corner graphic   Hi,    
ver. 2.0.19.10.15
Finding the new version too difficult to understand? Go to classic.studylight.org/

Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures
Matthew 16

 

 

Verses 1-20

The Rejection of the Miracles of Jesus- In Matthew 16:1-20 emphasis is placed upon the rejection by the Pharisees of the miracles of Jesus Christ and the acknowledgement of Him by the disciples as the Son of God.

Here is a proposed outline:

1. The Jews Seek After a Sign — Matthew 16:1-4

2. Jesus Warns Leaven of the Pharisees — Matthew 16:5-12

3. Peter's Confession of Christ's Deity — Matthew 16:13-20

Matthew 16:1-4 — The Jews Seek After a Sign ( Mark 8:11-13, Luke 12:54-56) - Matthew 16:1-4 records the story of how the Pharisees and Sadducees tested Jesus by seeking a sign from Him in order to find fault. Jesus Christ replied by telling the Pharisees that they could discern the natural sunlight and heavenly signs so as to determine the weather, but that they could not discern the divine light ( Matthew 16:1-4). The sun bears witness to the divine light of God the Creator since sunlight works in a similar way to God's divine creative light. Because of sin, mankind has been blinded from the recognition of this divine light ( 2 Corinthians 4:4).

2 Corinthians 4:4, "In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them."

Matthew 16:5-12 — Jesus Warns His Disciples of the Leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees ( Mark 8:14-21) - The story in Matthew 16:5-12 of how Jesus warns His disciples about the leaven, or false doctrines, of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees naturally follows His rebuke to them in the previous passage. Jesus often spoke with the spiritual words while His disciples were initially trying to apply it to the situation around them. The emphasis upon false doctrine in this narrative material is because the theme of this passage is about offences because of false doctrines in the Kingdom of God. These offences are not coming from the multitudes but from those who appear to be within the Kingdom of God, that Isaiah , the religious leaders.

Matthew 16:13-20 — Peter's Confession of Christ's Deity at Caesarea Philippi ( Mark 8:27-30, Luke 9:18-21) - Matthew 16:13-20 records the confession of Peter when he acknowledges Jesus Christ as the Christ, the Son of the Living God. The importance of this confession is that when Jesus saw that His disciples had received the divine revelation of who He was, His focus was immediately turned to the Cross (note Matthew 16:21).

The doctrine of the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ is the foundational doctrine of the New Testament Church. Upon this foundation the Church is built. Therefore, at Peter's confession, the "Church" is established upon the earth. This is why we have the first use in the New Testament of the word "church" within this passage ( Matthew 16:18). No earthly thing is able to shake this foundation once it is established upon the earth. This is why Jesus replies to Peter's confession by saying, "That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." We can see Satan fighting against this great revelation and its results as Peter is immediately tempted by Satan to rebuke Jesus ( Matthew 16:22-23).

Once this foundation was laid, Jesus had no more need to stay any longer upon the earth. His need was to complete the work of redemption on Calvary's Cross and return to Heaven so that He could send the Holy Spirit to strength Peter and those who were in agreement with his confession.

Matthew 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?

Matthew 16:13Comments - Jesus already knew what people were calling Him. He wanted to know what his disciples believed about Him.

1. God, the Father had spoke from heaven, calling Him His Son:

At His baptism: Luke 3:22, "And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased."

At His transfiguration: Luke 9:35, "And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him."

2. Those in Nazareth called him Joseph"s son:

Psalm 127:5, "Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate."

3. The demons knew Him, and Jesus for bade them to reveal Him:

Matthew 8:29, "And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?"

4. The Pharisees called Him one who worked by Beelzebub, the prince of devils:

Matthew 12:24, "But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils. "

5. Many people called Him the son of David:

Matthew 12:23, "And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David? "

6. Herod, the tetrarch, called Him John the Baptist:

Matthew 14:1-2, "At that time Herod the tetrarch heard of the fame of Jesus, And said unto his servants, This is John the Baptist; he is risen from the dead; and therefore mighty works do shew forth themselves in him."

7. Some of His disciples knew him as He truly was, as the Son of God:

Matthew 14:33, "Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God. "

8. His true identity was the main issue at His trial:

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."

Matthew 27:11, "And Jesus stood before the governor: and the governor asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And Jesus said unto him, Thou sayest."

Matthew 27:37, "And set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS."

Matthew 16:14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.

Matthew 16:15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?

Matthew 16:15Comments - Jesus knew what they had already said in the storm at sea ( Matthew 14:33).

Matthew 14:33, "Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God."

Matthew 16:16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

Matthew 16:17 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.

Matthew 16:17Comments - In Matthew 16:17 Jesus called Peter by the name "Simon Barjona," a term used only once again on the shores of the Sea of Galilee ( John 21:15-17). Simon Peter was the son of Jonah. Jesus told Peter that this revelation of the Son of the living God did not proceed from men, but from the Father in Heaven, as if to make a clear contrast between the fleshly and the heavenly, between spiritual bonds and fleshly bonds. Peter had left his father, forsaken all and followed Jesus. Now Peter could understand the important of His more important relationship with Jesus and God the Father, a relationship that provided divine revelation and insight into the heavenly realm, a revelation that Peter and the other apostles would dedicate their lives proclaiming to the world.

Matthew 16:18 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.

Matthew 16:18 — "and upon this rock I will build my church" - Word Study on "rock" - Strong and Vine says the Greek word πέτρα (G 4073) means, "a (mass of) rock." The TDNT says πέτρα is primarily used in Classical literature to refer to "a large and solid rock," and it is used literally in the LXX to mean, "rock, cliff." In contrast, the Greek word πέτρος (G 4074) means, "a piece of rock." Vine says it means, "a detached stone or boulder." Some examples of the literal use of πέτρα in the New Testament are:

Matthew 7:24, "Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise Prayer of Manasseh , which built his house upon a rock:"

Mark 15:46, "And he bought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre."

Luke 6:48, "He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock."

Luke 8:6, "And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture."

Luke 8:13, "They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away."

The Greek word πέτρα is used metaphorically in the Scriptures to indicate Christ.

Romans 9:33, "As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed."

1 Corinthians 10:4, "And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ."

1 Peter 2:8, "And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed."

Comments- Jesus is the foundation:

1 Corinthians 3:11, "For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ."

We, the believers, are living stones ( λίθος):

1 Peter 2:5, "Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ."

Comments- Note that the Church has a foundation.

Ephesians 2:20, "And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;"

Revelation 21:14, "And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb."

Matthew 16:18 — "the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" - Comments- Note:

NET, "and the gates of Hades will not overpower it ."

NLT, "and all the powers of hell will not conquer it."

Scripture References- Note:

Job 38:17, "Have the gates of death been opened unto thee? or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death?"

Psalm 9:13, "Have mercy upon me, O LORD consider my trouble which I suffer of them that hate me, thou that liftest me up from the gates of death:"

Psalm 107:18, "Their soul abhorreth all manner of meat; and they draw near unto the gates of death."

Psalm 127:5, "Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate."

Isaiah 38:10, "I said in the cutting off of my days, I shall go to the gates of the grave: I am deprived of the residue of my years."

Matthew 16:18Comments - In the ancient world an army besieged a city by surrounding it; yet, the army could not prevail against it until they broke through the entrance gates of the city. The "gates of Hell" is a phrase that symbolizes those bound in sin and under the power of the devil. The Church will be called forth in the Great Commission ( Matthew 28:18-20) to storm the "gates of Hell," break through, and rescue men's souls from the grips of Hell. The way this divine warfare is conducted is through the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When a soul comes to the revelation and confession of the deity of Jesus Christ as the Son of God that Peter has just made in Matthew 16:16, he is able to break free from the gates of Hell and is rescued by God. He is set free from every aspect of Satan's realm that brings sin, sickness, disease upon mankind. The power of the Gospel to free mankind from the gates of Hell is the atonement of Jesus Christ. Peter will write in his first epistle that the atonement is two-fold: forgiveness of sins and healing for man's body ( 1 Peter 2:24). The atonement was full and complete for mankind, spirit, soul, and body.

1 Peter 2:24, "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed."

Jesus' declaration in Matthew 16:18 that upon this rock Jesus would build His Church alludes to the work of Peter in the early years of the Church recorded in the book of Acts when Peter's sermon brought thousands of Jews into the Faith.

Origen speaks of this verse in the Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius, who refers to Peter as being the rock upon whom the Church of Christ is built.

"And Peter, on whom the Church of Christ is built, "against which the gates of hell shall not prevail," has left one acknowledged epistle; perhaps also a second, but this is doubtful." (Ecclesiastical History 6258)

Thus, the word "rock" is believed to be a reference to Peter himself, according to Origen.

Matthew 16:19 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.

Matthew 16:19 — "And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven" - Comments- There are several interpretations to the meaning of the word "keys." When Matthew 16:19 uses the phrase "keys of the kingdom of heaven," he is using it in a figurative sense. We know that in a literal sense keys are devices or instruments that allow us to enter into a particular home or a domain and partake of its benefits. In the figurative sense, Jesus is telling us that there are divine principles, or truths, that we as believers can walk in so that we partake of the benefits of the kingdom of God. The rest of this verse refers to our ability to bind and loose, which refer to things that we set in motion by our confessions of faith. Peter has just made one of those confessions of faith. The context of this passage emphasized the identity of the Lord Jesus Christ. The name of "Jesus" is certainly a key into the kingdom of God and a key to prayer and walking in authority as believers. However, it is what"s in that name that is the key. Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and living a life of faith in that name offers mankind the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven to fulfill the divine commission of Matthew 28:18-20.

Scripture References- Note other verses in the Scriptures that use the word "key":

Isaiah 22:22, "And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open."

Luke 11:52, "Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered."

Revelation 1:18, "I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death."

Revelation 3:7, "And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;"

Matthew 16:19Illustrations- Illustrations of the authority of the church:

1. Matthew 18:18 (verse 15-20) - The church judges sin.

2. Acts 5:1-11 - Ananias and Sapphira.

3. 1 Corinthians 5:1-8 - Purging sin in the church.

4. John 20:23 - Authority to forgive sin or not.

5. 2 Corinthians 2:4-11 - Authority to forgive and restore others.

Matthew 16:20 Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.


Verses 21-27

The Revelation of the Atonement of Jesus Christ - With the Jewish leaders having rejected the doctrine of Jesus Christ and of John the Baptist, of the Holy Scriptures ( Matthew 15:1-39), and of His miracles ( Matthew 16:1-20), Jesus now begins to reveal various aspects of His atonement to those disciples who have faithfully followed Him ( Matthew 16:21 to Matthew 17:27). This passage of Scripture is structured as a triplicate set of revelations followed by explanations. In other words, Jesus will offer a revelation of Himself followed by an explanation of the requirements of discipleship in light of His Atonement.

Here is a proposed outline:

1. The Revelation of Cost of the Atonement and Discipleship — Matthew 16:21-28

2. The Revelation of Divine Authority of Jesus & Church — Matthew 17:1-21

3. The Revelation of the Divine Provisions — Matthew 17:22-27


Verses 21-28

The Revelation of the Cost of the Atonement and of Discipleship - In Matthew 16:21-28 Jesus reveals the cost that He must pay for the atonement of mankind and the cost His disciples must pay in order to partake of that atonement. The cost of the atonement was the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ ( Matthew 16:21-23), and the cost of partaking of this atonement was to lose one's life for His sake ( Matthew 16:24-28).

Here is a proposed outline:

1. Jesus Begins to Foretell His Death & Resurrection — Matthew 16:21-23

2. The Cost of Discipleship — Matthew 16:24-28

Matthew 16:21-23 — Jesus Begins to Foretell His Death and Resurrection ( Mark 8:31 to Mark 9:1, Luke 9:22-27) - We find the first mention of Jesus' Crucifixion in Matthew 16:21-23. Peter has just made his public confession in the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. The importance of this confession is that when Jesus saw that His disciples had received the divine revelation of who He was, His focus was immediately turned to the Cross (note Matthew 16:21). Since the Church is built upon the foundational doctrine of the deity of Jesus, Peter's confession is the first establishment of the Church upon the earth. Once this foundation was laid, Jesus had no more need to stay any longer upon the earth. His need was to complete the work of redemption on Calvary's Cross and return to Heaven so that He could send the Holy Spirit to strength Peter and those who were in agreement with his confession. This deeper revelation of Jesus Christ' pending Crucifixion was not revealed to His disciples until they believed that He was the promised Messiah. We can see Satan fighting against this great revelation and its results as Peter is immediately tempted by Satan to rebuke Jesus ( Matthew 16:22-23).

Matthew 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.

Matthew 16:21Comments - Jesus Predicts His Passion and Resurrection - The Gospel of Matthew records three times when Jesus Christ revealsed His Passion and Resurrection to the disciples ( Matthew 16:21-23; Matthew 17:22-23; Matthew 20:17-20).

Jesus Moves to Public and Private Ministry - Matthew 4:17; Matthew 6:21 share the common Greek phrase ᾿απὸ τό τε ἤρξατο ὁ ᾿ιησοῦ ς (from that time forth Jesus began…). While some scholars have inferred that the Gospel of Matthew has a three-fold structure based upon these two verses, they actually introduce a major narrative movement in which Jesus enters His public ministry ( Matthew 4:17) and later narrows His focus to private ministry to the Twelve ( Matthew 16:21). 487]

487] Christopher R. Smith, "Literary Evidences of a FiveFold Structure in the Gospel of Matthew ," in New Testament Studies 43 (1997): 550.

Matthew 4:17, "From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."

Matthew 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."


Verses 24-28

The Cost of Discipleship - Having revealed the cost that Jesus was about to pay for the atonement of mankind, Jesus immediately followed with an explanation of the role of the disciples in light of His atonement, which was the cost of one's life to follow Him.

Matthew 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.

Matthew 16:24Comments- In Matthew 16:24 Jesus asks His disciples to take up their cross and to follow Him. The world sorrows for the loss of earthly possessions and gain. Jesus is asking His disciples to take up the sorrow that God bears for a lost and dying world. When we open our hearts and lives to Jesus Christ, the Spirit of God indwells us and allows us to feel the heart of God. As God pours His love into us, we respond by making sacrifices to win a lost world to Christ, and we experience suffering, because much of the world rejects the Gospel.

Arthur Blessitt tells a wonderful illustration of Jesus' commandment to take up our cross and follow Him. His ten year old Song of Solomon ,, Joshua , joined him for the first time as Blessitt carried the wooden cross on his back through the nations of the earth. On this first outing with his son Blessitt made a smaller cross for his son to carry, complete with a wheel on the bottom. While walking Blessitt noticed that something was wrong with his son and he said, " Song of Solomon , is something wrong?" Joshua quickly replied, "No, nothing." His father asked him again and got the same response from his son. Song of Solomon , they continued to walk and Blessitt finally said, " Joshua , take off your shoes," to which his son replied, "No, I don't want to." Blessitt asked him again with a little strong voice to take off his shoes. His son again said, "No." Blessitt then said, "Either you take off your shoes or I am going to take them off." Then, his son responded and took them off. To his father's surprise his son's socks were bloody from broken blisters while walking. Tears filled Blessitt's eyes as he realized that his son had been in much pain as a result of following in the footsteps of his dad. Yet, his ten-year old son did not want to stop following his father. He rather chose to endure the pain. It moved his father's heart to tears. 488]

488] Arthur Blessitt, interviewed on Praise the Lord, on Trinity Broadcasting Network (Santa Ana, California), television program.

Our Heavenly Father responds the same way when we take up our cross daily and follow Him. God is touched with our sacrifices and gives us the grace each day to endure hardships.

Matthew 16:26 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?

Matthew 16:26Comments- Today my uncle died. I am not sure if he ever gave his life to the Lord. I think of what a man would be saying in Hell as he begs for his soul. What would a man be willing to give in exchange for his soul being delivered from Hell? He would give any and everything at that point. (May 27, 2004)

Matthew 16:28 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.

Matthew 16:28Comments- In Matthew 16:28 Jesus was referring to the event of the Kingdom of Heaven being established upon this earth. He preached and taught that the Kingdom was at hand. This refers especially to the event of Jesus' resurrection and to the day of Pentecost when the Holy Ghost was sent from Heaven upon earth. Myles Munroe explains the coming of the Kingdom in this way. He was born in the Bahamas, which was under the rule of Britain until independence in 1973. Before its independence this island was ruled by a governor. Before it was ruled by a governor, it was conquered by a king. After the initial conquest, the king returned to his homeland and sent a governor. His job was to speak the words of the king (or queen) of England and to make the Bahamas like England. When the Bahamas gained their independence, this governor was recalled back to his homeland from which he came. In a similar way, the Holy Spirit withdrew from this earth when man declared his independence from God. When Jesus came and conquered sin, death and the grave, He took dominion on earth over the powers of Satan and delegated this power to the people of His kingdom. The Holy Spirit serves the role as a governor, who is sent to speak the words of the King and to bring about the will of the King upon this earth. Thus, Jesus established the Kingdom of God with authority on this earth and He sent the Holy Spirit from Heaven after His ascension to govern His kingdom.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.

Bibliography Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Matthew 16:4". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ghe/matthew-16.html. 2013.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, October 15th, 2019
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28
ADVERTISEMENT
Commentary Navigator
Search This Commentary
Enter query in the box below
ADVERTISEMENT
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology