October 16th, 2006
Most people can choose what sort of food they eat. A healthy diet over a sustained period of time produces a healthy body, whereas a person who continually eats a diet of unhealthy food will in the long run end up with an unhealthy body. According to Jesus, the same principle applies to the people you listen to. If your daily intake is a sustained diet of backbiting and pettiness, self-importance, pomposity and selfishness, then your personality and charisma are going to shrink. If you want to do better than that, you need to stop listening to the modern day Pharisees.
Matthew’s Account of the Good News — Chapter 16
16:1 The Pharisees and Sadducees came up to try him out. They asked him to show them a sign from heaven. 16:2 He replied, “In the evening, you say, ‘It will be fine tomorrow, because the sky is red.’ 16:3 In the morning, ‘The weather will be bad today, because the sky is red and threatening.’ Hypocrites! You know how to tell the appearance of the sky, but you can’t tell the signs of the times! 16:4 An evil and adulterous generation wants to see a sign, but they won’t get any sign except the sign of the prophet Jonah.” He left them and went away.
16:5 The disciples arrived at the other side of the sea and realised that they had forgotten to bring bread. 16:6 Jesus said to them, “Look out for the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 16:7 They debated this amongst themselves, saying, “We forgot the bread.”
16:8 Reading their thoughts, Jesus said, “Why do you debate among yourselves little-faiths, whether I’m worried about you forgetting the bread?” 16:9 Don’t you get it yet? Remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many baskets you took up? 16:10 Remember the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many baskets you took up? 16:11 How come you can’t see that I’m not worried about bread? Instead, look out for the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 16:12 Then they understood that he didn’t mean they should beware of the yeast of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
16:13 When Jesus came to Caesarea Philippi he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”16:14 They said, “Some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, others say Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 16:15 He asked, “But who do you say that I am?” 16:16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 16:17 Jesus answered him, “You are blessed, Simon son of Jonah. This was revealed to you not by flesh and blood but by my Father in heaven. 16:18 I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. 16:19 I give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you tie up on earth will be tied up in heaven, and whatever you release on earth will be released in heaven.” 16:20 Then he instructed the disciples to tell no-one that he was the Christ. 16:21 From that time, Jesus began to let his disciples know that he would have to go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders, senior priests and religious lawyers, be executed, and on the third day be raised up. 16:22 Peter took him aside to remonstrate, “No way Lord! This won’t happen to you.”
16:23 But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You’re causing a problem for me, because you’re looking at things from a human perspective, not from God’s perspective.” 16:24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If you want to come after me you will have to deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me. 16:25 If you want to save your life you will lose it, but if you lose your life for my sake you will find it. 16:26 What benefit is there in gaining the whole world if it costs you your life? What would you give in exchange for your life? 16:27 The Son of Man will come in the glory of his Father with his angels, and he will repay people according to what they have done. 16:28 I can guarantee that some of the people standing here won’t die until they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom.”
Entry Filed under: Legalism