Matthew 16:13-17:27

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Our passage began with Jesus asking his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” Answers
included John the Baptist, Elijah and Jeremiah (possibly to do with themes of
rejection and pronouncing against the temple establishment). Peter is a key
player in this part of Matthew’s gospel – almost every story features him. Peter
identifies Jesus as the Christ, the Son of the living God. Note that Jesus says
that Peter knew this not from flesh and blood but by revelation from
Jesus’ father who is in heaven
.


Jesus then predicts his
suffering
many things from the elders and chief priests and
scribes, being killed, and being raised on the third day. Peter fails to
understand and is rebuked.


The next section is on discipleship
implications
of the above i.e. we must deny ourselves and take up our
cross and follow Jesus.


Next, we have another passage in which Jesus’
identity is revealed
. On the Mount of Transfiguration, Jesus’ glory is
revealed with a face like the sun and light through his clothing. Moses (the
law) and Elijah (the prophets) speak to Jesus thereby testifying to him. Peter
wishes to prolong the moment by constructing tents. The glory of God once seen
in the tabernacle overshadows and God speaks saying,
“This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased;
listen to him.”


Jesus again predicts his
suffering
as illustrated by John the
Baptist/Elijah.


Discipleship implications are shown in the disciples’ failure to have the faith
in who Jesus is as they fail to drive out a
demon.


Jesus for a third time predicts his
suffering
and again the disciples fail to
understand.

Finally, there is this odd story about whether Jesus
should pay the temple tax. Peter assumes he would. Jesus then privately
reveals himself to Peter
as the son of the king (God) and therefore
exempt from paying the palace tax. Peter then goes fishing and finds coinage in
the fish’s mouth to pay the tax regardless for himself and Jesus to not cause
offense.


Notice the themes by observing how the subject matter
in bold type interweaves.

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