(Mat 16:1 NASB) And the Pharisees and Sadducees came up, and testing Him asked Him to show them a sign from heaven.
Mat 16:1: When the Pharisees heard that Yeshua was casting out demons, the claimed He was doing this by the power of Beelzebub. Now the Pharisees want a sign “from heaven.” They wrongly reasoned that some miracles here on earth could come from Beelzebub. They thought that if they saw a sign from heaven, then they could determine if Yeshua is really a prophet from Elohim or not.
Yeshua showed signs before, why would He not show a sign for the Pharisees? Yeshua did not want them to heed His warnings. He already said they were not to understand His message and that is why He spoke in parables (Matt. 13:9-15).
(Mat 16:2 NASB) But He answered and said to them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’
(Mat 16:3 NASB) “And in the morning, ‘There will be a storm today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but cannot discern the signs of the times?
Mat 16:3: Yeshua tells the Pharisees that they can comprehend the signs of the heavens themselves. The Greek word for “heavens” (ouranos) is the same word used for “skies” here. Actually, this word should probably always be translated either “skies” or “heavens.” The heavens in that day were almost always a reference to the sky.
The Pharisees wanted to see a sign from the skies. Yeshua said, “You already know how to read signs in the skies. You can tell if rain is coming or not. So what do you want from Me?”
Yeshua told them they can read the signs in the skies, but they cannot read the signs all around them.
(Mat 16:4 NASB) “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and a sign will not be given it, except the sign of Jonah.” And He left them, and went away.
Mat 16:4: They want a spectacular sign from the skies. They probably wanted a sign like fire coming down out of heaven as happened in the time of Elijah.
Yeshua says they are evil and “adulterous.” He is referring to their apostasy. Yeshua said the only sign this wicked people will see is the sign of Jonah, not the sign of Elijah. They will get a sign on His timing, not theirs.
(Mat 16:5 NASB) And the disciples came to the other side and had forgotten to take bread.
(Mat 16:6 NASB) And Jesus said to them, “Watch out and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”
Mat 16:6: Yeshua is warning His disciples against the false teachings of the Pharisees and Sadducees. They were guilty of adding to Torah and making it of no effect due to their traditions.
(Mat 16:7 NASB) And they began to discuss among themselves, saying, “It is because we took no bread.”
(Mat 16:8 NASB) But Jesus, aware of this, said, “You men of little faith, why do you discuss among yourselves that you have no bread?
(Mat 16:9 NASB) “Do you not yet understand or remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets you took up?
(Mat 16:10 NASB) “Or the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many large baskets you took up?
Mat 16:10: When Yeshua said, “You men of little faith..” He was using the Greek word “oligopistis.” Little faith – 3640. oligopistos, ol-ig-op’-is-tos; from G3641 and G4102; incredulous, i.e. lacking confidence (in Christ):–of little faith. He was saying they have no confidence in Messiah.
Do they not understand or remember what He had just done? Did they think He ran out of power? Did they think He couldn’t do it unless they had some “Starter bread” there first?
(Mat 16:11 NASB) “How is it that you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread? But beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”
(Mat 16:12 NASB) Then they understood that He did not say to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
Mat 16:12: In chapter 13, we saw that Yeshua warned them of the teachings of the Sadducees and Pharisees several times by using parables.
(Mat 16:13 NASB) Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He began asking His disciples, saying, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”
(Mat 16:14 NASB) And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.”
Mat 16:14: Yeshua asked His disciples who the people say He is. They reiterated the claims of the people. Herod thought He was John the Baptist. Some thought He was Elijah who was to come to turn the hearts of the people back to Torah (Mal. 4:4-6). But that was John the Baptist.
Others thought He was Jeremiah because of the compassion Yeshua showed to the people. Others thought He was one of the prophets. They were all wrong.
Why didn’t any of the people think He was the Messiah?
(Mat 16:15 NASB) He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
(Mat 16:16 NASB) And Simon Peter answered and said, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
(Mat 16:17 NASB) And Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.
(Mat 16:18 NASB) “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it.
Mat 16:18: Peter’s realization that Yeshua is Messiah is not His own realization. This revelation came completely from Elohim, not Peter.
Verse 18 is a difficult one to interpret. In the past, I have looked at the Shem Tov, which states this passage very differently. But I don’t think that is the answer. We are told in Isaiah that Elohim will build a cornerstone in Zion (Isa. 28:16).
Elohim will lay a cornerstone for the foundation. He who believes in it will not be disturbed. The Hebrew term for “believes” is aman. H539. aman, aw-man’; a prim. root; prop. to build up or support; to foster as a parent or nurse; fig. to render (or be) firm or faithful, to trust or believe, to be permanent or quiet; mor. to be true or certain; once (Isa. 30:21; by interch. for H541) to go to the right hand:–hence assurance, believe, bring up, establish, + fail, be faithful (of long continuance, steadfast, sure, surely, trusty, verified), nurse, (-ing father), (put), trust, turn to the right.
When Israel went into the land, they were to set up stones for themselves. On those stones, they were to write the Torah of Elohim (Deut 27:2-8). Since they did not follow the Torah on the stones they placed, Elohim Himself will set a stone for Israel that is His Torah made flesh (1 Peter 2:6-8). He who trusts in the Torah of Elohim will not be disturbed.
The “rock” spoken of is the Word of the Father made flesh. His assembly will be built upon the “rock” of Yeshua.
The gates of hell or “hades” (the grave) will not prevail against this Rock. Messiah speaks of His own resurrection.
(Mat 16:19 NASB) “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
Mat 16:19: This verse has been debated for centuries. First of all, the binding and loosing applies to all disciples (Matt. 18:18-19).
The term “keys” is interesting. Yeshua said that the Pharisees and Sadducees had the key of knowledge, but did not enter (Luke 11:52). It would appear that the keys of the kingdom of heaven are Torah itself. The words “bind” and loose” are rabbinic terms that mean “to forbid” and “to permit.”
Yeshua will give them the keys of the kingdom which reveals what is forbidden and what is permitted. And whatever is forbidden or permitted on earth shall be forbidden and permitted in the kingdom.
(Mat 16:20 NASB) Then He warned the disciples that they should tell no one that He was the Christ.
(Mat 16:21 NASB) From that time Jesus Christ began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day.
Mat 16:21: Yeshua tells His disciples that He is going to head toward Jerusalem and He will be killed there. And then rose up on the third day.
This is more verification that the rock He was speaking of was Himself and that the gates of the grave will not prevail against Him.
(Mat 16:22 NASB) And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You.”
(Mat 16:23 NASB) But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.”
Mat 16:23: Peter was probably telling Yeshua that they were just now learning right and wrong from His teaching and that He cannot be killed. Why did Yeshua seemingly attribute the denial of Yeshua’s prophesied sacrificial death to Satan? It is because Peter denying the death of Yeshua (which must happen according to the Word of the Father) is the same lie that Satan initially told in the Garden of Eden (Gen. 3:1-6).
(Mat 16:24 NASB) Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.
Mat 16:24: If anyone wishes to come after Yeshua, they must take up their stake (their foundation in life) and do what is right in the eyes of the Father (1 Kings 11:38, 14:8, Num. 14:24).
(Mat 16:25 NASB) “For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake shall find it.
(Mat 16:26 NASB) “For what will a man be profited, if he gains the whole world, and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
Mat 16:26: The Greek word for “soul” is psuchay which means “life.”
(Mat 16:27 NASB) “For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and WILL THEN RECOMPENSE EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS.
Mat 16:27: Yeshua is going to return in the glory of His Father and with angels. When He returns, He will then recompense every man according to His deeds. Here He is taking upon Himself the attributes of the Father (Psalm 62:12, Prov. 24:12, Isa. 3:10-11, Jer. 17:10, 32:17-19)
(Mat 16:28 NASB) “Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who shall not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”
Mat 16:28: Yeshua says that some of them will see a vision of the Son of Man coming in His kingdom. This verse should be the first one of the next chapter as this promise is fulfilled with the transfiguration.