Religion vs Faith

  • Pharisees and Sadducees
    • Were opposed to each other
      • Pharisees believed in resurrection of the dead but Sadducees denied the truth of resurrection and existence of angels
      • Pharisees gave equal authority to written Word of God (Old Testament) as well as oral traditions whereas Sadducees only gave importance to the written Word of God.
      • Pharisees were businessman in touch with the common people but Sadducees were aristocrats
      • Pharisees were a minority in the Sanhedrin but had an impact on decision making because of support from the people
    • Banded together to take down Jesus
    • Asked for a “sign from heaven”
      • sign here means more than miracles or demonstration of power but “a wonder by which one may recognize a person or confirm who he is.” (W. Wiersbe)
      • signs confirm faith not create it, that is, it doesn’t convict a person of sin or their need for salvation, the Holy Spirit does.
    • Jesus confronts them by addressing their ability to discern the weather by observing what’s happening but not accept who He is by what He’s been doing, referring to them as an “evil and adulterous generation”
      • Same as today where people say they’ll believe in Jesus if their condition is met but reality is that their hearts are far away from God, they’re spiritually adulterous and lacking humility, like the religious leaders who were trying to destroy Jesus instead of becoming a disciple!
    • Jesus mentions Jonah, referring to His eventual death, burial and resurrection
    • Disciples
      • Had just one loaf (Mark 8:14)
      • They are earthly minded – they equated the leaven Jesus mentioned with the fact that they didn’t bring any bread
      • Jesus addresses their “little faith”, asking them if they’d forgotten the recent miracles of feeding the multitudes. Because God can meet all our needs, we shouldn’t be worried about the things of this world, rather be spiritually minded/Kingdom focused (Matthew 6:31-33)
      • Beware of the false teachings – legalists and liberals then and now – focusing only on strict obedience to the law or taking grace too far by insisting love is enough

Who is Jesus?

  • People
    • Weren’t sure, had many ideas and opinions but no revelation from God
  • Disciples
    • Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God
    • Human intellect, reasoning or experience doesn’t reveal this truth, it is from God our Father
    • Salvation is dependent on this (Romans 10:9–10, 1 John 2:18–23; 4:1–3)
  • “I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.”
    • Peter – petros – Cephas (John 1:42, Aramaic) – a stone. Everyone who confesses Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord are “living stones” (1 Peter 2:5)
    • Rock – petra – a large rock – Jesus
    • My Church
    • gates of hades
      • Hades is the holding place for the spirits of the unsaved dead waiting to be released for judgement, whereas hell is the final destiny of the unsaved (Revelation 20:11–15). Jesus holds the keys to Hades (Revelation 1:18).
      • Gates represent authority and power. It was were important business was conducted. Thus, gates of Hades represent the power of death and Satan that Christ would conquer with His death and resurrection.
    • keys of the kingdom of heaven – opening the door of faith in Jesus
    • binding and loosing – God doesn’t obey us, we do what He has willed.
    • Tell no one? Time hadn’t come, Jesus hadn’t fulfilled His mission.

God’s will vs Man’s want

  • Now that Christ had declared who He was (confirmed Peter’s declaration), He laid out His mission to the disciples plainly (Mark 8:31-32). He had hinted this before (Matthew 12:39–40; 16:4; John 2:19; 3:14; 6:51).
  • Peter “the stone” becomes a “stumbling block”
  • Peter was thinking like most people, wanting to escape suffering and death
  • God’s interests – study the Word, lead by the Spirit
  • Man’s interests – see the word, lead by the flesh (desires)

Cost of discipleship

  • Deny yourself – give yourself fully to Christ and His priorities
  • Take up your cross – identify with Jesus in all that He went through (rejection, shame, suffering and death)
  • follow Christ – obey Him (John 14:15, John 14:21, John 14:21) and abide in Him (John 15:1-5)
  • Save your life – Gain the whole world but forfeit your soul
    • do what you want
    • do what makes you happy
    • do what pleases your self
    • pursue your own plans
    • create your own purpose
    • your priorities are more important than anything or anyone else, including God
  • Lose your life for Christ – be repaid by Christ
  • Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom. – Chapters and verses didn’t exist. Statement fits what would happen at the transfiguration because Elijah appears with Moses. Elijah didn’t taste death (2 Kings 2:1-12). See also Mark 9.

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