The leaders of the Jewish sects, especially the Pharisees and Sadducees, became adversaries of Jesus. Always a challenge. Never satisfied. Jesus told them that evil people are never satisfied with the proof that is given. Then Jesus offered the sign of Jonah who was delivered from the belly of the great fish after three days (Jonah 1:17). Jesus would be raised from the dead after three days and nights (Matt. 12:38-40). What would it take for the unbelieving world of our day to believe in Jesus Christ?
Although it helps dough to rise, yeast or leaven is typically used in a negative way in the Bible. It represents evil influence, which so easily and quickly spreads among people. The Israelites had to purge their homes of leaven before Passover. They should get the idea and beware of the influence of the self-righteous sects, the Pharisees and the Sadducees. Be careful, church. False doctrine may lie dormant, but when it enters the hearts of men, it spreads rapidly. Read the Bible. Know the Bible. Follow the Bible.
The conversation in Caesarea Philippi provided an opportunity for Jesus to introduce the approach of his church. People had various false ideas about the identity of Jesus. Having observed God’s introduction of Jesus, Peter confessed Jesus as the Son of God. Based on his identity and his authority as the Son of God, Jesus would build his church. The word church is used only here and in Matt. 18:17, in the Gospels. That is because the church would not come into existence until after Jesus ascended back into heaven.
Jesus gave Peter the keys to the kingdom/church. A key signifies access. Peter was given the privilege of first telling people how to be saved by Jesus and how to be members of the church. This took place when Peter preached the first Gospel sermon and told people how to be saved (Acts 2:22-41). The church’s one foundation is Jesus Christ her Lord (1 Cor. 3:11). Shouldn’t someone put that into song? 😊 All the efforts of Satan and evil men would not prevent Jesus from establishing his church.
Neither Peter nor any other human is head of the church. That position has been and will be, occupied by Jesus the Son of God (Col. 1:18; Eph. 1:22-23, 5:23). Nor was Peter given the right to establish doctrine for the church. The Greek future perfect tense indicates that teaching settled in heaven would then be preached by Peter. The church does not generate doctrine.
Jesus began telling his disciples that he would suffer and die for the salvation of mankind. Peter, true to his nature, objected strongly to the idea. Even as Jesus would give himself for us, so must we give ourselves for him. Our eternal soul is worth more than the whole world.
The approach of the kingdom/church was very near. Some of those with Jesus at that very time would live to see the beginning of the church (Mark 9:1). This was accomplished on the Pentecost day which followed the promise. Are we not blessed to be part of this kingdom?
My comments are not an inspired commentary, but rather a few words to draw attention to the background, context, and dynamic situation of Matthew’s gospel. May God bless your reading of His Word. T.C.