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|New American Bible|
2002 11 11
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1 The Pharisees and Sadducees came and, to test
him, asked him to show them a sign from heaven.
2 He said to them in reply, "(In the
evening you say, 'Tomorrow will be fair, for the sky is red';
and, in the morning, 'Today will be stormy, for
the sky is red and threatening.' You know how to judge the appearance of the
sky, but you cannot judge the signs of the times.)
An evil and unfaithful generation seeks a sign,
but no sign will be given it except the sign of Jonah." 3
Then he left them and went away.
In coming to the other side of the sea, 4
the disciples had forgotten to bring bread.
Jesus said to them, "Look out, and beware
of the leaven 5 of the Pharisees and Sadducees."
6 They concluded among themselves, saying,
"It is because we have brought no bread."
When Jesus became aware of this he said,
"You of little faith, why do you conclude among yourselves that it is
because you have no bread?
Do you not yet understand, and do you not
remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many wicker baskets you
Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and
how many baskets you took up?
How do you not comprehend that I was not
speaking to you about bread? Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and
Then they understood 7 that
he was not telling them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching
of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
8 When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea
Philippi 9 he asked his disciples, "Who do people say
that the Son of Man is?"
They replied, "Some say John the Baptist, 10
others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets."
He said to them, "But who do you say that
11 Simon Peter said in reply, "You are the
Messiah, the Son of the living God."
Jesus said to him in reply, "Blessed are
you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood 12 has not
revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.
And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon
this rock I will build my church, 13 and the gates of the
netherworld shall not prevail against it.
I will give you the keys to the kingdom of
heaven. 14 Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in
heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."
15 Then he strictly ordered his disciples to tell
no one that he was the Messiah.
16 From that time on, Jesus began to show his
disciples that he 17 must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly
from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the
third day be raised.
18 Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke
him, "God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you."
He turned and said to Peter, "Get behind
me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as
human beings do."
19 Then Jesus said to his disciples,
"Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, 20
take up his cross, and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose
it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 21
What profit would there be for one to gain the
whole world and forfeit his life? Or what can one give in exchange for his
22 For the Son of Man will come with his angels
in his Father's glory, and then he will repay everyone according to his
23 Amen, I say to you, there are some standing
here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his
1  A sign from heaven: see the
note on ⇒ Matthew 12:38-42.
2 [2-3] The answer of Jesus in these
verses is omitted in many important textual witnesses, and it is very uncertain
that it is an original part of this gospel. It resembles
⇒ Luke 12:54-56 and may have been inserted from
there. It rebukes the Pharisees and Sadducees who are able to read indications
of coming weather but not the indications of the coming kingdom in the signs
that Jesus does offer, his mighty deeds and teaching.
3  See the notes on
⇒ Matthew 12:39, ⇒ 40.
4 [5-12] Jesus' warning his disciples
against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees comes immediately before
his promise to confer on Peter the authority to bind and to loose on earth
(⇒ Matthew 16:19), an authority that will be
confirmed in heaven. Such authority most probably has to do, at least in part,
with teaching. The rejection of the teaching authority of the Pharisees (see
also ⇒ Matthew 12:12-14) prepares for a new one
derived from Jesus.
5  Leaven: see the note on
⇒ Matthew 13:33. Sadducees: Matthew's Marcan source
speaks rather of "the leaven of Herod" (⇒ Matthew 8:15).
6 [7-11] The disciples, men of little
faith, misunderstand Jesus' metaphorical use of leaven, forgetting that, as the
feeding of the crowds shows, he is not at a loss to provide them with bread.
7  After his rebuke, the
disciples understand that by leaven he meant the corrupting influence of the
teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees. The evangelist probably understands
this teaching as common to both groups. Since at the time of Jesus' ministry
the two differed widely on points of teaching, e.g., the resurrection of the
dead, and at the time of the evangelist the Sadducee party was no longer a
force in Judaism, the supposed common teaching fits neither period. The
disciples' eventual understanding of Jesus' warning contrasts with their
continuing obtuseness in the Marcan parallel (⇒ Matthew
8 [13-20] The Marcan confession of
Jesus as Messiah, made by Peter as spokesman for the other disciples
(⇒ Mark 8:27-29; cf also ⇒ Luke
9:18-20), is modified significantly here. The confession is of Jesus
both as Messiah and as Son of the living God (⇒ Matthew
16:16). Jesus' response, drawn principally from material peculiar to
Matthew, attributes the confession to a divine revelation granted to Peter
alone (⇒ Matthew 16:17) and makes him the rock on
which Jesus will build his church (⇒ Matthew 16:18)
and the disciple whose authority in the church on earth will be confirmed in
heaven, i.e., by God (⇒ Matthew 16:19).
9  Caesarea Philippi: situated
about twenty miles north of the Sea of Galilee in the territory ruled by
Philip, a son of Herod the Great, tetrarch from 4 B.C. until his death in A.D.
34 (see the note on ⇒ Matthew 14:1). He rebuilt the
town of Paneas, naming it Caesarea in honor of the emperor, and Philippi
("of Philip") to distinguish it from the seaport in Samaria that was
also called Caesarea. Who do people say that the Son of Man is?: although the
question differs from the Marcan parallel (⇒ Mark
8:27: "Who . . . that I am?"), the meaning is the same, for
Jesus here refers to himself as the Son of Man (cf ⇒ Matthew
10  John the Baptist: see
⇒ Matthew 14:2. Elijah: cf
⇒ Malachi 3:23-24; ⇒ Sirach
48:10; and see the note on ⇒ Matthew 3:4.
Jeremiah: an addition of Matthew to the Marcan source.
11  The Son of the living God: see
⇒ Matthew 2:15; ⇒ 3:17.
The addition of this exalted title to the Marcan confession eliminates whatever
ambiguity was attached to the title Messiah. This, among other things, supports
the view proposed by many scholars that Matthew has here combined his source's
confession with a post-resurrectional confession of faith in Jesus as Son of
the living God that belonged to the appearance of the risen Jesus to Peter; cf
⇒ 1 Cor 15:5; ⇒ Luke
12  Flesh and blood: a Semitic
expression for human beings, especially in their weakness. Has not revealed
this . . . but my heavenly Father: that Peter's faith is spoken of as coming
not through human means but through a revelation from God is similar to Paul's
description of his recognition of who Jesus was; see ⇒ Gal
1:15-16, ". . . when he [God] . . . was pleased to reveal his
Son to me. . . ."
13  You are Peter, and upon this
rock I will build my church: the Aramaic word kepa - meaning rock and
transliterated into Greek as Kephas is the name by which Peter is called in the
Pauline letters (⇒ 1 Cor 1:12;
⇒ 3:22; ⇒ 9:5; ⇒ 15:4;
⇒ Gal 1:18; ⇒ 2:9,
⇒ 11, ⇒ 14) except in
⇒ Gal 2:7-8 ("Peter"). It is translated as Petros
("Peter") in ⇒ John 1:42. The presumed
original Aramaic of Jesus' statement would have been, in English, "You are
the Rock (Kepa) and upon this rock (kepa) I will build my church." The
Greek text probably means the same, for the difference in gender between the
masculine noun petros, the disciple's new name, and the feminine noun petra
(rock) may be due simply to the unsuitability of using a feminine noun as the
proper name of a male. Although the two words were generally used with slightly
different nuances, they were also used interchangeably with the same meaning,
"rock." Church: this word (Greek ekklesia) occurs in the gospels only
here and in ⇒ Matthew 18:17 (twice). There are
several possibilities for an Aramaic original. Jesus' church means the
community that he will gather and that, like a building, will have Peter as its
solid foundation. That function of Peter consists in his being witness to Jesus
as the Messiah, the Son of the living God. The gates of the netherworld shall
not prevail against it: the netherworld (Greek Hades, the abode of the dead) is
conceived of as a walled city whose gates will not close in upon the church of
Jesus, i.e., it will not be overcome by the power of death.
14  The keys to the kingdom of
heaven: the image of the keys is probably drawn from ⇒ Isaiah
22:15-25 where Eliakim, who succeeds Shebnah as master of the palace,
is given "the key of the house of David," which he authoritatively
"opens" and "shuts" (⇒ Isaiah
22:22). Whatever you bind . . . loosed in heaven: there are many
instances in rabbinic literature of the binding-loosing imagery. Of the several
meanings given there to the metaphor, two are of special importance here: the
giving of authoritative teaching, and the lifting or imposing of the ban of
excommunication. It is disputed whether the image of the keys and that of
binding and loosing are different metaphors meaning the same thing. In any case,
the promise of the keys is given to Peter alone. In ⇒ Matthew
18:18 all the disciples are given the power of binding and loosing,
but the context of that verse suggests that there the power of excommunication
alone is intended. That the keys are those to the kingdom of heaven and that
Peter's exercise of authority in the church on earth will be confirmed in
heaven show an intimate connection between, but not an identification of, the
church and the kingdom of heaven.
15  Cf ⇒ Mark
makes explicit that the prohibition has to do with speaking of Jesus as the
Messiah; see the note on ⇒ Mark 8:27-30.
16 [21-23] This first prediction of
the passion follows ⇒ Mark 8:31-33 in the main and
serves as a corrective to an understanding of Jesus' messiahship as solely one
of glory and triumph. By his addition of from that time on
(⇒ Matthew 16:21) Matthew has emphasized that
Jesus' revelation of his coming suffering and death marks a new phase of the
gospel. Neither this nor the two later passion predictions
(⇒ Matthew 17:22-23;
⇒ 20:17-19) can be taken as sayings that, as they
stand, go back to Jesus himself. However, it is probable that he foresaw that
his mission would entail suffering and perhaps death, but was confident that he
would ultimately be vindicated by God (see ⇒ Matthew
17  He: the Marcan parallel
(⇒ Mark 8:31) has "the Son of Man." Since
Matthew has already designated Jesus by that title (13), its omission here is
not significant. The Matthean prediction is equally about the sufferings of the
Son of Man. Must: this necessity is part of the tradition of all the synoptics;
cf ⇒ Mark 8:31; ⇒ Luke
9:21. The elders, the chief priests, and the scribes: see the note on
⇒ Mark 8:31. On the third day: so also
⇒ Luke 9:22, against the Marcan "after three
days" (⇒ Mark 8:31). Matthew's formulation is,
in the Greek, almost identical with the pre-Pauline fragment of the kerygma in
⇒ 1 Cor 15:4 and also with ⇒ Hosea
6:2 which many take to be the Old Testament background to the
confession that Jesus was raised on the third day. Josephus uses "after
three days" and "on the third day" interchangeably (Antiquities
7, 11, 6 #280-81; 8, 8, 1-2 #214, 218) and there is probably no difference in
meaning between the two phrases.
18 [22-23] Peter's refusal to accept
Jesus' predicted suffering and death is seen as a satanic attempt to deflect
Jesus from his God-appointed course, and the disciple is addressed in terms
that recall Jesus' dismissal of the devil in the temptation account
(⇒ Matthew 4:10: "Get away, Satan!").
Peter's satanic purpose is emphasized by Matthew's addition to the Marcan
source of the words You are an obstacle to me.
19 [24-28] A readiness to follow Jesus
even to giving up one's life for him is the condition for true discipleship;
this will be repaid by him at the final judgment.
20  Deny himself: to deny someone
is to disown him (see ⇒ Matthew 10:33;
⇒ 26:34-35) and to deny oneself is to disown
oneself as the center of one's existence.
21  See the notes on
⇒ Matthew 10:38, ⇒ 39.
22  The parousia and final
judgment are described in ⇒ Matthew 25:31 in terms
almost identical with these.
23  Coming in his kingdom: since
the kingdom of the Son of Man has been described as "the world" and
Jesus' sovereignty precedes his final coming in glory
(⇒ Matthew 13:38, ⇒ 41),
the coming in this verse is not the parousia as in the preceding but the
manifestation of Jesus' rule after his resurrection; see the notes on
⇒ Matthew 13:38, ⇒ 41.
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