- Centering prayer— Pray for illumination, “Lord, open my heart and mind by the power of the Holy Spirit,” and remain in silence.
- Read slowly, keeping any words or phrase that come to your mind, and mark on them.
- Close eyes and meditate on what you read.
- Take a note if you have question, inspiration.
Read Matthew 16
They still misunderstand Jesus.
Failure to discern Jesus identity (1-12). The Pharisees and Sadducees still fail to know Jesus’ true identity and demand signs to prove who he is. Only sign Jesus responds with is the sign of Jonah, which predict his death for three days and resurrection. Disciples also confused with Jesus’ teaching on “Be on your guard against the years of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” (v6). Yeast here is the symbol of corrupting power, compared to the parable of yeast in Matthew 13:33.
Peter’s confession of Christ (13-20). Peter’s confession, “you are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (v.16) is the highlight of all who Jesus is. This identity explains everything, his life, his ministry, and even his death and resurrection. Upon Peter’s confession, the church was established. The term “church,” can refer to assembled Israel called as God’s covenant people. It also refers to people whom God summoned to assemble. The church Jesus build is inclusive community. Keys refer to authority given by God and no Satan’s forces prevail.
Jesus predicts his death (21-28). Jesus teaches his disciples for the first time that God’s purpose involves his death and resurrection. Journey to Jerusalem is turning point of Jesus’ mission and life, indicating his true identity, his purpose. Peter’s response is not from God but it is from man’s failure to discern Jesus’ true identity. Jesus calls Peter personified Satan who does against God’s purpose and will. “he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me,” (v 24) is true discipleship that follow true Jesus. It has always eschatological, living in a spiritual dynamic with the sense of end of time, consequence that require decision. Jesus assures the disciples of his imminent return and the triumph of God’s kingdom.
After Reading —- Reflection and prayer.
- Reflect on this question, “What does God speak to me today in this chapter?
- Pray that God’s word today be the way, the life, and the truth to you.
- Live it out through the day.