Returning to Galilee, His opponents reared their ugly heads at once. Again Jesus met a request for a sign with rebuff. God does not work miracles on demand to satisfy skeptics. Jesus took His disciples and returned immediately to the eastern shores of the lake. En route, He warned them against the insidious teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees. This combination of rival Jewish factions highlights their hostility against Jesus. They willingly set aside their differences in the face of a common enemy. The concluding portion of chapters 13:53 and 16:20 contrasts the introductory section. There inadequate understanding of Jesus led to His rejection.
“And it came to pass, [that] when Jesus had finished these parables, he departed thence.”
“Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.”
Here, still in Gentile territory, His disciples, and Peter in particular, correctly identified Him as “the Christ, the son of the living God.” Chapter 16, verses 13 through 20 in the Gospel of Matthew thus form the famous “confession” on the road to Caesarea Philippi. In response, and only in Matthew’s version of the episode, Jesus praised Peter’s insight as heaven sent and called him the rock on which He would build His church, promising Peter the keys to the kingdom.
“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?And they said, Some [say that thou art] John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.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.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.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.Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.”
Nothing of the Roman notions of the papacy or apostolic succession appears here. But Jesus did predict the preeminent role Peter would play as the leader of the infant church in integrating new ethnic groups into the Christian community.
The main body of Matthew’s Gospel and the culmination of Jesus’ public ministry ends with a strange warning against spreading the word about Jesus’ true identify. The next verse, with which the final main division of the Gospel begins, will dramatically clarify why.
References: Concise Bible Commentary, David S. Dockery, General Editor and Holy Bible, King James Version.
Columbia Prayer Chain
Wednesday, September 21
In our prayers: Jerry Callahan, Russ Meyne, April Goodwin, Laura Bushnell, Loretta M. in Cayce, Kody Oswald, Tina Bailey, Oliver Crawford, Edgar Maxwell, Laura Lou Roamans, Elizabeth Adams, Rootie Pope in Leesville, Gene Awtrey in Spring Valley, John Conde, Millie Husbands, Clyde Ireland, Sam King, Bob Whiteside, Chuck Witten, Lindsay Cathcart, Raven Tarpley, Elizabeth F., Steven and Janelle, William Alex McDaniels, Maddie Rosenthal, DuBose Tuller, Nancy, Doris C., Lynn in Camden, John in Forest Acres, Frances R., Chris Johansson in Blythewood
In memoriam: Peter Andrew Finney, Charles Angelo Ford, Steven E. Lane, Regina Monts, Reginald Corydon “Reggie” Smith, Mary Elizabeth Bickley David, Mary Langley Yates, Charles R. “Chuck” Peurifoy, Jr.
Our prayers are with: All victims of the Reno Air Show crash, Mandy and all beloved pets, our president and congress and all who serve in the armed forces
Columbia Prayer Chain is open to all residents of greater Columbia who would like to share prayers and receive the prayers of others. Please leave your name in the comment box below or email me to join our Prayer Chain. It is updated daily as prayers are requested.
Sharon is a member of the Community Church of the Midlands that meets at Seven Oaks Community Center at 200 Leisure LaneIn Columbia and is a frequent participant, with her husband Douglas, at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral located at in Columbia.
Follow Sharon on Twitteror friend Sharon on Facebook