Summarize what you read in one paragraph:
When the Pharisees demand a sign from Jesus proving that He’s the son of God, Jesus responds by saying that no sign will be given “except the sign of Jonah”, meaning that just as Jonah was in the belly of the fish for three days and nights, Jesus was hinting at his own crucifixion, burial and resurrection over the course of three days. Like this, throughout these chapters (and the entirety of his time leading his disciples) Jesus is speaking in parables, and using concepts and analogies, and references from the Old Testament that were familiar to the people of that time to teach them. Jesus goes on to warn His disciples about the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees. No, he didn’t mean actual, physical yeast… but their false teachings and deviations from God’s Word. We’re called to not be tainted by the world and its teachings. This isn’t the first use of a warning against yeast, it’s referenced in many ways including during the Passover (Exodus 34:25), and to the action of boasting (1 Corinthians 5:6-7). Right about now in the book of Matthew, Peter goes on a bit of a rollercoaster, jumping between being super on-point, and dropping the ball. Peter declares that Jesus is the Messiah and receives his nickname (Peter), and the keys to the kingdom. That’s amazing! But, he tries to correct the Messiah as Jesus tells of how he will soon have to die. Jesus, who just called Peter “the rock” on which his church will be built, now tells him “Get behind me, Satan!” because of his doubt of their prophecy. Even though some of the things that Peter says and does makes me face-palm, it’s comforting because no matter what, he is faithful to Jesus, and because of that, Jesus does awesome things through him, including raising his church through Peter. I love that, because I can do some really dumb things sometimes, but that doesn’t stop Jesus from loving me and building me up.
What is one key verse?
Matthew 18:20 — “For where two or three gather in my name, there I am with them”
How does what you read change your vision of God?
It reminds me how loving and compassionate He is. Watching Peter and Jesus, and how patient Jesus is when Peter is way off on somethings really comforts me. Even though I can be way off sometimes, Jesus will stick with me (maybe even rebuke me a little bit when needed) but will never give up on me.
How does what you read change your vision of yourself or others?
How will you Go With God because of this reading? (What is an action step?)
In the craziness of the world today, especially with social distancing and all of us trying to get along while respecting varying comfort levels, I have to think of how patient Jesus was with Peter, his disciples, and the crowds that would follow him around everywhere. Jesus’ life was pretty crazy, considering all that he went through, and by comparison, my life is pretty mild. Still, I try to imitate Jesus’ patience and level-head in all situations that I find myself in nowadays. And on the frequent occasion that I fail to imitate Jesus, I can have faith that he’ll stick by me, and continue to build me up and teach me just as he did for Peter.
Where did you see Jesus in these chapters? (What made you think about Jesus?)
Em… Everywhere. Just kidding, but for real. The patience and love he shows for everyone. The unwavering faith and steadfast hold to God’s Word in the face of the Pharisees. The healing of the sick and afflicted, and the casting out of demons. Every book of the Bible references Jesus in one way or another, but in Matthew, as well as Mark, Luke, and John, we get to read about how Jesus actually lived his life here on Earth.