Thursday, July 13, 2017

Fresh Look at Matthew: Matthew 16:1-4

Why does Jesus go after the religious leaders?  Were they really leaders or just bureaucrats?  Were the people following them or just afraid of the consequences these “leaders” could mete out for nonconformity? 

The better question is, why are they asking for a sign from heaven?  Is this an allusion to Elijah?  He was meeting human need, but they wanted a sign from heaven, which would prove what?  They wanted a religious miracle when all around them are the miracles he is doing as Messiah.  They were ignoring the reality. 

Jesus doesn’t take it without a response here.  They won’t get a sign but the sign of Jonah.  What was that sign? Three days of “death” and then resurrection; a mass of believers in response.  Anything else?  He has already made a reference to the sign in 12:39-40.

Jesus is forceful in these encounters, but considering they were planning to kill him, calling them out as hypocrites seems pretty kind. 

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