Sermons

Summary: ON THREE DIFFERENT OCCASIONS JESUS PREDICTED HIS DEATH TO HIS DISCIPLES. THIS IS THE FIRST TIME AS RECORDED IN THE BOOK OF MATTHEW.

JESUS PREDICTS HIS DEATH

MATTHEW 16:21-28

MARCH 10, 2019

TODAY I WANT TO BEGIN A SERIES OF MESSAGES THAT WILL TAKE US THROUGH TO THE WEEK FOLLOWING EASTER SUNDAY. THE GOSPELS CONTAIN MANY SITUATIONS THAT JESUS WAS FACED WITH DURING THE FINAL MONTHS OF HIS EARTHLY LIFE AND WE WILL TAKE SOME TIME TO STUDY SOME OF THEM. MANY OF THESE SITUATIONS ARE RECORDED IN MORE THAN ONE OF THE GOSPELS, BUT WE ARE GOING TO CONCENTRATE OUR STUDY ON THE BOOK OF MATTHEW. I ALSO WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT I DID NOT CHOOSE THESE SITUATIONS ON THE BASIS OF IMPORTANCE OR PRIORITY. I JUST FELT PARTICULARLY DRAWN TO THEM.

THIS PASSAGE IN MATTHEW IS SIGNIFICANT BECAUSE THIS IS THE FIRST OF THREE PLACES WHERE JESUS PREDICTS HIS DEATH, AND WHERE HE BEGINS HIS JOURNEY TO JERUSALEM. IT IS A JOURNEY THAT WILL TAKE ABOUT SIX MONTHS, AND IS MORE OF A SPIRITUAL AND EMOTIONAL JOURNEY THAN A PHYSICAL ONE.

WHEN WE ARE TOLD OF A LOVED ONE’S DIAGNOSIS OF A TERMINAL DISEASE, WE NEED TIME TO PROCESS THAT FACT. WE HAVE TO GET USED TO THE FRUSTRATION THAT COMES WHEN WE KNOW THAT THERE IS NOTHING THAT WE CAN DO TO HELP THAT PERSON.

THE DISCIPLES WERE GOING TO FACE A DIFFERENT KIND OF FRUSTRATION. THEIR LEADER WAS KNOWINGLY GOING TO MAKE A JOURNEY THAT WOULD MOST LIKELY LEAD TO HIS DEATH. HE DIDN’T HAVE TO GO TO JERUSALEM. HE COULD TONE DOWN HIS PREACHING AND HIS ALTERCATIONS WITH THE RELIGIOUS LEADERS. HE COULD, BUT HE WOULD NOT. THEIR LEADER SEEMED DETERMINED THAT THIS WOULD BE THE TIME OF HIS DEATH, AND IN THEIR EYES, THOUGH IT DID NOT HAVE TO BE, THERE WAS NOTHING THEY COULD DO TO STOP IT.

DURING THIS TRIP JESUS IS GOING TO MEET INCREASING OPPOSITION FROM RELIGIOUS LEADERS, AND IT WILL BUILD UP LIKE A CRESCENDO IN MUSIC, WHICH WILL REACH ITS HEIGHT AS JESUS ENTERS JERUSALEM. WHEN WE TALK ABOUT PALM SUNDAY, WE WILL SEE THAT ALL THE ELEMENTS ARE IN PLACE IN JERUSALEM TO LEAD TO THE CRUCIFIXION.

EACH OF THE ACCOUNTS THAT WE ARE GOING TO LOOK AT WILL ALLOW US TIME FOR SELF-REFLECTION AND DECISION MAKING. WE HAVE TO REALIZE THAT JESUS DEATH AND RESURRECTION IS JUST AS SIGNIFICANT FOR US AS IT WAS FOR THE PEOPLE BACK THEN. WE ALSO HAVE TO REALIZE THAT THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR JESUS’ DEATH IS JUST AS MUCH OURS AS IT WAS THE PEOPLE THEN, THE PENALTY FOR NOT ACCEPTING CHRIST’S GIFT OF SALVATION AND HIS SACRIFICE IS JUST AS MUCH NOW AS IT WAS THEN, AND JESUS’ GIFT OF SALVATION JUST AS REAL FOR US NOW AS IT WAS TO THE PEOPLE OF THAT TIME.

BIBLICAL CONTEXT:

CHAPTER 16 BEGINS WITH AN ALTERCATION BETWEEN JESUS AND THE RELIGIOUS LEADERS. THEY WERE DEMANDING SOME FORM OF MIRACULOUS SIGN TO VERIFY THAT JESUS WAS WHO HE SAID HE WAS. THEY WERE HOPING THAT HE WOULD TRY AND FAIL AS THAT WOULD PUT AN END TO HIS MINISTRY.

HIS ANSWER WAS SIGNIFICANT.

MATTHEW 16:4: A WICKED AND ADULTEROUS GENERATION LOOKS FOR A SIGN, BUT NONE WILL BE GIVEN IT EXCEPT THE SIGN OF JONAH.” JESUS THEN LEFT THEM AND WENT AWAY.

WHILE IT WAS NOT UNDERTOOD BY THE RELIGIOUS LEADERS, JESUS WAS TELLING THEM THAT THE SIGN THAT WOULD BE GIVEN WAS THE RESURRECTION. JESUS WOULD DIE AND BE BURIED FOR THREE DAYS, JUST AS JONAH WAS IN THE BELLY OF THAT GREAT FISH FOR THREE DAYS.

IN VERSES 5-12 JESUS REMINDS THE DISCIPLES HOW HE HAS ALWAYS PROVIDED FOR THEM. THEY SET OUT BUT FORGET TO TAKE PROVISIONS WITH THEM. THEY HAVE NO BREAD. JESUS REMINDS THEM WHO IT WAS THAT FED THE FIVE THOUSAND AND HAD MUCH LEFT OVER. HE WOULD CERTAINLY PROVIDE FOR THEM.

HE ALSO TELLS THEM TO WACH OUT FOR THE LEVEN OF THE RELIGIOUS LEADERS. THE LEVEN WAS USED TO MAKE THE BREAD RISE, AND IN SCRIPTURE IT IS SYMBOLIC OF SIN. JESUS WAS TELLING HIS DISCIPLES TO BE WATCHFUL OF THE SINFUL BEHAVIOUR OF THE RELIGIOUS LEADERS AND NOT TO BE TAKEN IN BY THEM.

JESUS IN VERSES 13-20 ASKS HIS DISCIPLES THE QUESTION OF THE AGES.

MATTHEW 16:13: WHEN JESUS CAME TO THE REGION OF CAESAREA PHILIPPI, HE ASKED HIS DISCIPLES, “WHO DO PEOPLE SAY THE SON OF MAN IS?”

HE GETS A VARIETY OF ANSWERS. THEN HE MAKES THE QUESTION REAL TO HIS DISCIPLES, WHO DO YOU SAY THAT I AM? UNDERSTAND THE QUESTION HERE. JESUS IS REALLY ASKING THEM WHO THEY ARE COMMITTED TO. HE NEEDS TO KNOW THIS BEFORE HE TELLS THEM OF HIS UPCOMING DEATH.

THERE ARE MANY PEOPLE WHO KNOW WHO JESUS IS. THEY CAN GIVE THE SAME ANSWERS THAT THE DISCIPLES DID, AND THEY WOULD BE RIGHT. THIS HOWEVER DOESN’T MEAN THEY BELIEVE THAT THIS IS WHO JESUS IS. HE WAS A GOOD MAN, HE WAS A PROPHET, THE THING THEY WILL NEVER SAY THOUGH IS THAT HE IS THE MESSIAH THAT HE IS THE SON OF GOD.

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