Matthew 16

The Pharisees ask again to see a miracle

1 Some Pharisees and Sadducees went to see Jesus. They wanted to test him to see what he would do. They asked him, ‘Do something powerful for us to see. Then we will believe that God has sent you.’

2 Jesus answered them, ‘Sometimes the sky is red in the evening. Then you say, “Tomorrow the weather will be good.” 3 Sometimes in the morning the sky is red and there are dark clouds. Then you say, “Today there will be a storm.” So you look at the sky and you know what the weather will be. But special things are happening now. And you do not understand what they mean. 4 The people who are alive today are very bad. They do not obey God. They want God to show them something powerful. But God will not do this for them. They will only see the same powerful thing that God did for Jonah.’

Then Jesus went away and left them.

Jesus talks about the Pharisees and the Sadducees

5 Jesus and his disciples sailed over to the other side of the lake. His disciples forgot to take any bread with them. 6 Jesus said to them, ‘Be careful! Do not accept the yeast of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.’

7 The disciples began to talk to each other about this. ‘Jesus is saying this because we did not bring any bread with us,’ they said.

8 Jesus knew what they were talking about. So he said to them, ‘You should not be arguing with each other about the bread. You should trust me more than you do. 9 You still do not understand. You should remember that I used five loaves of bread to feed 5,000 men. Think about how many baskets you filled with pieces of food after the meal. 10 Also remember that I used seven loaves of bread to give food to 4,000 men. And think about how many baskets you filled with pieces of food then. 11 I spoke to you about the yeast of the Pharisees and the Sadducees. I said that you must not accept it. You should understand now that I was not speaking about bread.’

12 Then the disciples understood what Jesus was talking about. They did not need to be careful about the yeast that they used in their bread. Instead, they must be careful about what the Pharisees and Sadducees were teaching. They must not accept it.

16:12People put yeast into flour and water to make bread. The yeast grows in the bread and it makes the bread rise. The Pharisees were doing wrong things. The people saw what the Pharisees did. And then the people did the same bad things. This is like yeast that is growing through the bread.

Peter says who Jesus is

13 Jesus went into the part of the country near Caesarea Philippi. While he was there, he asked his disciples, ‘When people talk about the Son of Man, who do they say that he is?’

14 They replied, ‘Some people say that you are John the Baptist. Other people say that you are Elijah. And some other people say that you are Jeremiah, or another prophet of God.’

15 ‘But what do you think?’ Jesus asked them. ‘Who do you say that I am?’

16 Simon Peter answered him. ‘You are the Messiah. You are the Son of God, the God who lives for ever.’

17 Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon, son of Jonah, God has blessed you! No person on earth taught you that. God, my Father in heaven, has shown you this. 18 I tell you this. You are called Peter, which means a rock. And I will build my church on this rock. Not even the power of death will destroy my church. 19 I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. You will tell people here on earth what is right for them to do. And you will tell them what is not right for them to do. God in heaven will give you this authority. He will agree with what you say.’

16:18Jesus used a house that someone builds on a rock as a picture. The house is like the church. The things that Peter would teach are like the stones under the house. One day soon, Jesus would go back to live in heaven again. Then Peter would be a leader of the disciples to teach the people the true things about God. The people who obeyed Jesus' words would be called the church.

20 Then Jesus said strongly to his disciples, ‘Do not tell anyone that I am the Messiah.’

16:20The people were waiting for God to send someone special to them. They called this person the Messiah. Jesus knew that the people had wrong ideas about this person. They thought that he would save them from the Roman government. They thought that he would be a great soldier. So Jesus wanted to teach the people what the Messiah would really do. Then they would understand about the way in which God rules his people. They would also understand that Jesus is the Christ.

Jesus tells his disciples how he would die

21 After this, Jesus began to explain everything to his disciples. He told them, ‘I must go to Jerusalem. There, I will suffer in many ways. The important Jews, the leaders of the priests, and the teachers of God's Law will hurt me. Then people will kill me. But three days later, God will cause me to become alive again.’

16:21Jesus told his disciples what would happen to him. This is the first time that he told them. But they did not understand his words.

22 Then Peter took Jesus away from the other disciples. He began to tell Jesus that he must not say things like that. ‘No, Lord! God will never let this happen to you!’ he said to Jesus.

23 Jesus turned round and said to Peter, ‘Satan, go away from me! I must obey God. But you are trying to stop me. Your thoughts do not come from God. Instead, you are thinking like men think.’

24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘A person who wants to come with me must not think about himself. He must decide that his own life is not important. He must be like someone who carries his own cross to go and die. Then he may come with me as my disciple. 25 Whoever wants to keep his life safe will lose it. But whoever gives his life to serve me will have true life. 26 A person may get everything in the whole world for himself. But if he loses his life, it will not be any good for him. There is nothing that a person can give to get back his life. 27 I tell you all this because I, the Son of Man, will come back to this earth with God's angels. When I come, I will have the powerful beauty of my Father. I will see what each person has done on earth. Then I will pay them what is right. 28 I tell you this: When I, the Son of Man, come with power, some people who are standing here will see me at that time. Before they die, they will see me begin to rule in my kingdom.’