Matthew 16:1

Coming into the borders of Magadan, after the miracles of the mountain in which he healed all manner of diseases, and miraculously feasted about eight thousand persons, Jesus encountered the Pharisees and Sadducees, who, sinking their sectarian differences for the time, agreed to tempt or test him by demanding a special sign of his Messiahship. Jesus declined to gratify them in this, appealing to the signs of the times which should be sufficient for them, and giving them himself a special sign. Let us consider, then -


1. They sought a sign from heaven.

(1) This was dearly the sign of the Prophet Daniel (see Daniel 7:9-14). The Pharisees then desired Jesus then and there to prove his Messiahship to them by appearing in the heavens as the Son of man in glory, and to establish a visible kingdom.

(2) This is a true sign of the Messiah. Not only is it a favourite sign with the Jews, but one also which Jesus acknowledged. He commonly spoke of himself, in manifest allusion to that very sign, as "the Son of man." But why, then, did he not gratify their expectations? The answer is:

2. They sought that sign too soon.

(1) It is a sign of a second advent of Messiah. A second advent there must needs be, for Messiah is described in prophecy in two distinct characters, which he could not fulfil at one and the same time. He is to come in the character of a Priest, to make atonement for sin, in humiliation, suffering, and death. He is also to come in the character of a King, in glory and immortality.

(2) In the first of these characters Jesus had then appeared. He must first suffer before he can enter into his glory, and therefore, also, before he can be revealed in his glory (cf. Genesis 3:15; Deuteronomy 18:15-19; Psalm 16:8-10; Psalm 22.; Isaiah 50:5, 6; Isaiah 53; Daniel 9:24; Luke 24:26).

(3) In the second character he promises in due time to appear (cf. Matthew 24:29-35; Matthew 26:64-68; Revelation 1:7; Revelation 14:14). And in this character accordingly he is expected by his disciples (cf. Acts 1:11; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10).


1. Those connected with his personal advent.

(1) At the period of his birth there was a general expectation. The weeks of Daniel were fast running out within which Messiah was to be cut off (see Daniel 9:23-27). He must be born a considerable time before the date of his Passion. Gentiles then shared in the expectation of the Jews.

(2) His birth was itself a miracle. He was born of a virgin, and m the house and lineage of David. This was according to the requirement of the first promise in Eden, that he should be the "Seed of the woman," and of that remarkable place in Isaiah where a virgin of the house of David was to bring forth a son, who was to be distinguished as Immannel (see Genesis 3:15; Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23).

(3) That birth was also attended by miracles. The annunciation to the Virgin by Gabriel corresponded to that made to Manoah's wife concerning the birth of Samson, who was a type of Christ (cf. Judges 13:2-5; Luke 1:26-35). The wonderful birth was then celebrated by angels, who appeared to the shepherds; and by a star seen by the Wise Men in the East (cf. Numbers 24:17; Matthew 2:2; Revelation 22:16; Luke 2:9-14).

2. Those connected with ills public ministry.

(1) Foremost amongst these was the miracle at his baptism, when he was about to enter upon that public ministry (Matthew 3:16, 17).

(2) This was followed up by the testimony of the Baptist. That testimony could not be impeached. The Baptist was authenticated as a prophet of God by the miracles connected with his birth (see Luke 1:5-22). In that character he was acknowledged by his nation. He announced himself, as the angel had designated him to be, the harbinger of Messiah. In that capacity he pointed out Jesus to his disciples as the "Lamb of God that beareth away the sin of the world" (John 1:29).

(3) This wonderful character Jesus was able to sustain. He wrought the miracles which the prophets said Messiah was to work. He did everything and suffered everything which the prophets said Messiah was to do and suffer in his advent as a Priest.

(4) The very wickedness of the generation that "tempted him, and proved him, and saw his works," was a sign of the times (cf. Isaiah 6:9-12; Matthew 13:14, 15). And to all but themselves is their obstinacy in rejecting Jesus, together with their long continued sufferings, a proof that Jesus is the Christ; for these things he foretold (cf. Matthew 23:34-39; Luke 21:22-24).


1. He gave them a sign from the earth.

(1) They sought a sign from heaven. The sign they sought, as we have seen, was that of the Prophet Daniel. That he gave them was the sign of the Prophet Jonah (cf. Matthew 12:39).

(2) They sought the sign of the kingdom of glory. He gave them the sign of the priesthood and suffering. The burial presupposes the death, and the death the suffering, of Messiah. These things he afterwards plainly showed to his disciples (see ver. 21).

2. This sign best suited a wicked generation.

(1) It fulfilled the sacrifices of the Law. Those sacrifices were ostensibly to make atonement for sin. But in what sense? Ceremonially and typically. Morally they could not remove sin. To suppose so would be to outrage common sense. "It is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins." Their inability to do this was acknowledged, for it was necessary to repeat the sacrifices. In the light of the great sin sacrifice of Calvary, all is plain.

(2) It fulfilled the sacrifice of Isaac. In the daily prayers read in the synagogue we have this: "אנא מלד, O most merciful and gracious King! we beseech thee to remember and to look back on the covenant made between the divided offerings, and let the recollection of the sacrificial binding of the only son appear before thee, in favour of Israel." But what sense is there in this unless the "sacrificial binding" of Isaac be accepted as typical of the only Son of God, the Seed of Isaac, in whom all the families of the earth are blessed?

(3) The sign of a sufficient sacrifice for the expiation of sin is, of all others, to be desired by a wicked generation. But were the Lord to have answered their foolish prayer, and to have appeared without a sin sacrifice, as their King in judgment, they would be the first to be destroyed in the fires of his anger.

3. Jesus rested his claims upon this sign.

(1) He predicted that he "must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed." Within a year this was literally fulfilled.

(2) But now comes the testing point. He added, "and the third day be raised up" (see ver. 21). So about a year earlier he explained this sign of the Prophet Jonah to certain scribes and Pharisees. "For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the seamonster; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth" (see Matthew 12:40).

(3) This also was fulfilled to the letter. No event of history is better authenticated than the fact of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. And if the evidence that Jesus is the Christ will not convince the Jews, they cannot be convinced by evidence; they can only be convinced by judgment. The sign from heaven will convince them. - J.A.M.

O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky.
The proper observing of these signs. They are heavenly, and therefore must be seen in a heart which is seeking those things which are spiritual.

1. The sign of the day. Another day is gone. The day of the Lord is nearer. Am I better prepared for it?

2. The sign of the cross of his Saviour. Has he crucified every evil affection?

3. The sign of the example of his Saviour.

4. The signs of the times in which he is living, and he considers how they are the harbingers of the last day, and how he must conduct himself accordingly.

5. And the question with the man of God is, what do these signs foreshadow? Do they prove that he has advanced in the Christian course? Then the heavens are red with joyful signs for the morrow.

6. The redness of the evening sky may deceive, as we all know; these signs never can.

7. Whatsoever the signs of the sky foreshadow, we cannot alter; but we may alter that which is threatened by the signs of the spiritual world.

8. The true Christian will observe the signs of the morning as he rises as it were from death unto life again, and he will prepare himself for the coming day. Is it red and lowering with the coming storms of trial and temptation; then he will prepare to meet it.

9. The Christian does not desire any more signs from heaven. The more watchful he is the more he finds that he has already, and the more evident and certain they are. The very last has been given, the Son of man has risen from the dead.

10. Scripture is full of exhortations to Christian watchfulness.

11. The rebuke which our Lord administered to these worldly-minded sign-seekers — "And He left them and departed."

(R. W. Evades, B. D.)

The things that happen to nations and men are, in the most proper sense of the word, "signs from heaven " of the Divine government and its counsel.

I. PERSONAL SIGNS for every man's instruction, teach every man, at his peril, not to despise prophesyings. We read in the diligence, the moral goodness of the boy, the nature and history of the coming man. We say, "It will be fair weather." These are signs from heaven. In familiar, when the evening glows the morning is fine; where there is affection and piety, we prognosticate " fine weather." You are a sign from heaven, if unforgiven, a sign of coming storm.

II. POPULAR SIGNS are always of number and force sufficient to give us an understanding of the character of the future. The life, the preaching of the Baptist. was a sign of approaching change. The character of our Lord was a sign of God's care of His children.

(B. Kent.)

It is a humiliating fact that thoughtful men deal with the great facts of religion after a fashion which, in any other department of human inquiry, would he recognized as illogical or absurd.

I. Take an example from RECORDED HISTORY, Men treat Jesus Christ with a scepticism they do not Napoleon Bonaparte.

II. Take SCIENCE. Christianity is a science as truly as chemistry. Its fundamental facts are determined by thousands of experiments. But how many accept the testimony of scientists and reject that of religionists. True religion has its difficulties, but has science any fewer?

III. As regards THE BIBLE. In temporal matters men investigate that which relates to their safety; but when eternal safety is at stake men do not give time to its consideration.

IV. As with God's Book, so with GOD'S WITNESSES. In a court of justice men accept evidence: but fight against it in religion. Men do not reject bank notes because some are forged; but they reject Christianity because of one false professor.

V. In nothing but pure mathematics do men insist upon mathematical certainty. THE WHOLE CONDUCT OF LIFE IS PREDICATED UPON A PREPONDERANCE OF PROBABILITES. Upon this principle they plough and plant, buy and build, work and wait. Is it probable that all the generous and noble fruits are based on superstition.

VI. WHEN OF TWO WAYS OF PROCEDURE ONE IS KNOWN TO BE ABSOLUTELY: SAFE AND THE OTHER FRAUGHT WITH PERILS, ALL MEN CHOOSE THE PATH OF SAFETY. It is safe to be a Christian; yet safety is rejected. Let a man be honest, do himself justice, and give Christianity fair play.

(P. S. Henson, D. D.)

This demand of the Jews was —

I. PROMPTED BY WRONG MOTIVES — "and tempting." This was a two-edged temptation.

1. Suppose He should not give the sign, either by refusal or failure. Then they hoped to destroy His influence and to impress the people that he was a false Messiah.

2. But if He worked a miracle He would have yielded to their low ideas of His Messiahship and of its evidence. The scribes and Pharisees were bitter enemies of each other, yet combined to overthrow Christ: and how large a part of modern religious investigation is due to the enmity and selfishness of human hearts. Discussion is frequently designed not to fix but to unsettle faith. There are men who talk plausibly and with seeming sincerity about these matters, who in their hearts would be pleased at the destruction of Christianity. Again, their are men who use gospel themes as the theatre upon which to display their intellectual power. They demand evidence neither possible or reasonable. This is different from the humble inquirer who, walking in darkness, asks the way of light and life.

II. This demand was PRESUMPTIOUS — "From heaven." They limited Christ as to the method in which He should display His divinity. There are people who determine in their own minds the way in which God shall reveal Himself; the truth must flow through channels they have dug, or they will reject it.

III. This demand was DUE TO THEIR BLIND UNBELIEF. They refused to recognize the force of the evidence already given them (Matthew 11:5). Men inveigh against the Bible who never read it. They cry out for water and refuse to draw from the abundant wells of salvation around them.

IV. THIS REQUEST LED TO THEIR DESERTION BY CHRIST. The spirit manifested by these .Jews showed that it was useless to remain longer with them.

1. He denied them further manifestation of His power — "There shall no sign be given."

2. Christ withdrew Himself from them. This He did



(3)Finally. This incident seems go have closed His ministry in Galilee.

(W. H. Williams.)

I. SOME OF THE SIGNS OF THE TIMES. Every age has its peculiar developments-signs. We live in an age that is replete with these moral indicators, and to sonic of them we call attention.

1. The almost universal diffusion of knowledge is one of the signs of the times.

2. The extent of its new discoveries and inventions.

3. The increasing power and commanding position of the Anglo-Saxon race.

4. The decay and approaching dissolution of heathen governments.

II. WHAT DO THESE SIGNS INDICATE? These signs clearly indicate the rapid progress of Messiah's kingdom.


1. Rightly to discern them.

2. To seek an entrance into the kingdom of Christ without delay.

3. Labour and pray for its incoming in greater power and glory.

(P. M. Brett, D. D.)Too many signs of the times surround us on every side to make it either right, or wise, or safe, or happy to pass them by unnoticed.



III. INQUIRE WHETHER THE ORDER OF THINGS IN PROPHECY COMPARED WITH THE ASPECT OF OUR OWN TIMES MAY NOT AFFORD US SOME INSTRUCTION. It is a Christian duty to discern the signs, to watch the moral aspect of the times in which we live. We shall thus learn more of the intentions and character of the Divine Being.

(J. P. Dunn.)

I. THE HUMAN. From earliest times men have demanded a "sign from heaven."


1. The atheist says, "If there be a God let Him manifest Himself." How silently, but majestically, on earth and in sky is God revealing Himself.

2. The Jews demanded of .Jesus a sign. Yet He wrought " wonders and signs" amongst them.

3. God reveals Himself in the words of prophets and evangelists.


1. Man's revelation must be addressed to his senses, to his imagination, and the marvellous — some fitful, awful display; God reveals Himself alone to what is spiritual, i.e., to what is deepest in man.

2. God's revelations come to men's experience.

(Dr. Chase.)

It is necessary to take into account the character of the mind to which it has to address itself as well as the nature of the truth which it has to speak. How rapid and widespread and radical the change during the last half-century! How far is this new spirit checking the progress of truth, and in what way can we deal with it?

I. SOME OF THE INTELLECTUAL TENDENCIES WORKING AGAINST FAITH. The science of the day. The restless spirit which it begets. Uncertainty respecting the great truths of Christianity is regarded as a justification for neutrality. The influence of this widespread tendency is distinctly hostile to the acceptance of the gospel and the culture of vital godliness. Scepticism is in the air, and there are those who must be in the fashion of the hour. Our congregations are honeycombed with this sentiment. God forbid that we should despair or even look doubtfully to the future! But it behoves us to take care that our work be wisely and well and truly done. The gospel has still a power which will assert itself.


1. Not for us to sit down and mourn over evils, as though they were irreparable.

2. A policy of suppression never has succeeded, least of all is it likely to succeed in an age thrilled with all the energy of life, and strong to vehemence in the assertion of its own independence and freedom. It ought not to succeed. Protestants, of all men, can have no satisfaction in the contemplation of what would be a mere make-belief for a living faith. Liberty must have its perfect work, and a true faith will have no fear as to the consequences.

3. The true mode of dealing with the sceptical mind of the time is to dwell on points of agreement rather than of difference. Science has not yet stilled the longing of the heart for God, and it has been unable to meet it.

(J. G. Rogers, B. S.)

The most striking peculiarities of the present age.

I. THE GREAT INCREASE OF MENTAL EXERTION. Some periods have been marked by intellectual inaction and even retrogression. Such was that period in which, after the decline of the Platonic philosophy, Aristotle reigned in all the schools and was idolized as " the secretary of nature who dipt his pen in intellect." Since that era the greatest advances have been made in every department of science, more especially during the last century, etc.






(Robert Hall, A. M.)



1. A spirit of inquiry.

2. A spirit of active enterprize.

3. Let us beware lest in the excitement of passing events our attention should be diverted from our own spiritual prosperity.

(J. West.)


1. Observe the efficients or causes of it — Pharisees and Sadducees.

2. The end for which they did desire it, and that was to tempt Him.


1. The reproof He gives them and their persons.

2. The ground of His reproof of them, and that is a conviction of their readiness to believe more uncertain things upon less credible ground than they would believe Him to be the Messiah sent of God upon most certain and evident grounds.

(John Cotton.)

A Palestinian prognostication, which may or may not be applicable to other countries. The Saviour, in referring to it, does not intend to affix to it a seal of scientific approbation. It was enough for His purpose that the forecast was accepted by the weather-wise in Palestine. Doubtless it would, as a general rule at least, be a true forecast; for it indicated, we presume, that in the contiguous region of the atmosphere into which the sun on setting was descending, or had descended, there was no dense accumulation of clouds threatening a coming storm of rain. If there had been such clouds the sun's golden radiance would have been drunk up and intercepted, and thus there would have been no redness of the evening sky.

(J. Morison, D. D.)

The children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light! To all things that concern their temporal interests how keenly are men alive! They will meditate, observe, infer, and act upon their inferences. The agriculturist notes carefully the approaching alterations in the weather; the politician watches the current of popular feeling and the moods of men; the scientific inquirer devotes all his energies to the observation of facts that will enable him to wrest from nature her secrets; the speculator is constantly on the outlook for the first symptoms of an alteration in prices. Yet how often do these very same men decline to take any interest in the highest of all subjects — the relationship of God to man — on the plea that it is too vague and too uncertain for practical consideration! They demand that this shall be put before them by some outward visible proof which it shall be impossible to dispute before they will acknowledge its claims upon them. They are blind to the signs which are ever around them and within them, and which demand at least as much interest and inquiry as do the signs in the outward world which engross their attention.

(V. W. Hutton, M. A.)

I. The difficulty of satisfying impracticable people.

II. The dangers of a half-educated sagacity.

III. The demand of Christianity to be judged by a wide induction of facts.

(Pulpit Germs.)

Why did my multitudinous trees throw off their leaves last autumn? Was their throwing them off a sign that they were dying? They did not throw off one single leaf until they had a baby leaf wrapped up and lying along the branch. They threw off the garments of last year, and to-day they are putting on the garments of this year. So, with respect to them, change was growth, and preparation for growth. Why does the kernel of wheat die? Should a modern sceptic, after the seed had been in the ground for a few warm days, go through the field seeking for it, raking it up, and finding it rotten in his hand, he would say, "Don't you perceive that agriculture is all a myth? The thing is dead." But it must die if it would live. The reason of its decay is that its sustenance may be sucked up into the root and stem, and give new life to them; and when a single kernel seems to die, it is but a pang of birth for a hundred kernels that come into life. Thus there are changes going on in the Church. There are many things in it that must decay, in order that other things may grow. The spirit of Christianity is not changing, but its surroundings will more or less change or be thrown off, in order that it may unfold. Christianity is like a lighthouse over whose glass the keeper has permitted spiders to spin their webs, or on which insects have gathered until the glass is so dim that the light, though it shines brightly on the inside, is scarcely seen on the outside. These obstructions must be scoured off, the rubbish must be taken out of the way, in order that the light may shine out. There are thousands of things in the interpretations of religion that are obscurations.

(H. W. Beecher.)

Expository Outlines.
I.A hypocritical request.

II.A withering rebuke.

III.An indignant denial.

(Expository Outlines.)

Elias, Elijah, Jeremiah, Jeremias, Jesus, John, Jonah, Jonas, Peter, Simon
Caesarea Philippi, Jerusalem, Magadan
Asking, Desired, Heaven, Pharisees, Question, Request, Sadducees, Sad'ducees, Shew, Sign, Sky, Tempting, Test, Tested, Testing, Trial, Trying
1. The Pharisees require a sign.
5. Jesus warns his disciples of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
13. The people's opinion of Jesus,
16. and Peter's confession of him.
21. Jesus foretells his death;
23. reproves Peter for dissuading him from it;
24. and admonishes those who will follow him, to bear the cross.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Matthew 16:1

     2575   Christ, temptation
     5814   confrontation
     7734   leaders, spiritual

Matthew 16:1-4

     1449   signs, purposes
     2351   Christ, miracles
     9170   signs of times

Matthew 16:1-12

     7552   Pharisees, attitudes to Christ

October 14. "Get Thee, Behind Me, Satan" (Matt. xvi. 23).
"Get thee, behind me, Satan" (Matt. xvi. 23). When your old self comes back, if you listen to it, fear it, believe it, it will have the same influence upon you as if it were not dead; it will control you and destroy you. But if you will ignore it and say: "You are not I, but Satan trying to make me believe that the old self is not dead; I refuse you, I treat you as a demon power outside of me, I detach myself from you"; if you treat it as a wife would her divorced husband, saying: "You are nothing
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

Christ Foreseeing the Cross
'From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto His disciples, how that He must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.'--MATT. xvi. 21. The 'time' referred to in the text was probably a little more than six months before the Crucifixion, when Jesus was just on the point of finally leaving Galilee, and travelling towards Jerusalem. It was an epoch in His ministry. The hostility of the priestly party in
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Divine Christ Confessed, the Suffering Christ Denied
'When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Phllippi, He asked His disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of Man am? 14. And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist; some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. 15. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 16. And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Unity of the Church.
"And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."--Matt. xvi. 18. Too many persons at this day,--in spite of what they see before them, in spite of what they read in history,--too many persons forget, or deny, or do not know, that Christ has set up a kingdom in the world. In spite of the prophecies, in spite of the Gospels and Epistles, in spite of their eyes and their ears,--whether it be their sin or
John Henry Newman—Parochial and Plain Sermons, Vol. VII

The Human Jesus.
God's meaning of "Human": man's fellow--two meanings of word human--original meaning--natural limitations. The Hurt of sin: sin's added limitations. Our Fellow: Jesus truly human--up to first standard--His insistence--perfect in His humanness--fellowship in sin's limitations--hungry, Matthew 16:5. John 4:6-8.--tired, John 4:6. Mark 4:38.--poverty, Matthew 13:55. Mark 6:3.--hard toil, John 19:25-27.--homeless, Luke 4:16-30. Matthew 8:20. Luke 9:58.--discipline of waiting. There's More of God
S. D. Gordon—Quiet Talks about Jesus

Words with a Freshly Honed Razor-Edge.
Now please group these six sweeping statements in your mind and hold them together there. Then notice carefully this fact. These words are not spoken to the crowds. They are spoken to the small inner group of twelve disciples. Jesus talks one way to the multitude. He oftentimes talks differently to these men who have separated themselves from the crowd and come into the inner circle. And notice further that before Jesus spoke these words to this group of men He had said something else first. Something
S. D. (Samuel Dickey) Gordon—Quiet Talks on Prayer

The Threefold Cord of Jesus' Life.
Think for a moment into Jesus' human life down here. His marvellous activities for those few years over which the world has never ceased to wonder. Then His underneath hidden-away prayer-life of which only occasional glimpses are gotten. Then grouping around about that sentence of His--"I do always the things that are pleasing to Him"--in John's gospel, pick out the emphatic negatives on Jesus' lips, the "not's": not My will, not My works, not My words. Jesus came to do somebody's else will. The
S. D. (Samuel Dickey) Gordon—Quiet Talks on Prayer

The Important Question
"What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" Matthew 16:26 1. There is a celebrated remark to this effect, (I think in the works of Mr. Pascal,) that if a man of low estate would speak of high things, as of what relates to kings or kingdoms, it is not easy for him to find suitable expressions, as he is so little acquainted with things of this nature; but if one of royal parentage speaks of royal things, of what concerns his own or his father's kingdom, his language
John Wesley—Sermons on Several Occasions

The Signs of the Times
"Ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?" Matthew 16:3. 1. The entire passage runs thus: "The Pharisees also, with the Sadducees, came, and tempting, desired him that he would show them a sign from heaven. He answered and said, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowering. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern
John Wesley—Sermons on Several Occasions

Twelfth Day. Fidelity in Rebuke.
"The Lord turned and looked upon Peter."--Luke, xxii. 61. Jesus never spake one unnecessarily harsh or severe word. He had a Divine sympathy for the frailties and infirmities of a tried, and suffering, and tempted nature in others. He was forbearing to the ignorant, encouraging to the weak, tender to the penitent, loving to all,--yet how faithful was He as "the Reprover of sin!" Silent under His own wrongs, with what burning invectives did He lay bare the Pharisees' masked corruption and hypocrisy!
John R. Macduff—The Mind of Jesus

"Take My Yoke Upon You, and Learn of Me," &C.
Matt. xi. 20.--"Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me," &c. Self love is generally esteemed infamous and contemptible among men. It is of a bad report every where, and indeed as it is taken commonly, there is good reason for it, that it should be hissed out of all societies, if reproaching and speaking evil of it would do it. But to speak the truth, the name is not so fit to express the thing, for that which men call self love, may rather be called self hatred. Nothing is more pernicious to a man's
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

Edwards -- Spiritual Light
Jonathan Edwards, the New England divine and metaphysician, was born at East Windsor, Connecticut, in 1703. He was graduated early from Yale College, where he had given much attention to philosophy, became tutor of his college, and at nineteen began to preach. His voice and manner did not lend themselves readily to pulpit oratory, but his clear, logical, and intense presentation of the truth produced a profound and permanent effect upon his hearers. He wrote what were considered the most important
Grenville Kleiser—The world's great sermons, Volume 3

Of Sufferings
Of Sufferings Be patient under all the sufferings which God is pleased to send you: if your love to Him be pure, you will not seek Him less on Calvary, than on Tabor; and, surely, He should be as much loved on that as on this, since it was on Calvary He made the greater display of His Love for you. Be not like those, who give themselves to Him at one season, and withdraw from Him at another: they give themselves only to be caressed; and wrest themselves back again, when they come to be crucified,
Madame Guyon—A Short and Easy Method of Prayer

Of Suffering which must be Accepted as from God --Its Fruits.
Be content with all the suffering that God may lay upon you. If you will love Him purely, you will be as willing to follow Him to Calvary as to Tabor. He must be loved as much on Calvary as on Tabor, since it is there that He makes the greatest manifestation of His love. Do not act, then, like those people who give themselves at one time, and take themselves back at another. They give themselves to be caressed, and take themselves back when they are crucified; or else they seek for consolation in
Jeanne Marie Bouvières—A Short Method Of Prayer And Spiritual Torrents

Of the Royal Way of the Holy Cross
That seemeth a hard saying to many, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his Cross and follow Me.(1) But it will be much harder to hear that last sentence, Depart from me, ye wicked, into eternal fire.(2) For they who now willingly hear the word of the Cross and follow it, shall not then fear the hearing of eternal damnation. This sign of the Cross shall be in heaven when the Lord cometh to Judgment. Then all servants of the Cross, who in life have conformed themselves
Thomas A Kempis—Imitation of Christ

The Great Confession - the Great Commission - the Great Instruction - the Great Temptation - the Great Decision.
If we are right in identifying the little bay - Dalmanutha - with the neighbourhood of Tarichæa, yet another link of strange coincidence connects the prophetic warning spoken there with its fulfilment. From Dalmanutha our Lord passed across the Lake to Cæsarea Philippi. From Cæsarea Philippi did Vespasian pass through Tiberias to Tarichæa, when the town and people were destroyed, and the blood of the fugitives reddened the Lake, and their bodies choked its waters. Even amidst
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

Last Journey of Jesus to Jerusalem.
Jesus had for a long time been sensible of the dangers that surrounded him.[1] During a period of time which we may estimate at eighteen months, he avoided going on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.[2] At the feast of Tabernacles of the year 32 (according to the hypothesis we have adopted), his relations, always malevolent and incredulous,[3] pressed him to go there. The evangelist John seems to insinuate that there was some hidden project to ruin him in this invitation. "Depart hence, and go into Judea,
Ernest Renan—The Life of Jesus

The Preparatory Service; Sometimes Called the Confessional Service.
In our examination of the nature and meaning of the Lord's Supper, we have found that it is indeed a most important and holy Sacrament. It is in fact the most sacred of all the ordinances of the Church on earth. There is nothing beyond it--nothing so heavenly, on this side heaven, as this Feast. Nowhere else does the believer approach so near to heaven as when he stands or kneels, as a communicant at this altar, the Holy of Holies in the Church of Christ. What a solemn act! To approach this altar,
G. H. Gerberding—The Way of Salvation in the Lutheran Church

A Divine Saviour.
"Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." (Matthew xvi. 1; John vi. 69.) We meet with a certain class of Enquirers who do not believe in the Divinity of Christ. There are many passages that will give light on this subject. In 1 Corinthians xv. 47, we are told: "The first man is of the earth earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven." In 1 John v. 20: "We know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know Him that is true; and we are in Him that is
Dwight L. Moody—The Way to God and How to Find It

"If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me."--Matt. xvi. 24. Good works are not the saint's sanctification, any more than drops of water are the fountain; but they spring as crystal drops from the fountain of sanctification. They are good, not when the saint intends them to be good, but when they conform to the divine law and proceed from a true faith. Yet the intention is of great importance; the Church has always taught that a work could not be called
Abraham Kuyper—The Work of the Holy Spirit

The Foundation of the Church among the Heathen
A.D. 38-45 [Sidenote: A.D. 38] During St. Peter's journey, the course of God's good Providence led him to the sea-port town of Joppa, on the borders of Samaria and Judaea, and there we read that "he tarried many days," a measure of time which is supposed to be equivalent to three years. At the expiration of this time an event occurred which had a deep and lasting influence on the life of the Church of Christ. [Sidenote: Further fulfilment of the promise to St. Peter.] Hitherto no Gentiles had been
John Henry Blunt—A Key to the Knowledge of Church History

Christ the Son of God.
"Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God" (Matt. xvi. 16). "Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God abideth in him and he in God" (I. John iv. 15). "And who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?" (I. John v. 5). In one sense all men are sons of God. In a much dearer sense all Christians are sons and daughters of the Almighty. But the relationship of Christ to the Father is infinitely above this. He is the Son of God. God is
Frank G. Allen—Autobiography of Frank G. Allen, Minister of the Gospel

Tries to Become a Politician. Fails. Last Act as a Politician. Tries to Join the Southern Army. Fails Again. His First Appointment. Feeling of Responsibility. His
Tries to Become a Politician. Fails. Last Act as a Politician. Tries to Join the Southern Army. Fails Again. His First Appointment. Feeling of Responsibility. His Plan. Text. Analysis of Sermon. Buys a Family Bible. Rules of Life. When I obeyed the Saviour, the brethren urged me to begin at once to preach the gospel. I had been accustomed to making political speeches, and public addresses of different kinds, and they thought I could just as easily preach a sermon as to make a speech on any other
Frank G. Allen—Autobiography of Frank G. Allen, Minister of the Gospel

Concerning the Sacrament of Penance
In this third part I shall speak of the sacrament of penance. By the tracts and disputations which I have published on this subject I have given offence to very many, and have amply expressed my own opinions. I must now briefly repeat these statements, in order to unveil the tyranny which attacks us on this point as unsparingly as in the sacrament of the bread. In these two sacraments gain and lucre find a place, and therefore the avarice of the shepherds has raged to an incredible extent against
Martin Luther—First Principles of the Reformation

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