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Monday, January 4, 2021

Matthew Chapter 16-21 Notes

[Chapter 16]

The Pharisees and Sadducees both hate each other but join forces here to try and get Jesus and test Him again. They demand a sign again to show that He is Messiah. He responds with how they have seen him do all these things and miracles in public and that they still can't "see" it. He calls them hypocrites and says that they will see the "sign of Jonah". They have all the proof they need, they just refuse to accept it. 

The disciples forgot to take bread and Jesus makes a statement here about the Pharisees and Sadducees about leavened bread. The disciples think he is talking about them and then reminds them of their feeding the 5000 and the 4000. Despite all Jesus has done, literally everyone is still clueless (16:1-12).

16:13 - They are in Caesarea Phillipi. 

16:14-20 - Jesus asks who people think He is. Peter declares who He is. Peter is not a rock nor a female so this statement is not about Peter being the foundation of the Church. 

"On your profession of faith" is what I will build My Church on. They also are at this scene looking at Mount Hermon too, which while this takes place there was thought to be a gateway to Sheol. Baal and Pan were often worshipped there at that mountain. 

God's given power and authority to those in the Church is what is talked about here.

16:21-28 - Jesus knew what was to happen to Him and now He begins revealing it to the disciples. He rebukes Peter when Peter tries and rebukes Jesus saying that "He can't die". Jesus says, "Get behind Me, Satan". It is a word for enemy He is using here. Not that Peter is actually possessed here. Peter was however playing the devil's role some here and speaks for Satan unwittingly. 

What good is it to be Caesar and in Hell? Lost your soul for a pot of soup like Esau?

16:27-28 - "you shall not taste death until you see the coming of the son of God in His Kingdom". Day of the Lord will see God judge His people, the Israelites, and then the remnant will survive, purified with the Gentiles to worship Yahweh with Messiah. Then the Ginal Judgment and Resurrection of the just and unjust.

The Day of the Lord is what he is talking about here. Christ at His Crucifixion is the Day of the Lord. There is a cutoff day of Jewish people here and only a remnant will be left who accept the Messiah (Jew and Gentiles). 

This happens with the Ascension where God Incarnate is enthroned. 

Matthew 28 shows when He is now reigning over His New People (Ps. 110) and does this until the 2nd Coming. 

The left hand is judgment and does duty work. Right is gifts and help. Spirit of God is usually filled with imagery of fire and consuming fire.

[Chapter 17]

6 Days. 

Jesus is about to give a picture of "the rest" (the Sabbath) (7th Day). Took Peter, James, and John and transformed. He becomes bright and HIS CLOTHES also were turned white. 

The goal of the end is the Resurrection, not just of the soul, the body too. This whole world gets transformed too, not just the body. He is showing a picture of theosis and the Resurrection - heaven and earth united as one. 

Elijah and Moses. Jewish tradition. Ascension of Moses. It seems to definitely be implied here. 1 Peter refers also to the Ascension of Moses. 2 Peter does so with the Transfiguration it refers to as well. The Apostles don't believe in Sola Scriptura obviously here, pushing traditions obviously. 

Peter is astonished and tries to make three tabernacles. Peter says something goofy too because Jesus still needs to go to the Cross. He has shown these three this before the Passion so that they would understand the point of His Crucifixion and Resurrection. They did not yet get what had happened, but did later. 

17:10-11 - Jesus is Messiah and they then ask why Elijah must come first. Jesus explains St. John the Baptist was Elijah the Forerunner because John's spirit is like that of Elijah. He is the New and better Elijah, the one who took on his mantle. 

17:14-21 - The other nine disciples couldn't free the demon from the child. This kind of demon can only be exorcized by prayer and fasting. He also called them a faithless and perverse generation. 

Jesus didn't pray/fast here to drive the demon out but this is context about the disciples. 

17:22-23 - Jesus is in Galilee and tells them He will suffer, die, and be raised and they will all think they are going to be killed. Lack of faith in Jesus. They have all also witnessed many messiahs who have failed. He is going to go willingly. 

17:24-27 - Capernaum - there was a Temple Tax. They used, as currency, a crypto-currency. The Temple Tax is voluntary but they are trying to make Him be anti-Temple. Who do they get taxes from? Family or strangers? He is making a hit at the Pharisees and Sadducees because it is His House (Temple) and He is God. Also, Peter is accused in this as well. 

They are family to God so they should not have to pay the tax. They then get a fish with money for the tax and pay it. 

[Chapter 18]

18:1-5 - St. Ignatius of Antioch is possibly the child here. He points to a child because he is in a society where children are, in society, littel to rats and dogs. The first child, inherited stuff. 

Peasants did not really have an inheritance. The disciples are asking who is the greatest of them and Jesus uses a child here as a visual for them to tell them to humble yourself to the bottom where these lowly human beings are who have nothing. God judges all who do not stand up for those with no power. 

18:6-9 - It would be better if you were drowned with a millstone than lead the lowest person to sin. He is trying to teach them how to be truly great leaders. Must be held accountable. Do not be about power and authority. Be about accountability and responsibility for you will be judged more harshly if you are a teacher or have been a teacher. 

18:8-9 - Figurative language here. Throw anything that will make you hellbound away. Stumbling-blocks. What do you keep tripping on? Throw it away. He references gaurdian angels too (Deuteronomy 32 [demons/angels of nations]). 

Rome as a nation has Zeus/Jupiter as their fallen guardian angel (a demon).

Even children, the lowest beggar, the lowest person of lows have a gaurdian angel. 

18:10-14 - God will count His sheep and go after one who is lost. He doesn't want anyone to perish. Christ became man to go after the lost sheep for He is the good Shephard. Every human to Him is precious. 

18:15-20 - "Moreover" - Also, if your brother sins against you, go and speak alone with him. If he won't listen, take 2-3 witnesses so if he refuses then it is on him, not you. Then, hand them to Satan, exile. The purpose of this exile from grace will be repentance ultimately. 

18:21-35 - Peter: how many times? 7? Jesus answers: 70x7 (symbolic). Jesus then tells a parable about a guy in debt who will become a slave because of this. We should be so forgiving like God is for us.  

[Chapter 19]

He is now in Judea. The Pharisees question Him on divorce and marriage.

19:1-12 - He created gender so they would reunite (Adam and Eve). It is sinful to try and split them up. Jesus explains to the Pharisees when they ask why Moses allowed divorces that this was because of their hardness of hearts. Moses set an economia because he was dealing wtih hard hearts. This isn't how it was supposed to be at all. If he isn't divorcing for adultery, then it is a sham getting remarried. 

Jesus says some are just eunuchs. Uses it figuratively for people choosing celibacy for God. The goal too is reconciliation of God and people. Divorce is a sin and you should try to remain unmarried. 

Canons - rules are guidelines, not rules/laws like the Pharisees had. 

Refusing to baptize a divorced person's baby for example is a sin. 

19:13-15 - The disciples were being stupid and rebuked them, the children. They come from the marriages. Do not treat children bad. They are God's too and marriage is hard but a good thing. 

19:16-30 - Someone comes who accepts the afterlife. Asks Jesus, the "Good Teacher" what else he needs to do. Jesus responds to him as if he's disingenous (and he is). God gave you the commandments so why are you asking this? Then He asks "which ones" he should keep. 

19:20 - The man says he has kept them. What else? 

19:21-22 - Jesus says, if you want to be "perfect" (telos) (fulfilled your purpose for creation). Sell your riches and give to the poor and follow Me. He picks his stuff over eternal life. 

19:23-30 - It is hard to be rich and go to God. You have too much power and authority and it means you are more with possessions. Did you help people with what God gave you (riches)? 

The disciples for once get what Jesus is saying. If it was up to men, none would be saved but it is up to God. He can save us. 

19:28 - recreation, not regeneration here. 

Will the 12 be judges literally? No because Judas is with them. 

You 12 (minus Judas obviously) will co-rule with Christ, King. You empty yourself of all but God. This will give you God who is the blessing and riches and eternal life. 

[Chapter 20]

Begins a parable. A day's work was a denarius. Hires people and then hires more people. They did not all work the same but all got the denarius. They ask why because it seems unfair but they did agree to it, so the hirer asks why he is upset (20:1-16). God has offered the same reward for salvation for everyone, any time, Jew and Gentile, high or low class. 

"Many are called, but few are elected" (part of Israel). 

The invitation is for everyone but some are for a particular task/calling. 

20:17-19 - Jesus is going to Jerusalem. Takes the 12 aside and tells them He will be betrayed, die, and resurrect from the dead. They still don't really get it and some of it is because they had seen false messiahs be killed. 

20:20-34 - The mother of Zebedee's sons comes to Him and asks that her two sons be on his right and left hand. He has just said he will be tortured and die. Do you really want them to be on the crucifix with me? She doesn't know what she is asking. His image of the cup of suffering is from Isaiah he is alluding to. 

20:22 - the two sons say they can take it. They don't get it. 

20:23 - You and the disciples will all but John will be martyred. All will suffer for Christ. This is their purpose, called by Him to do. 

20:24 - When the other ten here this, they are unhappy. They all still think that God has to do things a certain way. They think Messiah will overthrow Rome. He will but not the way they think it will. In a few days, they will go to being cowards, out of fear they will be crucified. The Resurrection will open their eyes to the truth. 

20:25-28 - Jesus calls them to explain again that it is not going to happen like they think it will. If you want to be important in the Kingdom of God, you need to be a slave. Jesus proves this by going to the lowest of lows and crucifying Himself. 

20:29-33 - Great multitude begin following Him. They think they are about to see the Messiah trample Rome and retake Judea. Two blind men even call him King and the people say to be quiet so Rome won't take them out. Jesus heals them and they follow Him. These people are blind and they don't get it. 

[Chapter 21]

Donkey and a colt are here. So they do not get accused of stealing, he says to tell these people that it is the Lord who needs them. He rides two different animals. A colt and a donkey together. Matthew is trying to connect Jesus to Zechariah 9. In Zechariah 8, he talks about Restoration after the Exile ends. Zechariah 9 has enemies being ended. Zechariah 9:9 and on has the Messiah seemingly going to smash all enemies and bring peace for Jews. However, Zechariah 9 has the Messiah being gentle on a donkey/foal, not a war-horse. These are animals of service, not battle.

The king is going to get rid of all the weapons? Peace among the nations? The Jews and Gentiles will have peace under His rule of the whole world? By the blood of the covenant He will save them? They do not get it but they should have known better. 

St. Matthew explains that the king promised wasn't going to be like Caesar and do violence. He was to bring peace to all He rules over through His New Covenant through His Blood. The bow of warfare is ended in His Kingdom (21:1-8). 

21:9-11 - [Psalms 117:25-26 is quoted]. Theyre Messianic expectations verses. There's going to be a confrontation to come. 

21:12-17 - Jesus went to the Temple and drives out the money-changer people. You had to exchange Roman currency for Temple money and got a fee too to exchange them back. They were also making these prices insane too. This sacrifice was to be for your repentance and God, not just be there to make money so Jesus cleans house with this. 

The people all want the Messiah to mop up Rome and clean them out but He does this with the Temple. 

So Jesus and His disciples and followers occupy the Temple nad he heals the blind and lame while there. The scribes and chief priests are pissed off seeing him be called the Messiah. Jesus says yes I have heard them and quotes Isaiah 56:7 where God shows Himself to the simple but the proud and haughty and prideful do not know God (that being the scribes and the Pharisees). He leaves then to Bethany for the night. 

21:18-22 - Christ is hungry in the morning so he goes to a fig tree and finds no fruit on it so curses it. The point he makes here is that the fig tree is an image of Israel (the city) (a symbol). God brought them back from Exile. Israel has been planted back to the land and are not doing what they are supposed to do so they will be cursed for bearing no fruit even though they have been given this gift to be planted here. Remember they are still in Exile because of their sin. Their chosen status is coming to an end and Jesus is going to soon accomplish all that they have failed to do. 

21:23-27 - He comes back to the Temple and is confronted by the chief priests and elders. He is not a Levitical priest so they question Him. 

They are occupying Jerusalem's Temple and now Jews and Romans are all getting nervous because of past events when other people who claimed to be Messiah started uprisings. 

Jewish leaders question who gave Him His authority to teach in the Temple. He answers with a question and doesn't answer. 

It is not a bad question on the surface but they are being dishonest because they are trying to be shrewd. Everyone who is honest and wants to know, knows. They are not giving honest questions. 

21:28-32 - He then asks a question to them. Which did the will of the Father? He tells them essentially that the ones who came to Him follow while the chief priests and scribes do not. They even saw John the Baptist change lives and would not admit it. 

21:33-46 - Tells a parable. Someone buys land, makes a business, rents it out and when harvest comes, he sends his servant out and they beat and kill them. They do it again and then he sends his son as well. They kill the son to try and claim and keep the land. Rhetorically, he asks the priests and people what will happen. Jesus quotes Psalms 117:22-23 and then says the nation of God's people that they are rejecting will be given to others. The stone rejected is Jesus. The Jews are trying to build something and Jesus is rejected. They want their kingdom on earth. He is not the Messiah they want. Rejecting Him will result in Him being the foundation of a New People. That stone is also an allusion to Daniel. 

Would you rather be broken or crushed to powder? All they need to do is repent but will not and so they will be destroyed. 

God chose them to go to Canaan to bear fruit and they failed. 

They rejected the prophets God sent. Then he sends Christ and rejecting Him will be it. Now God will do something new. 

In the Old Covenant, God gave them the Law and they would be His people. He gave His commandments. Nothing was wrong with the Law. It was His people that were messed up and could not fulfill this good thing. He promises them through the prophets like Jeremiah, Isaiah, and Ezekiel, etc., that in the New Covenant God will fix the problem and make them His people. 

The Church does not replace Israel. The promise is received by Jesus and those through Him and fulfilled in Christ. 

Shem (the Jew) will open his tent to Japeth (family descendents of Greeks/Gentiles). 

The seed of the woman (Genesis 3) is referenced. Women do not have seed, men do. Virgin birth was already prophesied there.

All this will literally happen (judgement) in AD 70 and then from 132 AD to the 5th Century, there will be no Jerusalem. 

Pilate was executed by Nero in the 60s. Pax Romana got broken so many times. Beheadings weren't great. They just pulled off your head basically and usually poisoned and burned their women/wives and children as well. The men were beheaded by a strap usually, not really a sword a lot of the time. 

If Jesus' mob of Pharisees got out of hand, the Roman emperor would get upset and have Pilate executed. Rome ran by terror on their entire people, that includes the Romans. Caligula was so evil that his own Roman gaurd murdered him and then his whole family because they thought he was THAT evil. 

Then Claudius became emperor (his uncle) and Nero was born (oops). 

This should make it claer why Jews wanted deliverance from Rome. The only real way to save Jews or Rome however and beat them is to convert the Emperor and that is exactly what Paul would go try to do in Acts. 

21:45-46 - The people saw Jesus was a prophet and the chief priests now wanted to kill Him. 

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