MATTHEW 16.1-12 | Being Christians in the world is not an easy task. The Christian life forces us to be discerning; we have to not just be reactionary, but wise. Too often Christians are known for being gullible: connect the name of Jesus to it, put a cross on it and you can sell it to the church. Jesus reminds His disciples that we need to be prudent. We must know what we believe, use this to test and measure the multitude of other things that are sold to us as truth. In the same way that sailors learn how to read the sky for signs, we must use our knowledge of God and His Word to read the world. We must be ready for people, even (especially) religious people to be leading us astray. Not necessarily because they mean to, but because bad theology destroys. False things create problems. Like leaven, false ideas spread through and affect everything. Our role in all of this is to know what is right and to be prepared to fight for it.
Jesus said to them, “Watch and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” Matthew 16.6
1. What part of the text or sermon had the greatest impact on you? Where were you most encouraged, intrigued, challenged?
2. Why does Jesus refuse to give the Pharisees a sign? How does Jesus comments to the Pharisees relate to His warning to the disciples?
3. What is the sign of Jonah? How is this sign enough?
4. Read Romans 12:2. What role does discernment play in the Christian life? Why is this important?
5. What parts of your theology are weak spots? How can you know where you need know God more? How can we strengthen our ability to discern?