Summary: PREMISE: Remembering is understanding is faith. The disciple’s lack of spiritual insight was due to their inability to remember and correctly understand their experiences. This story reveals three observations about human nature and Jesus’ prescriptio
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Matthew 16:1 – 12
Remembering Jesus II
PREMISE: Remembering is understanding is faith.
The disciple’s lack of spiritual insight was due to their inability to remember and correctly understand their experiences. This story reveals three observations about human nature and Jesus’ prescription for the problem.
I. We tend to walk by SIGHT not FAITH.
A. Human nature demands a “sign.”
1. “The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus and tested him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven.” (v 1)
a. The reason was to “test” Jesus, not to believe in Jesus.
b. By testing Jesus, they were laying claim to their position as the “gatekeepers” of truth... only the teacher/superior gives the test.
2. This must have affected the disciples... the Pharisees and Sadducees were also trying to plant doubt in Jesus’ followers.
a. The goal of the devil is to separate us from God. The seed of doubt is a very powerful tool. This doubt is like yeast, is slowly grows unseen on the inside. (BTW, yeast is “always” used negatively.)
b. "Be careful," Jesus said to them. "Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees." (v 6)
B. Human nature doesn’t recognize when God is at work.
1. “You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.” (v 3b)
a. Jesus observed that we can understand the physical world better than the spiritual world.
b. That’s because we live in a physical world and walk by SIGHT not FAITH.
2. “A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah." Jesus then left them and went away.” (v 4)
a. They were not going to believe anyway... so why show them a sign. It’s like what it says in Proverbs 26:4 – 5...
PR 26:4 Do not answer a fool according to his folly,
or you will be like him yourself.
PR 26:5 Answer a fool according to his folly,
or he will be wise in his own eyes.
b. In other words a no win situation at best and a lose – lose situation at worst!
II. We tend to miss the “obvious.”
A. Obvious means “easily perceived or understood; clear” [Oxford University Press]
1. Another way to say this is “DUH.”
a. What do you do when someone points out an “obvious” mistake? Chances are you get angry at them, like they were the ones who made the mistake.
b. What do you do when someone points out an “obvious” observation? Chances are you get embarrassed, and make an excuse.
2. In the book of Matthew there are 14 recorded miracles (signs) before we get to this point. 9 times were healing (individual or in mass), 2 times were nature was affected, 2 involved the physical laws of the universe, and one demonstrated Jesus power over death!
a. What more could the disciples need? (Or the Pharisees and Sadducees.)
b. FAITH is the lense we use to INTERPRET facts and events. How we interpret says more about us than the fact or event!
1. Why do we need a “sign?”
a. A “sign” reduces God to come at our whistle and perform at our command.
b. A “sign” verifies “faith” that is too weak to believe. If you can see it, you do not have to believe, it is not faith!
2. Why do we miss when God does do something...?
III. We tend to be embarrassed when we don’t understand.
A. They discussed this among themselves and said, "It is because we didn’t bring any bread." (v 7)
1. This is the “human oops” when confronted with the “divine duh.” (Jesus said, “How is it you don’t understand?” v 11a)
a. They were thinking PHYSICALLY...
b. Yeast is in bread, they forgot the bread... simple, eh?
2. Jesus was dealing with the “spell” that doubt had cast over them.
a. The doctrine/teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees (unbelief) had gotten them thinking PHYSICALLY... In other words, they forgot. (e.g. the forgot bread is no a problem for the Creator of the Universe!)
b. Jesus wanted them to think SPIRITUALLY. (Jesus said, “I was not talking to you about bread? But be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” v 11b)
B. It hurts when God points out the “obvious.”
1. We defend ourselves.
a. It is easier to NOT believe...
b. In fact a correction of belief may be more painful than physical pain.
2. We have to admit that we are wrong and God is right.
a. That means to change our mind: pattens and desires.
b. That means to change our behavior: (2 Timothy 2:19 states: Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: "The Lord knows those who are his," and, "Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.")