By James Fire
We have crossed the midway point in the Gospel of MATTHEW, and have completed chapter 15. We now have the privilege of examining the next chapter that includes a warning from the LORD Jesus to “beware of the leaven [doctrine] of Pharisees” who seek signs from God for their own gratification, but ignore those signs which the LORD has given!
Believing themselves to be the spiritual authorities of Israel (and in a sense, they were), they expected a warrior Messiah Who would vanquish Israel's enemies, and raise up the nation to glorious heights; of course, with themselves prominently in power.
. . . Wrong! The Messiah came first as the LAMB of GOD and the kinsman goel to take away the sins of the world, and later return as the LION of the TRIBE of JUDAH and the kinsman redeemer as well as the avenger of blood.
In this chapter we also read about the awesome pronouncement of the church and her authority based on the Rock – mentioned for the first time by the LORD. Also the requirements of discipleship are mentioned here. It's going to be a great study!