Mattityahu Jewish New Testament
1. Then some P’rushim and Tz’dukim came to trap Yeshua by asking him to show them a miraculous sign from Heaven.
Sign from Heaven. A triple wordplay:
(1) the appearance of the sky (heaven), which foretells the weather;
(2) a sign from God (Heaven); and
(3) "signs of the times" (v. 3),
where "times" evokes both weather seasons and where we stand in the flow of history. See 3:2N.
2. But his response was, “When it is evening, you say, ‘Fair weather ahead,’ because the sky is red;
3. and in the morning you say, ‘Storm today!’ because the sky is red and overcast. You know how to read the appearance of the sky, but you can’t read the signs of the times!
4. A wicked and adulterous generation is asking for a sign? It will certainly not be given a sign — except the sign of Yonah!” With that he left them and went off.
The sign of Yonah. See 12:39-41.
5. The talmidim, in crossing to the other side of the lake, had forgotten to bring any bread.
6. So when Yeshua said to them, “Watch out! Guard yourselves against the hametz of the P’rushim and Tz’dukim,”
Hametz. "leaven," usually a symbol of sin or evil, as is clear at v. 12 (see 1С 5:6-8&N).
7. they thought he said it because they hadn’t brought bread.
8. But Yeshua, aware of this, said, “Such little trust you have! Why are you talking with each other about not having bread?
Alfred Edersheim, a nineteenth-century Hebrew Christian scholar, suggests the disciples thought Yeshua believed they had not brought bread in order to have him do another bread-making miracle. This would have been the same sort of sign-fishing the P'rushim and Tz'dukim had been doing and would have been an indication of their having little trust.
9. Don’t you understand yet? Don’t you remember the five loaves of the five thousand and how many baskets you filled?
10. Or the seven loaves of the four thousand and how many baskets you filled?
11. How can you possibly think I was talking to you about bread? Guard yourselves from the hametz of the P’rushim and Tz’dukim!”
12. Then they understood — they were to guard themselves not from yeast for bread but from the teaching of the P’rushim and Tz’dukim.
13. When Yeshua came into the territory around Caesarea Philippi, he asked his talmidim, “Who are people saying the Son of Man is?”
Caesarea Philippi, the present-day town of Banyas at the foot of Mount Hermon, where the Jordan River springs forth. Herod Philip (I4:3&N) refurbished this town and renamed it in honor of the Emperor and himself.
14. They said, “Well, some say Yochanan the Immerser, others Eliyahu, still others Yirmeyahu or one of the prophets.”
15. “But you,” he said to them, “who do you say I am?”
16. Shim‘on Kefa answered, “You are the Mashiach, the Son of the living God.”
Shimon Kefa. Or: "Shim'on the Rock" (see 4:19N). The meaning of the Aramaic word "kefa" equivalent to Greek "petros," is important for this passage, as becomes clear in v. 18&N.
17. “Shim‘on Bar-Yochanan,” Yeshua said to him, “how blessed you are! For no human being revealed this to you, no, it was my Father in heaven.
Shimon Bar-Yochanan. Aramaic for "Shim'on, son of Yochanan." The Greek is Baridna, usually thought of as transliterating Hebrew Bar-Yonah and rendered "Barjona" or "son of Jonah. "But at Yn 1:42,21:15-17 Shim'on is called loannou, "of Yochanan"; and the Hebrew/Aramaic names Yochanan and Yonah are sufficiently alike that they could become confounded with each other after being transliterated into Greek. Thus Broadus' commentary hypothesizes that Baridna represents bar-ioana, rendering Aramaic bar-yochanan (ad loc, p 354).
Human being, literally, "flesh and blood," corresponding to Hebrew basar v'dam. a common expression stressing human limits and weakness.
18. I also tell you this: you are Kefa,” [which means ‘Rock,’] “and on this rock I will build my Community, and the gates of Sh’ol will not overcome it.
You are Kefa. Greek Petros. Which means "Rock," phrase added by me the translator. And on this rock, Greek petra. "Petros " is the masculine form, "petra " feminine. See v. 16N. The word "petra" appears as a loanword in Hebrew in a most interesting context. Yalkut Shim 'oni, an anthology of midrashim on the Hebrew Bible from the Middle Ages, has in it this passage:
"When the Holy One wanted to create the world he passed over the generations of Enoch and the Rood; but when he saw Abraham who was to arise, he said, 'Behold, I have found a rock (petra) on which I can build and establish the world." Therefore he called Abraham a rock, as it is said (Isaiah 51:1), 'Look to the rock from which you were hewn.'"(Yalkut 766 on Numbers 23:9, quoting an earlier source, Tanchuma B, Yelamdenu) We can only speculate on whether this homily was known in Yeshua's day.
Community, Greek ekklesia, which means "called-out ones," and is used in the Septuagint to translate Hebrew kahal, "assembly, congregation, community." The usual English translation of ekklesia is "church"; and from it comes the word "ecclesiastical," meaning, "having to do with the church." The JNT sometimes uses "Messianic community" or "congregation" to render ekklesia. What is being spoken about is a spiritual community of people based on trust in God and his son the Messiah Yeshua. This can be all people throughout history who so commit themselves, or a group of such people at a particular time and place, such as the Messianic community in Corinth or Jerusalem. The phrase, "the ekklesia that meets in their house" (Ro 16:5), refers to a particular congregation. Unlike "church," ekklesia never refers either to an institution or to a building.
19. I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you prohibit on earth will be prohibited in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.”
In consequence of his confession Yeshua makes Kefa both (I) shammash ("steward"; see Ro 16: IN, Pp 1:1N, 1 Ti 3:8-13), with the keys, and (2) dayan ("judge"), who, as the one who can prohibit and permit, establishes new covenant halakhah (see 18:18-20&N).
20. Then he warned the talmidim not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.
21. From that time on, Yeshua began making it clear to his talmidim that he had to go to Yerushalayim and endure much suffering at the hands of the elders, the head cohanim and the Torah-teachers; and that he had to be put to death; but that on the third day, he had to be raised to life.
22. Kefa took him aside and began rebuking him, “Heaven be merciful, Lord! By no means will this happen to you!”
Yeshua teaches his talmidim what must happen to him as Messiah and is completely misunderstood, both here and on two later occasions (17:22-23, 20:17-19&N), so different is his scenario from that popularly expected. Even at the Last Supper (Yn 14:28) and after his resurrection (Ac 1:6-7) they did not comprehend God's plan for the Messiah.
23. But Yeshua turned his back on Kefa, saying, “Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle in my path, because your thinking is from a human perspective, not from God’s perspective!”
Even in his closest disciple Yeshua detected the arch-enemy. We leam that believers can be demonizcd (on what this means, see 4:24N). Also see Appendix, p. 931.
24. Then Yeshua told his talmidim, “If anyone wants to come after me, let him say ‘No’ to himself, take up his execution-stake, and keep following me.
Yeshua's great call to discipleship is his teaching on how to think the way God thinks (v. 23). Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German Lutheran theologian who was imprisoned in the Thercsienstadt concentration camp and shot by the Nazis at age 39. days before the close of World War II, wrote in The Cost of Discipleship that there is no "cheap grace," no primrose path lo heaven. Jews have often thought Christianity to be offering exactly that; and some Christian theologies, by emphasizing God's work and de-emphasizing man's in the salvation process, encourage this misunderstanding. This verse is the antidote. To follow Yeshua is to say no to oneself, not by practicing asceticisms or developing low self-esteem, but by placing the will of God above one's own feelings, desires and urges. To lake up one's execution-stake is to bear the instrument of one's own death (see 10.38N), for, as Bonhoeffer put it, "When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die." The consequences of wholeheartedly taking this stand are given in vv. 25-26.
25. For whoever wants to save his own life will destroy it, but whoever destroys his life for my sake will find it.
26. What good will it do someone if he gains the whole world but forfeits his life? Or, what can a person give in exchange for his life?
27. For the Son of Man will come in his Father’s glory, with his angels; and then he will repay everyone according to his conduct.
28. Yes! I tell you that there are some people standing here who will not experience death until they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom!”
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- chapter 26
- chapter 27
- chapter 28