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 NLT
Illustration of Matthew 16:1-4 NLT — "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.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Matthew 12:38-40
  • Matthew 4:1-2
  • 2 Timothy 2:23-26


About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.