Matthew Chapter 16

Matt 16:1 Then the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and testing Him asked that He would show them a sign from heaven.

The Sixteenth letter is Ayin - eye; spiritual insight.

Matt 16:2-3 He answered and said to them, when it is evening, you say, it will be fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning, it will be foul weather today: for the sky is red and threatening. O you hypocrites, you can discern the face of the sky; but you cannot discern the signs of the times?

There are certain signs one notices as one looks at the sky that indicate the type of weather one can expect in the near future.

Yeshua is saying perhaps they should take up meteorology. Most of these religious leaders were better at meteorology, which was not their profession than they were at interpreting the scriptures, which was suppose to be their profession.

Matt 16:4 A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and there will no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonah. And He left them, and departed.

Yeshua is getting more disgusted with them all the time. He gave them the “sign of the prophet Jonah” earlier in Matthew 12:39-40 and He is reminding them of that sign again. Because of this they knew He predicted that He would die and rise again. Later they recall this in Matthew 27:63 “Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while He was yet alive, after three days I will rise again.”

Matt 16:5-6 And when His disciples were come to the other side, they had forgotten to take bread. Then Yeshua (Jesus) said to them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.

Leaven (Yeast) - symbolizes ‘Sin’ in the Bible. Before Passover the Jewish home is cleaned and all yeast and products containing yeast are removed from the home. This symbolizes the removal of sin from the life of the believer.

Beware of the character of most of the leaders at the time. Be more concerned with what comes out from the inside and the condition of the heart than the doctrines of men. The Sadducees also did not believe in the resurrection.

Matt 16:7-9 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have taken no bread. Which when Yeshua (Jesus) perceived, He said to them, O you of little faith, why you reason among yourselves, because you have brought no bread? Do you not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets you took up?

They are really missing the point Yeshua is trying to make.

Look guys did you not see with your own eyes how five loaves of bread fed five thousand.

Matt 16:10-12 Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets you took up? How is it that you do not understand that I spoke it not to you concerning bread that you should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees? Then they understood that He did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

Finally, they understand that Yeshua was telling them that the Pharisees and Sadducees had instituted their own doctrines which where not in harmony with the Bible. Referring to these doctrines as leaven is the same as referring to them as sinful and not from G-d.

Matt 16:13-17 When Yeshua (Jesus) came to the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that you are John the Baptist: some, Elijah; and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets. He said to them, But who do you say that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, You are the Messiah (Anointed one), the Son of the living G-d. And Yeshua (Jesus) answered and said to him, Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah: for flesh and blood has not revealed it to you, but my Father which is in heaven.

Yeshua was trying to get them to the point that they understood that He was the Messiah.

The Father draws them to Him.

Matt 16:18 And I say also to you, that you are Peter (Kefa), and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.

Yeshua will also have a new name for every believer. (Rev. 2:17)

This verse is one of the most misunderstood verses in the Bible. Many wrongly interpret the verse as saying that the church was founded on Peter and that he was the first pope.

Was the Church founded on Peter (Kefa)?

A study of the Greek will readily show the correct interpretation.

Note in verse 18 the words ‘Peter (Kefa)’ and ‘rock’. They look pretty similar in Greek but there is a difference.

In the Greek, ‘rock’ is petra. NT:4073 petra (pet'-ra); feminine of the same as NT:4074; a (mass of) rock (literally or figuratively): Think of PETRA in Jordan, an unmovable mountain.

In the Greek, Peter is Petros. NT:4074 Petros (pet'-ros); apparently a primary word; a (piece of) rock (larger than NT:3037(a stone)); as a name, Petrus, an apostle: Think of a rock/boulder, a moveable object.

(Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright (c) 1994, Biblesoft and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

Each time the word ‘Petros’ is used in the New Covenant, it is translated ‘Peter (Kefa)’ except for the very first time Yeshua used it. In John 1:42 it is translated ‘stone’.

John 1:41-42 He first finds his own brother Simon, and said to him, We have found the Messiah. And he brought him to Yeshua. And when Yeshua beheld him, he said, You are Simon the son of Jonah: you will be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.

I think 1 Corinthians 10:4 defines best who the ‘rock’ Petra is:

1 Corinthians 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Messiah (Yeshua).

Remember, Yeshua just asked them who they thought He was, and Peter (Kefa) said ‘you are the Messiah’. Yeshua was not saying He was going to build His church/synagogue on Peter (Kefa) but rather on the faith Peter (Kefa) and all of us have in Him (Yeshua).

Allow me to paraphrase Matt 16:18.

Matt 16:18 You are Peter (Kefa) (Petros - a stone, a movable object); and upon this rock (Petra -The faith you have expressed in My deity, unmovable mountain) I will build My church/synagogue; and all the powers of hell will not prevail against it.

I believe that Yeshua was choosing His words very carefully and was deliberately making this distinction to make His point. It’s a shame so many people have missed it.

Yeshua church/synagogue is the “body of believers” from Pentecost to the Rapture. The powers of Hell refer to HaSatan and his fallen angels.