THROUGH THE BIBLE IN THREE YEARS

This program of daily Scripture studies is designed to help you in daily honoring God with adoration.

Each day, Monday through Friday, a Scripture with commentary is posted.

We have a great friend in Gary Godard. He has set up an archive page. To view ALL the prior Scripture studies by book and chapter, just clik


HERE.

Bro. Bruce's commentaries for the books of Genesis through Malachi are
now available in hard copy for $17.50. (Smaller books are only $9:50) Just mail your request for COMMENTARY ON (BOOK NAME) to:

Bruce McGee
P.O. Box 1627
Columbia, LA 71418

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE STUDY

MATTHEW

CHAPTER 16

2 He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red. 3 And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times? 4 A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed.

The 1st verse of Chapter 16 is included in the commentary on Chapter 15. If you didn't read that yet, ya oughta!

The Pharisees and Sadducees asked for a "sign from heaven." What they really wanted was for Jesus to perform a specific miracle that would PROVE He was the Messiah.

Well, the truth is, Jesus ALREADY HAD!! Why did they want MORE?

Indeed, why do people want MORE now? The Bible was written over a 1,500 year time span by many different men. But it is safe to say that GOD is the AUTHOR! You see, the doctrine of INSPIRATION means that God used men as tools in His hands. He used their time, their knowledge, their language. But God, by means of His Holy Spirit speaking to these men, made sure that HIS thoughts were written down.

For over 1600 years people have been trying to disprove the Bible. But it has NEVER been disproven, not even in one single verse. The Bible is composed of symmetrical truth which cannot be broken. All of the truths of the Bible are still true today!

The Bible is God's revelation of Himself to mankind. Why do some people require MORE?

There's a story about a physics professor who challenged the realness of God every year in his class. At some point in his lessons, he would stop, hold up a piece of chalk and say, "If God is truly alive, then He will not let this chalk fall to the floor and break."

Once, when he did this, a young man bowed his head to pray. The professor said, "Prayer will not help, son. Watch this!" And he dropped the chalk. But the chalk went down his pant legs and got caught in the cuff!

That was the LAST time the professor tried that stunt!

Look back at what Jesus told the group tempting Him. He said (in effect), "You can read the physical signs of the day, but you are inept at reading the spiritual signs of the day."

These men knew how to read the "weather" from the sky. However, even though they professed being saved and religious, they could not see the "signs" Jesus had already placed before them. He had already healed the blind, the lame, the leprous, the deaf, the dumb, and had even brought people to life again from the dead! And ALL this He did with irrefutable amounts of witnesses!

And today, Jesus has already died on the cross, risen from the tomb and ascended into heaven. All these things were done with an insurmountable barrage of witnesses!

What MORE does anyone need?

Jesus concluded his reproof of the group by saying, "a wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign!" We should seek after CHRIST!

5 And when his disciples were come to the other side, they had forgotten to take bread. 6 Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. 7 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have taken no bread. 8 Which when Jesus perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread? 9 Do ye not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? 10 Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? 11 How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees? 12 Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.

You'd think that following Jesus for so long, they would not forget to bring a lunch! But they had forgotten, and it was a concern to them.

Then Jesus made the statement, "Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Saducees."

Now, they were REALLY conscious of not bringing a lunch!

But Jesus knew what they were talking about and explained. He reproved them because of their lack of faith. Was it not He Who fed the 5,000 and the 4,000? Did they not witness the fact that He could provide all they needed?

Then Jesus went on and explained that they were not to "partake" of the "doctrine" of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. This "doctrine" was a permeating corruption like "leaven."

The Pharisees were legalistic, focused on tradition, and hypocritical. These things CORRUPTED their lives and they were spiritually DEAD -- unable to hear truth. The Sadducees were rationalists and existentialists, focusing on self-improvement. This also CORRUPTED their lives and they were spiritually DEAD too.

What Jesus wants is people who are focused on HIM! All our prethought patterns should establish our Master in FIRST place!

Jesus is "the Bread of Life." It is upon HIM that we should feed our thoughts, and not upon the corrupt practices of the world.

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? 14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. 15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

There's quite a difference in who the world says Jesus is and who disciples say He is! The world calls Him "Teacher," "Prophet," "Priest," "King," and many other names. But disciples (believers) know that He is Creator, Sustainer, Master, Eternal Judge, Redeemer, Savior and "the Son of the Living God." One might interpret that last phrase as "the One and Only physical image of the invisible God." I believe that's what Peter meant.

Whom do YOU say Jesus is? Is He your Creator; do you own Him as the One Who gave you physical life? Is he your Sustainer; do you realize that He is the One Who provides you the way to live, and keeps you breathing? Is He your Master; are you obedient to His definition of living life? Is He your Eternal Judge; do you realize that one day you'll stand before Him to answer for all that you are and have done? Is He your Redeemer, and Savior; do you realize that your judgment will be "ACQUITTED" because He has paid the ransom for your sin, and opened the way of eternal life to you? If you do, then you know He is "the Son of the Living God!" He is your only link to the Eternal Holy and Righteous God!

You KNOW Him, not because people have told you; but because God's Holy Spirit has REVEALED the truth to you about Jesus.

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. 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. 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.

It wasn't what Andrew had told Peter that made him understand. It wasn't what others were saying that made him comprehend. It was by the revelation of God's Holy Spirit that Peter could say, " Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God."

This is the KEY to salvation! It is the "ROCK" upon which Christ builds His church: the CONFESSION OF FAITH in Christ as the ONLY way to approach God and receive salvation.

That confession of faith in Christ is absolute truth, and all hell cannot change it! The devil, in all his trickery, cannot change that simple confession! The devil cannot overcome such simple faith, because it comes from God's Holy Spirit. He is the power that moved over earth and performed the doing of creation according to the Word spoken from God (Genesis 1:2). His is the power that raised Jesus from the dead (See Romans 8:11).

And if that power is in you, then NOTHING can ever change it!!!
(See Titus 3:5-7).

And I pray with Paul, "Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost." (Rom 15:13)

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

Why would Jesus allow Himself to be fully revealed, and then command the disciples not to tell others?

It is certainly true, and spiritually correct. But for them to preach it at that time would not have been expedient for God's purposes. People would have accepted it as a POLITICAL thing, and not a spiritual thing. The Jews had long looked for a Messiah Who would come and subdue the world, then give it over to them. This was their desire. They had no comprehension of the meaning of salvation purchased by the blood of God.

Humility must bring offering before power can bring control!

That is precisely why one must humbly come to Christ for forgiveness before one finds the power of salvation working IN Him!

Judas was one disciple. It was his belief that Messiah should come as Mighty Lord and King and rule the world. It was his belief that Christ Jesus had to be EXPOSED in order for this to happen. That's why He betrayed Jesus. But God doesn't do things according to man's understanding. God does them according to perfect truth. Jesus had to DIE on the cross and offer salvation to ALL men before He could come as King and rule over the earth.

It is certainly His right to come and rule NOW! But He delays that right for men to have the opportunity of forgiveness and salvation.

22 Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. 23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. 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. 25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. 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? 27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. 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.

Peter, and probably all the disciples at that time, had virtually the same view as Judas. They wanted to see Jesus installed as the political "King of the earth." They all had the view that Messiah would come charging through clouds of glory, riding a white horse, destroying the enemy, and taking over the world. This was built out of a misinterpreted view of the Old Testament, which was all the Bible they had at that time. They didn't understand how God could come in flesh and die for people's souls. So they simply omitted that part of the revelation from the Old Testament.

What Jesus wanted the disciples to comprehend was that "As God IS, so must man BE!"

We cannot have REAL LIFE by ruling over our own selves. We are sinners all, and we will rule over ourselves in selfishness. In order for us to receive REAL LIFE, we must first SURRENDER to Jesus as Lord of who we are! "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me." We must DIE to self, and begin to live FOR Christ...that is where salvation begins!

Any who think otherwise are sadly mistaken. "For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it." We must immerse ourselves in Christ in order to obtain His gracious cleansing for sin and the entrance of His Holy Spirit to guide us in living according to His will.

But some of these would see His glorious transfiguration (spoken of in the beginning of the next chapter).

Yes, one day Jesus IS coming "in the glory of His Father with His angels."

At that time "..He shall reward every man according to his works." Man will be judged as to whether he/she has lived FOR Jesus.
"He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad." (Matt 12:30)

PLEASE CONTINUE WITH US IN BIBLE STUDY TOMORROW.