

Mat 14-31

(20f) Doubt (Key verse)

(20g) Sin >> Doubt is the consequence of the fear of death

(203b) Denying Christ >> Dishonor God >> Dishonor God by your unbelief 

Mat 14-33

(252d) Trinity >> You shall put no other gods before Me >> Worship Jesus (Because He is equal with God) >> Worship Jesus for what He does through the Father -- Jesus reproved His disciples every time they got out of line (see 178j); He never held back from correcting them because they needed to know the truth. (Who else was going to tell them?) However, whenever His disciples fell down and worshiped Him, He did not rebuke them or tell then in any way that they were making another mistake, why? They did not mistake Jesus for God in human flesh!

Mat 14,34-36

(146k) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Jesus’ works bear witness of Himself >> Purpose of Miracles, Signs And Wonders >> Get peoples’ attention to hear the word – How does faith work? Regular people were reaching out their hands and touching Jesus, knowing that if they could just make contact with His garment they would be healed. It was a fallacy that His garment had any power, but they believed it anyway, and it was enough faith and truth to heal them! How could this be? It was no different from Peter walking on water, believing he could do it because Jesus was there and gave him permission. Regular people accessed the power of God because Jesus gave them permission, whose dedication to Christ was nominal and their knowledge of the truth sparse. Touching Jesus’ cloak was just a point of faith they arbitrarily used to believe in Him for a miracle, like choosing an object in the woods and walking toward it to keep from walking in circles. In a way, touching His garment was like a prop for their faith. His cloak was no different from any other cloak, and because Jesus was in that cloak didn’t make the cloak any different. It was the fact that God the Father approved these miracles, and the point of touching Jesus associated the miracle with Him. It wasn’t the cloak and it wasn’t the act of touching Him, it was the association to Jesus they made with the miracle that the Father approved and sent the healing virtue into their bodies through Christ to heal their diseases. It was like asking, ‘Who is the source of all truth from God,’ and then walking over and touching Jesus. They were in effect pointing at Him as the source of miracles, and in doing, pointed to the source of all truth, so when Jesus spoke the word of God, they knew it was the truth because of the miracles He performed. They made a direct connection between the miracles and the word of God, so they could believe the truth when He spoke.

Mat 14-35,36

(145c) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Jesus’ works bear witness of Himself >> Healing >> Jesus healed them all -- These verses go with verse 14

 

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Scripture quotations taken from the New American Standard Bible ® (NASB), Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. www.Lockman.org 

 

MATTHEW CHAPTER 15

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1-6 Then some Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, 2 "Why do Your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread." 3 And He answered and said to them, "Why do you yourselves transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? 4 "For God said, 'HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER,' and, 'HE WHO SPEAKS EVIL OF FATHER OR MOTHER IS TO BE PUT TO DEATH.' 5 "But you say, 'Whoever says to his father or mother, "Whatever I have that would help you has been given to God," 6 he is not to honor his father or his mother.' And by this you invalidated the word of God for the sake of your tradition.

 

Mat 15,1-9

(79l) Thy kingdom come >> Know the word as a sword in spiritual warfare >> To defend yourself from religion

(177d) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> False doctrine >> Doctrines of the precepts of men -- People invent false doctrines and other people believe them because they stand to gain from them. For the inventors, the rewards are usually monastery (excuse me, I meant "monetary"), while the believers of such doctrines seek easy access to heaven without giving their heart to Jesus. For some, heaven is impossible, that's why they choose to believe the many ear tickling false religions.

Mat 15-2,3

(173c) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Catholicism >> Scripture that contradicts the catholic faith >> Catholic doctrine versus the Bible -- These verses go with verses 7-9. The Catholic religion believes similar to Jesus' complaint against the Pharisees, requiring the disciples to wash their hands before eating. If Jesus expressed His disapproval of this particular Catholic doctrine, what else do the Catholics believe that Jesus disapproves? Did Jesus condemn the Pharisees for washing their hands before eating? No, in fact, that is good for personal hygiene, and our doctor would agree. Where your doctor and the Pharisees part ways, though, is in the conviction that it is a means of finding favor with God. This is what Jesus was addressing as a man-made teaching. Jesus taught that we should seek to cleanse our hearts more than our hands, for we could wash our hands and still hate your brother. What good then are man-made rules fabricated to regulate the flesh and not the heart that ignore God's will for us?

Mat 15,3-9

(9k) Responsibility >> Strengthen one another >> Tend to the widows As usual, Jesus would not answer the Pharisees question, but asked them a question instead, which they could not answer. The Pharisees taught the people to give their money to the Church, money they could have (and should have) used to help their parents, including their mothers who have lost their husbands. Of course the motive of the Pharisees was to pilfer the treasury.

(179b) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Hypocrisy >> Jesus rebukes the Pharisees >> Rebuked for loving money -- What could be more evil than tampering with religious doctrine to direct the flow of unrighteous mammon into their pockets? What hope did the Pharisees have of entering the Kingdom of Heaven? They were the true form of the reprobate mind, those who cannot be saved.

Mat 15-5

(166a) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Wisdom of the world >> Man’s wisdom excuses his sinful nature >> Man’s wisdom rationalizes his sin

 

7-12 "You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you: 8 'THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME. 9 'BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.' " 10 After Jesus called the crowd to Him, He said to them, "Hear and understand. 11 "It is not what enters into the mouth that defiles the man, but what proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man." 12 Then the disciples came and said to Him, "Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this statement?" 

 

Mat 15,7-20

(96l) Thy kingdom come >> Having a negative attitude about sin >> Having an attitude of unbelief

Mat 15,7-9

(74d) Thy kingdom come >> The heart is the location of man's truth

(173c) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Catholicism >> Scripture that contradicts the Catholic faith >> Catholic doctrine versus the Bible -- These verses go with verses 2&3. The worship of Mary and of other idols within the Church, Purgatory, the Sacrament, the Eucharist, erroneous teachings on Baptism, these are only a few tenants of the Catholic Church that are simply made-up doctrines that we cannot find any support in the Holy Scriptures.

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Mat 15,10-20

(74j) Thy kingdom come >> Heart of man is sinful >> Sin is conceived in the heart – Jesus didn’t say they shouldn’t wash their dishes. The Pharisees emphasized washing their pots and pans, because it was easily observable whether or not a person was practicing the Law. Jesus' point was that what comes out of our mouth is more destructive than what goes into it. According to the Law, the only commandment that pertained to the words of our mouth was lying: “Do not bear false witness.” Jesus was making the point that sin is a process that originates in the mind, so that whatever a person is thinking becomes the content of his speech, and whatever a person says, he will eventually do. He was saying that before we use our bodies to sin, our words have already defiled us. Murder is hate; even talking about it is evil. He addressed this concept in the Sermon on the Mount, “You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery;' but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Mat 5-27,28). Jesus is saying much the same thing here, ‘If a man talks about hating someone, the act of murder has already been committed in his heart,’ and if He continues to entertain those thoughts, he may literally commit murder.

(177a) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> False doctrine >> Distorting Scripture from a lack of understanding – Although the Pharisees claimed to be following the Law of Moses, how they lived was not what Moses taught. Eating from dirty cups and saucers can bring disease, but it doesn’t defile a person the way our words do. The Pharisees distorted the Old Testament by placing tremendous emphasis on certain aspects of the law and ignoring the rest until they lost touch with its intent. God commanded Moses to wash their dishes, not telling them why, just telling them to do it, for the nations surrounding them were filthy and ignorant. They didn’t have God telling them how to avoid germs that have plagued mankind since the beginning of time. The lesson in hygiene took mankind many thousands of years to learn; i.e. civil war doctors, operated on patients with the same instruments they used on previous patients without washing them. More people died from infection and gangrene than from wounds incurred on the battlefield.

 

13-20 But He answered and said, "Every plant which My heavenly Father did not plant shall be uprooted. 14 "Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit." 15 Peter said to Him, "Explain the parable to us." 16 Jesus said, "Are you still lacking in understanding also? 17 "Do you not understand that everything that goes into the mouth passes into the stomach, and is eliminated ? 18 "But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. 19 "For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. 20 "These are the things which defile the man; but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile the man."

 

Mat 15,13-20

(128n) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Bearing fruit >> Evidence of your fruit >> Bad fruit is proof that God is not working in you – Jesus was talking about the Pharisees as though they were weeds, just as we weed a garden, so God will weed the wicked from His Church. This could also refer to the individual; God desires to weed the garden of our heart, so the good fruit can grow.

Mat 15-13,14

(47h) Judgment >> God Judges the world >> Prison of the bottomless pit

(169c) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> The world is blind to God >> Blinded by Satan’s thoughts >> Blinded by a false sense of sight -- Jesus instructed His disciples to "let them go." They are without hope of ever hearing the gospel, but have made up their minds about the truth without consulting God or anyone who knows Him. Hence, there are three kinds of people in the world: those whom God is calling and choosing to be His true worshippers, those who are yet to be saved, and those like the Pharisees who want nothing to do with God or His kingdom or his plan and purpose for mankind. Of this third group Jesus didn’t say we should try to become a better witness so they might see the light and be saved; He didn’t instruct us to waste precious resources on them; instead He said, “Let them alone.” They will never see the light. The worst part is, they are blindly guiding other blind people off a cliff, and we are not to bother with either them or their proselytes, for those who would follow them are just as spiritually blind, deaf and dumb as their teachers. Jesus healed many people who had physical handicaps, but He was unable to help those who were spiritually blind, deaf and dumb. They were that way on purpose. If they wanted to close their eyes and ears to the truth of God, that is their right, but those whom God is calling and choosing have the right to become the children of God.

Mat 15-13

(159c) Works of the devil >> Essential characteristics >> Counterfeit >> Counterfeit godliness >> Counterfeit Christian – This goes back to the parable of the tares and the wheat, He said, “An enemy has done this” (Mat 13,28-30), meaning that the Pharisees are tares, which is a weed that looks like a stalk of wheat. He said, “Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest [at the end of the age] I will say to the reapers, ‘First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn.’”

Mat 15,17-20

(85c) Thy kingdom come >> Your words can lead to your own demise >> Your mouth defiles the rest of your body – The fact that our words originate from the heart is what defiles us, indicative of a poisoned well, meaning that if it didn’t originate from the heart, we could trace the bitter water to its source, and then drink above that, but if the headwaters are poisoned, then the spring is useless. The heart represents man’s thought life, his treasure chest, his central value system. The heart of man represents the headwaters of his soul. God has other thoughts that He would have us think, believe, value, speak and do that would produce the fruit of His kingdom and become a blessing to everyone around us.

(171h) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Outward appearance >> Decorating the outside to simulate the inside >> Simulating the outer man to portray the inner man – The Pharisees thought they could break the Law and still please God, because they washed their hands. When you put it into words, it sounds crazy! When we look at the list Jesus provided, most of the entries pertained to the Ten Commandments that the Pharisees violated: murder, adultery, theft, false witness. Hand washing was also an ordinance of Moses, but it was a secondary statute. God wanted His people to observe these, so they wouldn’t contract diseases, but the Pharisees were breaking God’s primary laws, and that was a big deal to Jesus. “Cleanliness is next to godliness,” is something the Pharisees would say, and it is something we hear to this day, but it is wrong. They figured they were obeying the Law of Moses by washing their hands; meanwhile they were thieves, adulterers and murderers, breaking much greater laws than the ones they kept. They chose laws that were easier on their flesh to keep and ignored aspects of the greater Law that spoke directly against their evil ways, and for that reason they misinterpreted the entire word of God, straining out gnats and swallowing camels (Mat 23-24). For this reason they didn’t recognize Jesus as their Messiah, and when He spoke the word of God to them, they didn’t recognize that either. The only things they were willing to recognize were their own ideas and their own belief systems.

Mat 15-19

(250j) Priorities >> God’s prerequisites >> List of traits that can be found in man >> List of traits of the heart – It is a fact that sin comes from the heart and defiles a man. If someone were forced at gunpoint to repeat a certain phrase, it wouldn’t defile the man, since it wouldn’t be coming from the heart. Defilement refers to conscience, being the root of sin; if we can extirpate evil from our hearts, we could wipe it off our lips too, and by that we could keep the more grievous sins from ever seeing the light of day, but what did James say about this? “We all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well… The tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell (Jm 3-2,6). Good luck controlling the tongue, for it is attached directly to the heart, which is the organ of sin. The heart is also the battlefield of good and evil, and God is trying to win our hearts. 

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21-39 Jesus went away from there, and withdrew into the district of Tyre and Sidon. 22 And a Canaanite woman from that region came out and began to cry out, saying, "Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is cruelly demon-possessed." 23 But He did not answer her a word. And His disciples came and implored Him, saying, "Send her away, because she keeps shouting at us." 24 But He answered and said, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." 25 But she came and began to bow down before Him, saying, "Lord, help me!" 26 And He answered and said, "It is not good to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs." 27 But she said, "Yes, Lord; but even the dogs feed on the crumbs which fall from their masters' table." 28 Then Jesus said to her, "O woman, your faith is great; it shall be done for you as you wish." And her daughter was healed at once. 29 Departing from there, Jesus went along by the Sea of Galilee, and having gone up on the mountain, He was sitting there. 30 And large crowds came to Him, bringing with them those who were lame, crippled, blind, mute, and many others, and they laid them down at His feet; and He healed them. 31 So the crowd marveled as they saw the mute speaking, the crippled restored, and the lame walking, and the blind seeing; and they glorified the God of Israel. 32 And Jesus called His disciples to Him, and said, "I feel compassion for the people, because they have remained with Me now three days and have nothing to eat; and I do not want to send them away hungry, for they might faint on the way." 33 The disciples said to Him, "Where would we get so many loaves in this desolate place to satisfy such a large crowd?" 34 And Jesus said to them, "How many loaves do you have?" And they said, "Seven, and a few small fish." 35 And He directed the people to sit down on the ground; 36 and He took the seven loaves and the fish; and giving thanks, He broke them and started giving them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 37 And they all ate and were satisfied, and they picked up what was left over of the broken pieces, seven large baskets full. 38 And those who ate were four thousand men, besides women and children. 39 And sending away the crowds, Jesus got into the boat and came to the region of Magadan.

 

Mat 15,21-28 

(82d) Thy kingdom come >> Three elements of prayer >> Our approach >> How to pray – Even when it goes against His rules, God will grant whatever we ask of Him if we have faith like this Canaanite woman. What was in her faith that implored God to grant her desire? It was knowledge! She had the discernment to understood that He came for the Jew first and secondly for all the other nations of the world, and she knew this through Israel’s Old Testament, which she believed and honored more than most Jews did at the time. She took her faith to the next level and publicly demonstrated it through her tenacity, not giving up but continuing to implore the Lord even after He denied her request. Her child was sick and she was imploring the healer, and she couldn’t leave until she got what she needed from Him. It didn’t take much faith to believe Jesus could heal her child even from afar, because of His reputation as a healer. Rather, the faith Jesus applauded was in her trust that He was willing to help her against all the currents that were pushing in the opposite direction. Abraham also believed against all odds; he could have listed a thousand reasons not to believe God’s word. In spite of them all, “he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God” (Rom 4-20). Why did this Canaanite woman know Jesus would help her? She knew He was a good person, that he had a tender heart and could not help but respond to genuine faith.

Mat 15,22-28

(3i) Responsibility >> To the Family >> God addresses both genders >> Women leaders

(146f) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Jesus’ works bear witness of Himself >> Deliverance from demon possession >> Casting out violent demons

(210hb) Salvation >> Jews and gentiles are being saved >> Salvation is from the Jews >> The Jew first >> Jesus ministered to gentiles by exception – A few chapters earlier (chapter 12,17-21) gives an Old Testament prophecy about Jesus, a prophecy that He would fulfill, saying, “He shall proclaim justice to the gentiles… And in his name the gentiles will hope,” yet here in this passage Jesus is refusing to minister to the Canaanite woman on the pretence that she was a gentile. What we must understand from this Old Testament prophecy is that the ministry of the Holy Spirit that would come later beginning at Pentecost was a continuation of the ministry of Christ, and that this particular incident where Jesus grudgingly ministered to the Canaanite woman was an exception to a rule of His Father that He should minister only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. The reason for this is that He wanted the gospel to disseminate to the gentiles from the Jews. That was His original plan. He didn’t want the gentiles getting the idea that this gospel was theirs, for the gospel of Jesus Christ belongs to the Jew first, and we have been invited to the blessed inheritance of Israel. The gospel that we gentiles believe belongs to the Jew first; if we get that wrong, we won’t understand the Great Endtime Revival that is coming through the Jews. God’s plan will be executed in the last days, and the Jews will bring the gospel of Christ to the world. As it was, the gospel went throughout the world by the gentiles, because the Jews rejected God’s purpose for themselves, which was a travesty, and so God accepted that the gentiles should manage the gospel themselves, since the Jews didn’t want it, but it was not meant to be this way. By the third century Christianity turned into religious Catholicism. The Jews weren’t anymore faithful managing the old covenant than the gentiles with the new covenant, but God has certain ways and His ways will be fulfilled.

Mat 15-28

(226k) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Rewards of heaven >> God rewards us for obeying Him >> Rewarded for believing in God -- This verse goes with verse 32

Mat 15,29-31

(145c) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Jesus’ works bear witness of Himself >> Healing >> Jesus healed them all

(253h) Trinity >> Relationship between Father and Son >> Father and Son glorify each other >> Father and Son represent each other – The people glorified the God of Israel because Jesus came from Him. They were basically saying that they knew God sent Jesus Christ. This was the correct response, and in many cases the Israelites did what God wanted them to do; they worshipped and served the God of Israel through Jesus Christ. This was the message that Jesus wanted them to understand (Jn 3-16), and they understood it through the miracles He performed, associating them with the word of God that He spoke.

Mat 15,32-39

(147c) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Jesus’ works bear witness of Himself >> God exercises authority over His creation – Compassion is one of the great human expressions, being perhaps the greatest fruit of Christianity. Therefore, a person without compassion should not be construed as a Christian. The Holy Spirit longs to produce compassion in each of us who are born of God, for it is a form of love. God the Father had compassion on mankind and sent His Son, Jesus Christ, because we are not able to come to God on our own. We are like the homeless man sitting on the curb begging for a handout to get him through the day. Without Christ we would be futureless, hopeless and incapable of pleasing God. Had the Father not sent His Son, He would have had to terminate mankind immediately after Adam sinned, because not a single person could have been saved. It all would have been for nothing, and God does nothing in vain. Without compassion life is in vain. He let man continue over the millennia and chose from the sea of people a remnant who would be His worshippers, and He did it from compassion.

Mat 15-32

(123c) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Love >> Spiritual affection >> Compassion >> Compassion is the emotion of the Spirit – The Good Samaritan found a man beaten and robbed on the side of the road, gave him medical care and provided all of his needs until he was able to get back on his feet and start supporting himself again (Lk 10,30-37). The same principle applies in this situation where Jesus temporarily supplied their needs. They stayed with Him for three days and had nothing to eat that whole time. This was their Messiah, and He was there for them, and they were doing what God intended, and so Jesus rewarded them for their obedience by filling over four thousand bellies with only a picnic basket of food. Compassion is the emotion of the Spirit; it is a type of spiritual affection that is based on love. Compassion needs two things: first and foremost it needs to exist, and then second, it needs the ability to help someone. Compassion might start as a feeling, but if it doesn’t end in some kind of action, then it remains in the realm of our emotions and is not true compassion.

(226k) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Rewards of heaven >> God rewards us for obeying Him >> Rewarded for believing in God -- This verse goes with verse 28. 

 

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Scripture quotations taken from the New American Standard Bible ® (NASB), Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. www.Lockman.org 

 

MATTHEW CHAPTER 16

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1-12 The Pharisees and Sadducees came up, and testing Jesus, they asked Him to show them a sign from heaven. 2 But He replied to them, "When it is evening, you say, 'It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.' 3 "And in the morning, 'There will be a storm today, for the sky is red and threatening.' Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but cannot discern the signs of the times? 4 "An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and a sign will not be given it, except the sign of Jonah." And He left them and went away. 5 And the disciples came to the other side of the sea, but they had forgotten to bring any bread. 6 And Jesus said to them, "Watch out and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees." 7 They began to discuss this among themselves, saying, "He said that because we did not bring any bread." 8 But Jesus, aware of this, said, "You men of little faith, why do you discuss among yourselves that you have no bread? 9 "Do you not yet understand or remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets full you picked up? 10 "Or the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many large baskets full you picked up? 11 "How is it that you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread? But beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees." 12 Then they understood that He did not say to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

 

Mat 16,1-4

(20f) Sin >> Nature of sin >> Seeking a sign -- After all the miracles, signs and wonders Jesus performed before the Pharisees asked for a sign that they might believe, in reality they were feeding Jesus just one more false promise. They were trying to make Him dance at their command, the first step in establishing control and harnessing this great power for the purpose of destroying it. Jesus didn't budge an inch, but followed the principle of miracles being a sign to the believer, not the unbeliever.

(70g) Authority >> Sin of familiarity >> Familiar with the truth-enemy of discernment >> Familiar with Jesus in the flesh -- What we are able to discern (and unable to discern) says a lot about us. For example, if we are able to discern the truth, unlike the Pharisees, it means we have some truth in us. Conversely, if we cannot discern the truth but can discern certain faults in other people, it means those same faults are also in us, which is probably the cause of our inability to discern the truth. We can only discern the things that are in us, for how can we discern what we do not know? The Pharisees could not discern the signs of the times because there was no basis of truth in them. This is also why forgiveness is so important; if we don't forgive, those same sins will come to be in us of whom we are judging. 

(178l) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Hypocrisy >> Jesus rebukes the Pharisees for having no love for God

Mat 16-1

(180a) Works of the devil >> Practicing witchcraft >> Wolves lead people into a cult >> Leading people for sordid gain -- This verse goes with verse 6

Mat 16-2,3

(169d) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> The world is blind to God >> Blinded by Satan’s thoughts >> Blinded by false judgments -- The Pharisees could not judge the signs of the times because they were busy judging sins in people that were also in them.

Mat 16,5-12

(178j) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Hypocrisy of the Church is rebuked >> Jesus rebukes His disciples -- These verses go with verses 22&23. We can scoff at the disciples' slowness of heart, but in what condition is the Church today of whom we are in charge? They were dense, and it concerned the Lord that the foundation of their spiritual maturity seemed incomplete if not absent, though they had already spent years walking with the Master. Jesus often spoke in riddles, but not so much that anyone with a remnant of the Spirit could not understand what He was saying. He spoke in riddles so that the Spirit of God was required for translation, so the Kingdom of God would remain closed to the stubbornness of man's unbelief. They should have known what He was saying since He had already proven just a couple days earlier that there is no need to worry about bread while they are with Jesus, because He would always take care of them. 

Mat 16,6-12

(175l) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Ignorance >> Lack of knowledge

(182f) Works of the devil >> The origin of lawlessness >> Deception >> Three causes of interpreting Scripture falsely >> Because they do not understand the Scriptures -- There is no excuse for the disciples acting like such blockheads after spending three full years with Jesus, unless understanding the Scriptures is more difficult than it appears. Comprehending the word of God is not a simple matter of reading the Bible once, and then declaring that we know all the mysteries of the Kingdom. The disciples believed that Jesus was here to stay and what He was saying didn't matter, since He was in control, as though they were merely along for the ride. They didn't know He would leave them with the full responsibility of establishing the Church in the world through the aid of the Holy Spirit. What flaws are in our understanding of the Scriptures? In order to have a working knowledge of the Bible, we must devote our life to it. The Bible is not like any other book. Biblical truth is "heart knowledge" as opposed to "head knowledge," and the difference between them is vast as the gulf between the rich man and Lazarus.  

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Mat 16-6

(180a) Works of the devil >> Practicing witchcraft >> Wolves lead people into a cult >> Leading people for sordid gain -- This verse goes with verse 12

Mat 16,8-12

(147a) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Jesus’ works bear witness of Himself >> Remember Jesus’ miracles -- It shouldn't have been that hard to remember the miracles Jesus performed, feeding the masses with a single basket of bread and fish, since after the meal the disciples personally went through the crowd and picked up scraps that filled many baskets. This is also a great lesson in being responsible with God's blessings, not to waste His resources. Also, remember the manna of the Old Testament that God supplied the children of Israel; they were not allowed to waste it. They were instructed to collect the manna each morning, only what they needed for the day. If they tried to store it, the manna would rot. Jesus rebuked His disciples because He was trying to make them understand that when He is with them, it was a sin to worry, since He promised their needs met from day to day. 

Mat 16-8

(20h) Sin >> Doubt replaces faith

Mat 16-12

(180a) Works of the devil >> Practicing witchcraft >> Wolves lead people into a cult >> Leading people for sordid gain -- This verse goes with verse 1

 

13-21 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" 14 And they said, "Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets." 15 He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" 16 Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." 17 And Jesus said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 "I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. 19 "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven." 20 Then He warned the disciples that they should tell no one that He was the Christ. 21 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.

 

Mat 16,13-19

(108h) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Revelation of Jesus Christ >> Spiritual revelation >> Revelation of His identity -- These verses prove that people can have a mere factual knowledge of Christ, or they can have a revelation of Jesus Christ. Those with the mere facts may not be saved, but those who personally know God are definitely saved. Which one are we? If we have a spiritual revelation of Jesus Christ, He calls us blessed. -- These verses prove that people can have a mere factual knowledge of Christ, or they can have a revelation of Jesus Christ. Those with the mere facts may not be saved, but those who personally know God are definitely saved. Which one are we? If we have a spiritual revelation of Jesus Christ, He calls us blessed. -- These verses prove that people can have a mere factual knowledge of Christ, or they can have a revelation of Jesus Christ. Those with the mere facts may not be saved, but those who personally know God are definitely saved. Which one are we? If we have a spiritual revelation of Jesus Christ, He calls us blessed. -- These verses prove that people can have a mere factual knowledge of Christ, or they can have a revelation of Jesus Christ. Those with the mere facts may not be saved, but those who personally know God are definitely saved. Which one are we? If we have a spiritual revelation of Jesus Christ, He calls us blessed.

(129k) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Unity >> Being in one accord >> Single minded >> Determination – It would be easy to prove that Paul did more in the Scriptures to promote unity than anybody else; i.e. all his letters to the churches were for the purpose of unity. Peter confessed that Jesus was the Christ, and Jesus responded, “Upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.” This indicates that God is willing to demonstrate His power through His people when they are in a state of unity, when they are integrated into each other, acting as a single entity. Many times we have seen in the Scriptures God moving with power among His people. Peter was thrown in prison with the intension of the next day martyring him, but an angel of the Lord came and released him. In other instances God performed miracles to free His people from the hands their enemies; this occurs mostly when the Church is acting in a state of unity.

Mat 16,13-18

(109h) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Spirit and the word >> Spirit the teacher >> Spirit teaches us about the word – Jesus just said that He would build His church on the principle that the Holy Spirit reveals His truth to His people, so that if the Holy Spirit does not reveal to us His truth, then we don't know it; therefore, neither are we His people.

Mat 16,13-17

(150f) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the Church bear witness of Jesus >> Confessing Jesus as the son of God – Peter made the great confession that Jesus made that both got Him killed and guaranteed His place as savior of the world. Peter proclaimed, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” This is the great confession of both God and man, starting with Peter, who was the first person on record to have made the great confession of Jesus Christ. To understand this is to understand everything, but to understand everything except this is to understand nothing. If you don’t understand that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, but perhaps understand Him in some other way, you are wasting your time, and you will receive nothing from God. If you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, you will receive eternal life and an eternal inheritance. God came to visit us and to give His life a ransom for us. One day we will have no choice but to die, but Jesus had a choice; He could have never come here in the first place. He chose to come here to redeem a people for His own possession, who are zealous for good works (Tit 2-14).

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Mat 16,13-16

(86f) Thy kingdom come >> Belief >> Mental ascent (believing a set of facts)

Mat 16,15-18

(173c) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Catholicism >> Scripture that contradicts the catholic faith >> Catholic doctrine versus the Bible

Mat 16-17

(144f) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Witnesses of Jesus >> The Church bears witness of Jesus >> It bears witness of the Holy Spirit -- Jesus testified of Peter that he had a working knowledge of Israel's Messiah by a revelation of the Holy Spirit, thus inadvertently bearing witness of the Spirit, which is the goal of faith. Peter finally struck gold! To bear witness of the Spirit is to bear witness of the Father, because God is Spirit. The Father is the origin of all things, including our faith, which we use to bear witness of Christ. 

Mat 16-18

(46k) Judgment >> Spiritual warfare >> Demons are subject to the Church through Christ -- Throughout the centuries the Church has been hit by every known attack but never sunk. Jesus is in her ship; it may fill with water but it will remain on top of the sea of humanity who works with the devil to conspire against God's elect. If the devil ever destroyed the Church, the world would die soon afterward in a mournful whimper of human depravity, which the Bible prophesies for the last days, except that God will protect His Church. 

(137b) Temple >> Building the temple (with hands) >> Jesus is the foundation >> Jesus is the rock of the Church’s foundation

(140g) Temple >> Temple made without hands >> Christ builds the temple from the bricks of the Church -- Catholicism thinks the Church is built upon the foundation of Peter, the screw-up. The name "Peter" means "Rock," of whom Peter is a microcosm of the Church (an exemplary member of the body of Christ), and the Church is built on what he proclaimed, that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. To understand this by revelation of the Holy Spirit is the rock of truth to which Jesus was referring, and God's hope is that His church would walk in that faith. 

Mat 16-19

(116d) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Working the grace of God >> Through worship >> Through His authority -- These are the keys of the kingdom: believing in Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit. If we don't believe God by the Spirit, then heaven is bound and gagged, but if we do, there are things we can say and do that will open the windows of heaven, and we will see the hand of God moving in our lives.

Mat 16-20,21 -- No Entries

 

 

22-28 Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, "God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You." 23 But He turned and said to Peter, "Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God's interests, but man's." 24 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. 25 "For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 "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? 27 "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. 28 "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."

 

Mat 16-22,23

(178j) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Hypocrisy of the Church is rebuked >> Jesus rebukes His disciples -- These verses go with verses 5-12

Mat 16-23

(79b) Thy kingdom come >> Renewing your mind >> Satan will control your mind if you don’t

(94p) Thy kingdom come >> Perspective >> False perspective in the Church -- Although the disciples were wild about Jesus, they still didn't have a clue about what He came to do. They all had visions of Him taking over the religious institutions of their time, and ultimately the Roman Empire and becoming King of the nations as prophesied in the Old Testament, of which Israel would be the center, and all the nations would come and worship their Messiah. In return, all good things would emanate through Him to the rest of the world, and everyone would live in peace and prosperity for a thousand years. That would put the disciples right at the top next to Him. It was so fun and easy to believe in Jesus that way; they were looking at being top governors of a new world empire. No wonder the disciples never understood Jesus' plan until after the resurrection; they didn't want to let go of the dream, until Jesus gave them a better one. Although they had to suffer (most of them died as martyrs), it was still a better dream than ruling next to Jesus. Why? Because their dream was transferred to a better world in heaven, deferred until the time set by the Father for them to inherit a body that could not die and become top-ranking officials of a kingdom that would never end!

(247a) God’s Interests (Key verse)

(247j) Priorities >> God’s priorities >> God’s interests >> God’s interests are not man’s interests – Jesus called Peter Satan. Peter was trying to think the best for his Lord, trying to keep Him from harm. This incident arose from Jesus telling His disciples that He would go to Jerusalem and suffer many things and there be killed and on the third day rise from the dead. Rising from the dead would have sounded fine to Peter, except that he never heard it. The enemies of Jesus knew more about Him rising from the dead than His own disciples, because they we in a better place to hear Him say it. We think His disciples would have heard Him better than His enemies, but that was not the case. It all goes back to motive; we know what we want to know; we believe what we want to believe, and we hear what we want to hear, based on motive. Peter’s motive was to protect Jesus from harm; all he heard was that Jesus was going to suffer many things and die; he never heard Jesus say that He would rise from the dead, as though those words turned to static in his ears. Peter’s attitude was that if he could keep Jesus from dying in the first place, He wouldn’t have to rise from the dead. This is how Peter and all the disciples treated Jesus throughout His entire three-year ministry: they took very little of what he said to heart. Instead, they merely considered what He said, weighed it and judged it, instead of believing in Him and accepting everything He said as the word of God.

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Mat 16,24-26

(56g) Paradox >> Opposites >> Seek God’s life by subduing your flesh

Mat 16-24

(5h) Responsibility >> Discipleship tested >> God tests your loyalty >> Your commitment to follow Jesus

Mat 16,25-28

(47e) God Judges the world >> Hell is a place of the dead – If a man doesn’t go to heaven when he dies, then he goes to Hades, and where that is no one knows. It exists in another realm; it is not a physical place that we are aware, but one day hell will certainly be a physical place. When we look at the book of Revelation and see how it ends, with God establishing the thousand-year reign of Christ, at the end of it He will release Satan from his prison, and there will be an attempt made on Christ’s throne (Rev 20,7-10), proving to man and demon that so long as sin is allowed, it will continue to seek God’s throne until it is put in its place. He will give them every possible chance, so when they blow it, God will be able to tell them that there is no solution to sin except hell, and so God will put sin and death literally under His feet when He destroys this present universe and makes a new heavens and places hell at the center of the new earth.

Mat 16-25,26

(55j) Lose By Gaining (Key verse)

(55k) Paradox >> Gain the world to lose your soul >> he who saves his life shall lose it -- Whoever wants to hold onto this life in the flesh will lose everything, but whoever is willing to let go of this life and adhere to another kingdom, one in which the human soul living a temporal life will gain eternal life in paradise, will become kings and priests of a world without boundaries. There is another life waiting for us just outside the door of our mortality that is a better one and permanent, where we find our true life hidden in Christ that God had prepared for us from all eternity.

Mat 16-27

(48e) Judgment >> Levels of judgment >> Judged according to your deeds >> In the day of judgment

Mat 16-28

(26ba) Sin >> Consequences of sin >> Death is hell >> Rejecting Christ has the sentence of hell -- It seems that people residing in hell will be able to witness the return of Christ and the establishment of His thousand-year reign on earth. Zech 12-10 says, "They shall look on him whom they pierced." The actual people who killed Christ will see the return of Christ from their location in hell. Also, Rev 1-7 says, "Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail [mourn] because of him. Even so, Amen." Those in hell will not taste the full brunt of their anguish until they see what they have lost when God establishes His kingdom on the earth.

(48n) Judgment >> Jesus’ enemies are destroyed >> Enemies of His glory

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