January 23rd Matthew 16 The signs of the times
1: The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired him that he would shew them a sign from heaven. 2: He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red. 3: And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times? 4: A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed.
Beware - Pharisees & Sadducees
5: And when his disciples were come to the other side, they had forgotten to take bread. 6: Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. 7: And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have taken no bread. 8: Which when Jesus perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread? 9: Do ye not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? 10: Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? 11: How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees? 12: Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.
The next thing that the Religious leaders do is to come to him demanding a Messianic sign. Christ points out to them that they can read the signs of the sky but the signs of the times they cannot read. Christ describes them as hypocrites - actors. They have a mask they say one thing but they mean something else. Its all a show - a sham. Then Christ says that they will have no sign but the empty tomb. The Jews even today stumble over the resurrection. And it is an essential aspect of Jewish conversion to acknowledge Jesus and the Messiah and to believe in the resurrection. When Paul is discussion the Jewish aspect of Christianity he says Rom 10v9: That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. Christ warns the Disciples of the corrupting influence of the teaching of the Scribes and Pharisees.