What Jesus Did! 'Trick or Truth' — Matthew 16:1-4

Sunday, July 30, 2017

The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus. They wanted to test Jesus. So they asked Jesus to show them a miracle to prove that he was from God. Jesus answered, "When you people see the sunset, you know what the weather will be. If the sky is red, then you say we will have good weather. And in the morning you watch the sunrise. If the sky is dark and red, then you say that it will be a rainy day. These things are signs of the weather. You see these signs in the sky and you know what they mean. In the same way, you see the things that are happening now. These things are also signs. But you don't know the meaning of these signs. Evil and sinful people are the kind of people that want a miracle for a sign (proof). But those people will have no sign—only the sign of Jonah." Then Jesus left that place and went away.
— Matthew 16:1-4
Illustration of Matthew 16:1-4 — "When you people see the sunset, you know what the weather will be."

Key Thought

Hatred and spiritual blindness can make for strange "bedfellows." The Pharisees and Sadducees looked at each other with disdain. Their alliance against Jesus is proof of their fear and hatred towards him and his work. Not able to defeat him at their own religious games, finding him surrounded by people who found him interesting and engaging, and embarrassed by his ridicule of their hypocrisy, they had nothing left to do but hang around and test him. Like Satan had done earlier, they are there for one purpose: to try to get him to stumble and fall.
Jesus refuses, however, to play their games. He confronts their blindness and then leaves. He will not be ruled by the popular opinion. He will not be tamed by the religious elite. He will not be deterred by opponents of any kind. He is here for a purpose and he will fulfill it.

Today's Prayer

Father, thank you for Jesus' example of turning away from senseless arguments. His withdrawal is such a powerful message to me. Too often I want to defend myself and my point of view instead of just recognizing that hard hearts must soften, or be crushed, before they can be reached. Please give me more wisdom so I know when to stay and defend and when I should graciously excuse myself and move on. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus. They wanted to test Jesus. So they asked Jesus to show them a miracle to prove that he was from God. Jesus answered, "When you people see the sunset, you know what the weather will be. If the sky is red, then you say we will have good weather. And in the morning you watch the sunrise. If the sky is dark and red, then you say that it will be a rainy day. These things are signs of the weather. You see these signs in the sky and you know what they mean. In the same way, you see the things that are happening now. These things are also signs. But you don't know the meaning of these signs. Evil and sinful people are the kind of people that want a miracle for a sign (proof). But those people will have no sign—only the sign of Jonah. " Then Jesus left that place and went away. Jesus and his followers went across the lake (Lake Galilee). But the followers forgot to bring bread. Jesus said to the followers, "Be careful! Guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and the Sadducees. " The followers discussed the meaning of this. They said, "Did Jesus say this because we forgot to bring bread?" Jesus knew that the followers were talking about this. So Jesus asked them, "Why are you talking about not having bread? Your faith is small. You still don't understand? Remember the five loaves of bread that fed the 5,000 people? And remember that you filled many baskets {with bread after the people finished eating}? And remember the seven loaves of bread that fed the 4,000 people? Remember that you filled many baskets {with bread after the people finished eating}? So I was not talking to you about bread. Why don't you understand that? I am telling you to be careful and guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and the Sadducees. " Then the followers understood what Jesus meant. Jesus was not telling them to guard against the yeast used in bread. Jesus was telling them to guard against the teaching of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.

Matthew 16:1-12

Related Scripture Readings

Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law answered Jesus. They said, "Teacher, we want to see you do a miracle as a sign (proof)." Jesus answered, "Evil and sinful people are the ones that want to see a miracle for a sign (proof). But no miracle will be given as a sign to those people. The only sign will be the miracle that happened to the prophet Jonah. Jonah was in the stomach of the big fish for three days and three nights. In the same way, the Son of Man will be in the grave three days and three nights.

Matthew 12:38-40

Then the Spirit led Jesus into the desert. Jesus was taken there to be tempted by the devil. Jesus ate nothing for 40 days and nights. After this, he was very hungry.

Matthew 4:1-2

Stay away from foolish and stupid arguments. You know that those arguments grow into bigger arguments. A servant of the Lord must not argue! He must be kind to every person. A servant of the Lord must be a good teacher. He must be patient. The Lord's servant must gently teach those people that don't agree with him. Maybe God will let those people change their hearts so that they can accept the truth. The devil has trapped those people and makes them do what he wants. But maybe they can wake up {and see that the devil is using them} and free themselves from the devil's trap.

2 Timothy 2:23-26

Comments

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.