Jesus and the Pharisees: from Matthew 16:1-4

This is our ninth study on this topic. Please click HERE for an intro to this study. Today we will focus on how Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for not being able in interpret the signs of the times, and how many of us can’t do it either.

Matthew 16:1-4

The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus and tested him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven.

2 He replied, “When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ 3 and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. 4 A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.” Jesus then left them and went away.

Observations

The Pharisees seemed to be obsessed with miracles—that Jesus had to prove Himself by miracles. This was the second time they asked Jesus to show them a sign. The first time was in Matthew 12:38.

Jesus rebuked them for being so concerned with miracles, that they should first be able to read the signs of the times all around them. That is, to know who He was, to understand how people were rejecting Him, and how prophecy was being fulfilled right in front of their eyes.

Jesus again, as in Matthew 12, gives them the sign of Jonah, which was through Jonah a foretelling of and the miracle of His resurrection on the third day.

Applications

So many people today can’t read the signs of the times. So many have no idea what is happening or what will happen. It comes only to those who study bible prophecy. Many don’t even realize their own sin; they don’t read in the bible about sin and how sin begins and grows like a cancer (read Romans 1:24-32). Then they don’t realize how world events are falling into place, telling us that His coming is very soon. Of course, they don’t realize it because they don’t read the prophetical books in the bible. Some people don’t even bother to watch the world news on TV, or read the paper. They maybe don’t want to know what’s going on. They just want to be left along with their games and entertainment and pleasing themselves.

We should look around more and see all the transvestites and the queers, etc., and so to discern our times. We should also look at some of our politicians and see all the corruption and lying, and then to discern how things will end.

God wants us to be aware of things going on, and He wants us to know something of the future—both good and bad—which He has written out for us in His word.