40For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
basically a foretelling of Jesus' burial after his crucifixion and prior to the resurrection.
Next Jesus and the disciples were crossing the lake and Jesus made a statement about avoiding the yeast or leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees. The disciples had forgotten to bring bread so they asked themselves if Jesus were referring to the fact that there was not much food on board the boat. As if Jesus who had recently fed thousands of people with a few fish and few loaves of bread would be troubled with this! Jesus says as much and informs them that he is warning against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees. Just as a little yeast expands the whole loaf of bread, a little sin, a bit of false doctrine, a smidgen of error could grow and pollute greatly.
Anyone else ever notice how Jesus would often be talking on a spiritual plane while those on the receiving end of his words were thinking of more literal, physical aspects? Such as Jesus, when he had been speaking to the Samaritan woman at the well about spiritual matters, telling his disciples "I have food that you don't know about" meaning spiritual food and being about his Father's business. Yet they were questioning themselves to see if perhaps someone had brought bread or fish or a McDonald's Happy Meal to their teacher.
After this Jesus turned to his disciples with a question about who people said that he was. They answered that some said he was John the Baptist (Herod also thought John had been resurrected when he heard of Jesus' ministry and miracles) while others thought Jesus was Elijah, Jeremiah or one of the other prophets. (Did the people truly believe one of their prophets from hundreds of years ago would come back in their time? Or do you think this means Jesus was like Elijah or Jeremiah or one of the now-deceased prophets in his teachings or mannerisms?)
Enough with what the people thought. What did Jesus' closest followers think?
15"But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?"
16Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
OK, that's quite a step up from Elijah, Jeremiah or even John the Baptist, isn't it? "The Christ" is the Jewish Messiah. (Christ is from the Greek word translated Messiah - Anointed One - in Hebrew.) The one many thought would come to deliver the Jews from the oppressive Roman nation that was occupying their land. They had visions of a rising star - a warrior, a military man like their hero King David who lead many national victories during his lifetime.
17Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. 18And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.19I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." 20Then he warned his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ.
1. I like that Jesus affirmed that our recognizing him as "the Christ, the Son of the living God" was a result of God revealing it to our hearts. It's not something we can logically convince people to accept and believe.
2. Amber can probably better explain, but this passage about Jesus building his church on Peter is where the Catholic church's thoughts on Peter being the first pope come from. Hopefully I didn't just totally mess all that up. I'll defer to my Catholic comrade for further explanation on that.
3. I think this is the first mention of the church. For you Muslims don't think of a local assembly like a mosque, but the ummah. The universal church which includes all who follow Jesus.
4. I wonder why Jesus would not want his disciples to tell others that he is the Christ. Well, I guess it's something God had to reveal to them. At least the Messiah type that Jesus is. Obviously he was no conquering military guy, but a savior of a different sort. Kind of like Jesus thought and spoke and taught on a spiritual plane, he also saved on a spiritual level. No deliverance from political enemies for the Jews, but something far more eternal. Peace with God and all that. Much much better in the long run.
Now, what are YOUR thoughts,questions and comments? Please add whatever you like.