83. Beware the leaven (yeast) of the Pharisees- Matt. 16:5-12, Mark 8:13-21
-Jesus indicates to His disciples that the teachings of the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and Herod are leaven (a symbol of sin that will rise and affect the entire loaf, or society/religious system). What He was teaching them was that wrong teachings can easily lead people astray from the truth and misguide them into destruction. He also pointed out in this instance that their faith still had a ways to go since they were doubting about their provision and lack of bread thinking that was what Jesus was meaning. *Application* Be careful when you have a tendency to think that a little wrong won’t possibly be enough to affect anybody. Jesus teaches the exact opposite. Protect any form of false teaching (heresy) as prescribed by the Word of God for faith and practice. Don’t let anyone lead you astray by teaching doctrines that you know are not biblical. Liberalism has had a profound effect on our culture and continues to affect our educational institutions and churches with ungodly venom, which destroys the purity of our faith in Christ Jesus. Stay true to God’s Word and you will never falter.
Verse to Memorize- Matthew 16:6
84. Blind man of Bethsaida healed- Mark 8:22-26
-In Bethsaida, on the north side of the Sea of Galilee, Jesus heals a man in stages after the man implored Him to touch him for the purpose of healing. Jesus had spit on his eyes outside the village and asked him if he saw anything. The man was seeing either partially, or perhaps something of a spiritual nature, as he saw men like trees walking around. Jesus again laid His hands on the man and made him look intently and the eyes were restored with everything becoming clear. After this the man was sent home with a warning not to even enter the village. *Application* Here we see a willingness and trust in Jesus for the purpose of restoration no matter the location or the method. Be excepting of the Lord’s ways of doing things even when they may seem unconventional. In time you too will see everything clearly.
Verse to Memorize- Mark 8:25
85. Peter professes the Christ- Matt. 16:13-20, Mark 8:27-30, Luke 9:18-21
-This occurrence happens north of the Sea of Galilee by a good ways near the Hellenistic town of Caesarea Philippi, which was rich in occult type sacrifices and false deities. It was here that Jesus questioned His disciples as to whom they thought He was (Matthew 16:15). What His reputation was, in other words, “Who do people say that I am (Matthew 16:13, Mark 8:27, Luke 9:18)?” It was Peter who spoke up and declared Him to be the Christ (the Anointed One, the Messiah), the Son of the Living God. Peter was blessed when he made this recognition with abundant blessings and power poured out on him by the Savior. It was not flesh and blood that revealed this insight, but the Father in Heaven through His Spirit (Matthew 16:17). This, in part, initiated the call on Peter’s life as a leader of the coming church that was built on the Rock of Christ Jesus, which the gates of hell could not overpower. Peter was given the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven and extraordinary power on earth for the propagation of the gospel, which he faithfully carried out after the resurrection of Jesus (John 21:4-19, Acts 2:14-47).
-However, at this time Jesus warned His disciples not to propagate the message of the Kingdom yet, because it was not yet His time to become an earthly King (Matthew 16:20). This first incarnation was for the sacrifice on the cross for the sins of man and no uprising or political revolution was intended or necessary, which would have happened if the message had gotten out too widely as to who He was. The Kingdom was to begin quietly but effectively and no human marketing was needed. *Application* Our recognition of Jesus as the Anointed Savior of the world is paramount to our personal salvation. Have you received the truth of the Christ as a believer? Do it today if you’ve put this important decision off. Christ will come in, take up residence in you and make you His child when you do by His Spirit.
Verse to Memorize- Matthew 16:16