Lesson 202-October 27, 2019
Lesson: “Jesus Walks Away”
Scripture: Mark 8:10-13; Matthew 15:39-16:4
Lesson Goal: To understand the significance of Jesus walking away from the religious leaders.
Introduction: “Jesus made clear in this last section of Matthew 15 that He came to serve, satisfy, and save people from all nations. Part of the point of the feeding of the 5000 in Matthew 14 was to depict Jesus as the Messianic host. That was a foretaste of the day when all of God’s people, Jews and Gentiles, would gather around Christ for a banquet in the Kingdom to come (Revelations 19:6-10; Isaiah 25:6-12). One day all peoples will be represented around that table (Revelations 5:9). This is what the disciples would later give their lives to. As followers of Christ today, our desire should be the same. We give our lives to the accomplishment of God’s mission until we die or until Jesus returns.” David Platt
Matthew 15:39-And He sent away the multitude, got into the boat, and came to the region of Magdala.
Mark refers to Dalmanutha (Mark 8:10). Mark and Matthew use two different names for the same region. Both are geographically correct, two names for the same place. Magdala speaks of a town, Dalmanutha in Aramaic means “harbor”.
Jesus and the disciples enter back into what would be called Jewish territory to the west shore of the Sea of Galilee. Following Jesus’ visit to Gentile territories where the Gentiles saw Jesus’ miracles and reacted by praising the “God of Israel”, He now returns to Jewish territory where He will quickly be challenged once again by the unbelieving Jewish religious leaders. The religious leaders will continue in their efforts to investigate, interrogate, and irritate Jesus.
Matthew 16:1-Then the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and testing Him asked that He would show them from heaven. Matthew 16:1 begins with some very interesting words. “Then the Pharisees and Sadducees came.” It is important that we recognize these two separate groups coming together for a common cause.
Wiersbe states, “Their desire to silence Jesus had caused the two opposing religious parties to unite in one common effort.”
Platt states, “These groups represented the Sanhedrin, a Jewish council that essentially ruled over various spheres of Jewish life. They had likely been sent as an official delegation to confront and question Jesus. Even though the Pharisees and Sadducees differed from one another in terms of beliefs and practices, they were united in their opposition to Jesus.”
Weber states, “Now the Pharisees team up with the Sadducees. The use of a single article in front of the list of two religious groups implies that they came in cooperation. The Pharisees and Sadducees, the two Jewish sects represented essentially the entire Sanhedrin, were theological enemies. For these two adversarial groups to come together as allies against Christ demonstrated just how heated and widespread the growing opposition to Jesus had become.”
Phillips states, “The Lord’s bitter enemies, the Pharisees, had abased ranks against Him with the Sadducees.”
McDonald states, “The Pharisees and Sadducees traditional antagonists in theological matters, represented two doctrinal extremes. But their hostility gave way to cooperation as they united in a common arm to trap the Savior.”
It is important that we see and understand the critical importance of the religious leaders and rulers coming together intensifying their efforts to defame and destroy Jesus and His ministry. Dwight Pentecost states,
Sadducees, few in number, but powerful from wealth and position; the Herodians, representing the influence of the Romans, and their nominees the tetrarchs; the scribes and lawyers, bringing to bear the authority of their orthodoxy and their learning-were all united against Him in one phalanx of conspiracy and opposition, and were determined above all things to hinder His preaching, and to alienate from Him, as far a was practicable, the affections of the people among whom most of His mighty works were done.”
Question: Have you ever known of two or more rivals or enemies to unite against a common cause or foe?
(v1b) and testing Him asked that He would show them a sign from heaven.
What would it take? How many signs and how great must the signs be?
Please think about this: there had already been signs. In fact, there had been many signs attesting to His Messiahship but these religious leaders were blind to the signs. In fact these leaders had accused Jesus attributing these signs to Beelzebub, the prince of demons.
So what would make this sign any different? What would it take? Ample signs had been given but they were blinded by their unbelief. What kind of sign from heaven would it take. Would it be a rainbow spanning the heavens, or if He called like Joshua for the sun to be still. Maybe hail and thunder from above like Samuel or fire like Elijah. Perhaps a sign like the plaques of Egypt? What would it take for them to get it?
Question: What will it take for you (us) to get it?
(vv2-4) He answered and said to them, “When it is evening you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red;” and in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today for the sky is red and threatening.” Hypocrites! You know how to discern the sign of the times. A wicked and adulteress generation seeks after a sign, and no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.”
Please read Matthew 12:38-42. Jesus had already offered them a sign but in unbelief they were blind to the truth. They were asking for a “sign from heaven” and in their unbelief they missed it. They had been given the ultimate sign and He was standing right in front of them and they missed it. In rebellion and unbelief they missed it.
They could interpret the signs of the weather but they could not interpret God’s signs of the Messiah! Think about this truth. “Day after day, week after week, month after month, the Lord had performed signs and wonders and miracles. He had healed the sick, opened the eyes of the blind, made the dumb speak and the lame walk, cleansed lepers, and cast out demons. He had turned water into wine, stilled the storm, walked on water and fed hungry multitudes. He had even raised the dead.” Phillips
(v4) And He left them and departed.
At first glance we may just read this “as Jesus made an exit,” but the truth and far reaching importance of verse 4 is paramount.
The continual blindness of unbelief and the sad condition of seeking signs revealed the hearts of the religious leader. They were producing a self manufactured kind of righteousness that missed the truth. The religious leaders did not need more evidence by signs they needed their spiritual eyes opened to the truth to that which had already been given them.
Osborne states, “This event marked the end of His public ministry in Galilee.”
Phillips states, With this parting denunciation the Lord turned His back on the Pharisees and Sadducees and walked away. Never again did He talk publicly or work a miracle in those parts.”