Thursday, December 22, 2016

Matthew 16 Sermon Notes

Matthew 16:1-28
Christian Schizophrenia
December 18, 2016
Lynchburg, Virginia

         Matthew has been systematically building the case that Jesus is the Son of God. Furthermore, as the Son of God, Jesus is God incarnate, God in the flesh. With the feeding of the 5000 and the feeding of the 4000, we see that Jesus is a maker of miracles. Essentially, He is able to create ex nihilo. This means that He is not ONLY God’s Son, but God, Himself.
         In this chapter, we see the disciples come to the reality of this conclusion. Peter confesses that the Son of Man is the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the Living God. The full reality of that truth may not yet have set in on the disciples but it is forming.
         Right after Peter makes this confession, he stands against Jesus. Jesus condemns him soundly, even calling Peter, Satan. I don’t suppose there is a bigger insult than this at this juncture. Jesus had just called Peter a true child of His Father in Heaven. And in the next sentence called him Satan.
         What is going on? I think we can all relate to the disciples, relate to Peter. We embrace Jesus Christ and the reality of who He is but then we wave in our submission to Him. We may think the cost is too high. We may waver at the pain and suffering we must endure. We may waver at the ridicule of others. We may waver at His plans for us or His timing for us. We may even waver at the need for the cross for ourselves, or as Peter has done, waver at the need of the cross for Jesus.
         But when we do this, we are doing the devil’s work. When we say No, Lord, we utter nonsense. We are acting like Christian Schizophrenics, a mentality or approach characterized by inconsistent or contradictory elements. We are out of touch with reality, particularly the reality of who Jesus really is. He is the perfect man, the Son of Man. He is God’s Son, the Son of God. He is the Messiah, the Savior of Mankind. He is the Propitiation, the One who takes away sins. He is in fact, God in the Flesh, Yahweh Emmanuel, who is the One who created all things in the beginning. There is no room for No Lord for servants of Jesus Christ.

The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired him that he would shew them a sign from heaven.
These men are not interested in learning from Jesus. There have already been signs 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?
You are already good at reading signs. You just cannot 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.
Jesus has shown many signs. What is He getting at? He is pointing out the hypocrisy of the Pharisees. They do not really want a sign that proves them wrong. The only sort of sign they will accept is the one that proves them right. That is hypocrisy.

Matt. 16:5   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.
Jesus is trying to move the disciples from middle school to high school. They have just witnessed great miracles related to God’s provision. Five loaves and two fish and five thousand fed and twelve baskets of leftovers. Seven loaves and four thousand fed and seven baskets of leftovers. Jesus is not worried about feeding His sheep. He can do so and abundantly.
But the disciples need to grow up both to their task and to the reality of formidable enemies.

Peter’s Good Confession
Matt. 16:13   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?
Jesus calls Himself the Son of Man throughout His ministry. He uses the phrase many times so that it becomes associated with His name. Jesus is not merely a son of man but becomes The Son of Man. The question then becomes who is this Son of Man?
Psalm 8 gives us a clue as to the meaning of Jesus.
Psalm 8:3   When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; 4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? 5 For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. 6 Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: 7 All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; 8 The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas. 9 O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!
Furthermore, Daniel 7 gives us more incite.
Daniel 7: 13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. 14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.
Matthew 26 63 But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God. 64 Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.

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 Barjona: 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.
There are different ideas about who this Son of Man is. John Baptist, Elijah, Jermiah or one of the other prophets.
But Jesus wants to know who the disciples think He is. They give the right answer. The Christ, the Son of the Living God.
Jesus says that this truth was revealed to Peter by the Heavenly Father.
He then pronounces the preeminence of Peter in establishing the church. Incidentally, this is not the beginning of the papacy. James is the leader in Jerusalem in Acts 15. Peter not such a rock when Paul rebukes him in Galatians. This is a  mandate to the church, not to one leading man or to one leading place, such as Rome.
The keys of the kingdom have to do with the visible church. This is one reason we take membership seriously. Church discipline, even up to excommunication is real and God honors the work of His Church on earth.
Loosing and binding have to do with discipline. Where two or three are gathered together for the sake of discipline, the Lord is in their midst. This is the conclusion of Matthew 18. But the keys of the kingdom are not harsh or quick to judge. They are administered with patience and kindness, even forgiveness up to seven times seventy.
Tell no man- Jesus still had much to accomplish to fulfill Scripture. Furthermore, if the multitudes knew for sure that He was the Christ, they might come and take Him by force to the be the King in Jerusalem. Jesus did not want that to happen. It must needs be that one man would die for the whole country.

Matt. 16:21   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.
Jesus begins to speak clearly to the disciples about what He is going to do. He is revealing the will of the Father to the disciples. Of course, they do not really understand Him. They cannot comprehend how He could rise the third day.
Their inability to understand Resurrection is also culpable. They have just admitted that some people say that Jesus is John Baptist or Elijah or Jeremiah or one of the other prophets. They do not have any theological problem with God raising the dead.
Perhaps it is beginning to dawn on them that Jesus is God and they cannot tolerate the idea of God dying. We should have some sympathy for them. The dual nature of Jesus is very difficult to understand. How is He both fully God and fully man? How is He one person with two distinct natures?
But the main thing to see here is that Jesus is telling the disciples what will come to pass. He is telling them exactly what is going to happen to Him and that He intends to walk right into it. This is clearly what Jesus wants to happen. And that is where the dispute is going on with Peter. Peter is disagreeing with Jesus. He is demanding that God’s will not be done. That is Satanic.

Matt. 16:24   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.
Are you willing to deny your will for His will? Do you want to die? Of course not. But if you want to be a Christian, you must die daily. That is the cross. The cross may require literal death. You might have to resist the world to the point of blood. But even if you never die that way, you still have to die to the world, the flesh and devil.
How are you doing in that area? Are you becoming more sensitive to the things of God and repudiating the things of the world?
Do you love your enemies? Or do you relish words of hatred? Do you return a blessing when you are cursed? Or wish doom on those who have harmed you? Do you quickly and freely forgive? Or, do you hold grudges, remembering those particular sins against you? Are you a peacemaker? Or do you prefer stirring up strife?
These are all ways to take up the cross. God calls us Christians to a very different standard than the world. To fail to be like Jesus in these matters is to choose the will of the devil, like Peter did on that day.

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?
Peter does not want Jesus to suffer and die because that means that the Kingdom will not come to pass. Thus, Peter and the other disciples will also likely perish. If Peter is seeking to save his own skin, then he really is going to die the death.
But if you put your faith in Jesus Christ and the power of Resurrection, then you find life and that abundantly.
Peter and the disciples were counting on taking over in Jerusalem, gaining the whole world. But what if they are unwilling to submit to the will of God? Then they will be just like the Pharisees who gained the world and lost their souls. Bad trade.

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.
Jesus came into His Kingdom at the Ascension. The disciples finally realize this at Pentecost.

Our duty is to embrace the cross, which is the forgiveness of sins for sinners like us. But we also embrace the Resurrection, which means there is life after death. Furthemore, we embrace the Ascension which means the Lord Jesus is alive and well and ruling Heaven and Earth. Again, we embrace Pentecost, which means that Jesus is with His Church in power until every knee bows and every tongue confesses that Jesus Christ is Lord.

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