The Center for
Messianic Learning 

Unapologetically Pro-Torah
Unashamedly Pro-Israel
Irrevocably Zionist
“… out of Tziyon will go forth Torah, the word of ADONAI from Yerushalayim.”
(Isaiah 2:3)

If your life is not in jeopardy for what you believe, you’re probably on the wrong side!


WARNING: The text used for my commentary is my own paraphrase and must not be
considered “a translation” or authorative in any way. It is, in fact, simply my commentary Sometimes the paraphrase is the only comment necessary for a particular passage.

Maps, when used, are from Created using BibleMapper 3.0.
Additional data from
Source of Dates Used

Please read the Introductory Notes to this commentary.

For a glossary of unfamiliar terms, CLICK HERE. For assistance in
pronouncing Hebrew terms, a pronunciation guide is located HERE.

Introduction to the Gospels and Acts
Mattityahu (Matthew)  •  Mordichai (Mark)  •  Lukas (Luke)  • Yochanan (John)
3-Year Harmony of the Gospels1-Year Harmony of the GospelsCrucifixion Week Chronology
Hitgalut (Revelation)  •  P’yilut HaShliyakim (Acts of the Emissaries)  •  The Chosen (Video Series)

To find a passage‘s place in the One-Year Chronology, click on the hourglass.

The Good News of the Kingdom
According to

Yeshua HaMashiach, the Righteous King

~ 16 ~

9. Hypocrites Rebuked (16:1-5; Mark 8:10-14)

1Some PhariseesP'rushim and SadduceesTz'dukim came to maliciously test Him[1] by asking Him to show them a sign from heaven. 2But he answered them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, because the sky is red.’ 3In the morning you say, ‘It will be foul weather today, because the sky is red and threatening.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you can’t interpret the signs of the times! 4A wicked and adulterous generation[4] is asking for a sign; but there will be no sign given to it except the sign of JonahYonah.” Then He left them and went away.

5The disciplestalmidim reached the other shore and had forgotten to take bread.

10. The Rebuke Explained (16:6-12; Mark 8:15-21)

6When Yeshua said to them, “Take heed and beware of the hametzyeast or any other leavening agent of the P'rushim and P'rushim,” 7they thought among themselves, it was because they hadn’t brought any bread with them.

8But Yeshua was aware of it and said, “Little Faiths,[8] why are you talking among yourselves about having brought no bread? 9Don’t you understand yet? Don’t you remember the five loaves for the five thousand and how many baskets you filled? 10Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many baskets you filled? 11How can it be that you don’t understand that I wasn’t talking about bread? But beware of the hametzyeast or any other leavening agent of the P'rushim and Tz'dukim.

12Then they understood that He wasn’t telling them to beware of the hametz for bread, but of the teaching of the P'rushim and Tz'dukim[12].

11. Kefa’s Confession (16:13-20; Mark 8:27-30; Luke 9:18-21)

13When Yeshua came into the area around Caesarea Philippi, He asked his talmidim, “Who are people saying that the Son of Man is?

14They said, “Some say Yochanan the Immerser, some say ElijahEliyahu, and others, JeremiahYirmeyahu or one of the prophets.”

15What about you?” He asked them. “Who do you say that I am?

16Simon PeterShim`on Kefa answered, “You are the Mashiach, the Son of the living God.”

17Yeshua answered him, “Shim`on Bar-YonahSimon, son of Jonah, you are blessed. No human has revealed this to you; it was My Father in heaven. 18I also tell you this: you are Petros,[18a] and on this rock[18b] I will build My Holy Community, and the gates of Sheol[18c] will not prevail against it.[18d] 19I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you prohibit on earth will already have been prohibited in heaven; and whatever you permit on earth will already have been permitted in heaven.[19] 20Then he warned the talmidim to tell no one that he was the Mashiach.

12. The King Foretells His Death and Resurrection (16:21-23; Mark 8:31-33; Luke 9:22)

21From then on, Yeshua began making it clear to his talmidim that He had to go to Yerushalayim and endure much suffering at the hands of the zakenimelders, Cohenim GadolimChief Priests, and SofrimScribes, Torah teachers; and that he had to killed; but that on the third He had to be raised to life.

22Kefa took him aside, and began to rebuke him, “God forbid it, Lord! This must never happen to you.”

23But Yeshua turned and said to Kefa, “Get out of my way, you adversary! You are an obstacle in my path, because you are not thinking from God’s perspective, but only from a human perspective.

13. The Cost of Discipleship (16:24-28; Mark 8:34-38; Luke 9:23-26)

24Then Yeshua told His talmidim, “If anyone wants to come after me, he must say “No” to himself, take up his stauros[24], and keep following me. 25For whoever wants to save his own life will destroy it, and whoever destroys his life for my sake will find it. 26For what good will it do anyone if he gains the whole world, but forfeits his life? Or what can someone give in exchange for his life? 27For the Son of Man will come in the Sh'khinah[27a] of His Father with his angels, and then He will repay everyone according to his deeds.[27b] 28Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His Kingdom.[28]

Chapter 17

  1. As the spiritual leaders of Israel, the Pharisees and Sadducees had a responsibility to check out the claims of anyone claiming to be a prophet; much more so, anyone claiming to be the Messiah. However, they were not coming to test Him to see if His claims were true, their goal was to prove that they were false. [BACK]

  4. Greek γενεά, genea, may be used literally to refer to the the lineage of a particular family, to a time span of between 30 and 40 years, or to the entire multitude of humanity living at the same time. It may be used metaphorically to refer to a group of people very like each other in endowments, pursuits, and/or character. My feeling is that Yeshua was using the metaphorical sense. [BACK]

  8. “Little Faiths” is not a rebuke, but rather a term of endearment, as if speaking to a young child who is struggling to grasp an unfamiliar concept. [BACK]

12. Hametz (מַצָּה, khaw-mates') is any leavening agent, like yeast or sourdough starter. A very small amount of hametz very quickly permeates whatever substance it is introduced into. The P'rushim and Tz'dukim taught that the “Oral Torah” or Traditions of the Elders was of equal or greater authority than the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible), and that the Oral Torah gave them the authority to reinterpret the Tanakh any way that benefited themselves. They “built fences” (takanot) around the mitzvot (commandments of Torah), theoretically so it would be more difficult to violate their understanding of Torah. For example, Torah says “You are not to boil a young animal in its mother’s milk” (Exod 23:19; Exod 34:26; Deut 14:21). The P'rushim say (even today) that you may not cook any kind of meat and any kind of dairy product in the same dish, you may not eat them at the same meal, and you must use totally different utensils for each. To allow even a little bit of this kind of extra-Biblical teaching within the Holy Community would soon result in gross error in the correct understanding of Torah. But … Luke 12:1! Did Yeshua teach that all takanot are hametz, or did He teach that hypocrisy is hametz? You decide. [BACK]

18a. Greek Πέτρος, petros, a specific rock or stone. [BACK]

18b. A strong, rocky foundation. Greek πέτρα, petra, a projecting rock, rocky ground, a large stone. Referring not to Kefa [Peter], but to the strength of his divinely revealed confession that Yeshua is Israel’s Messiah. [BACK]

18c. As Yeshua said this, they were very probably standing in the complex of the temple to the Roman god Pan just outside Caesarea Phillipi. Notice the very large cave opening behind the building at the left edge of the picture. This was called the Grotto, or Cave, of Pan, but was colloquially referred to as “the Gates of Sheol.” Although scholars are divided about the meaning of His words, “the gates of Sheol will not prevail against it,” my personal opinion is that what He meant was that all the forces of paganism and their false gods (which are actually demons) will not be able to withstand the Messianic Community. Standing in front of this huge rocky escarpment, I can see him pointing out this huge rock, and then pointing to Kefa and saying, "You see this huge rock face? Impressive isn’t it? But I'm telling you that My Holy Community is going to be built on the solid rock foundation of Kefa’s revelation that I am the Messiah.”

Reconstruction Drawing of the Sanctuary of Pan at the site of Ancient Paneas, Caesarea Philippi
Reconstruction Painting of the Sanctuary of Pan at the site of Ancient Paneas, Caesarea Philippi
In this Painting of the First Century Sanctuary of Pan there is depicted from left to right:
   1. The Temple of Augustus Called the Augusteum (On the Left)
   2. The Grotto or Cave of the God Pan (Behind the Temple of Augustus)
   3. The Court of Pan and the Nymphs (To the Right of the Temple of Augustus)
   4. The Temple of Zeus (In the Middle)
   5. The Court of Nemesis (To the Right of the Temple of Zeus)
   6. The Tomb Temple of the Sacred Goats (Upper Right)
   7. The Temple of Pan and the Dancing Goats (Bottom Right)

Against the cliff and in the large cave on the left, in the third century BC, was a cult center to the fertility god Pan. This center probably was built to compete with the high place at Dan, about three miles away. The presence of the spring forming the large stream, called the Banias River, fit well with the belief that the fertility gods provided water. Its sudden emergence from the ground at the floor of the cliff, a long rock face more than 100 feet high, supported the pagan belief that the gods went to the underworld (Hades) and reemerged each year.

Originally, the spring gushed from the large cave, probably persuading the people of the area that the cave provided an entrance to the underworld itself. An earthquake in the nineteenth century collapsed the roof of the cave, and the water now gushes from the cliff below the cave. Josephus described the cave as a deep cavern filled with water, the bottom of which no one had ever reached. The water from the spring may have been collected first in a "sacred lake" before it flowed west, joining with two other spring-fed streams (including one near Dan) to become the Jordan River.

A natural terrace against the cliff was the platform for the temple to Pan. The opening to the right of the cave is cut into the rock and leads to a niche in which an idol stood. This niche was probably in the sacred area and allowed the priests to engage in ritualistic water ceremonies. The entire area covered more than 3,000 square yards.

In the cliff face to the right of the opening are more niches to house the statues of gods. Herod also built a white temple nearby, to honor the Roman emperor Augustus. Because of the worship of Pan, the area was named Paneon, or Panias. It is still known today as Banyas, based on the Arabic pronunciation of Panias. King Herod Philip named the area Caesarea Philippi.

Jesus came here to call his disciples to challenge the gates of hell. Seeing the "living water" rush from the foot of the rock provides a picture of Jesus, the Son of the living God, whose community will be built on the solid rock of God's saving truth.

Source: Ray Vander Laan, “That the World May Know,” an excellent Bible-teaching series that I highly recommend. [BACK]

18d. Prevail against it: “prevail” is Greek κατισχύω, katischuo, to be superior in strength or to overcome. Neither the gates of Sheol, nor anything that comes from Sheol, will be able to overpower the Holy Community. [BACK]

19. “Keys to the Kingdom” absolutely does not indicate that Peter is the gatekeeper at the “Pearly Gates” of heaven. All of the disciples were bondservants (slaves) of the Master Yeshua. When a slave was given the keys to his master’s house, that meant he was the steward, or caretaker, of the master‘s “kingdom.” Thus Yeshua was entrusting to the His disciples the stewardship of His holy community.

“Binding and loosing” or “prohibiting and permitting” are common terms in both ancient and modern Judaism which refer to the authority of the Beit Din (house of judgment, a body of ruling elders) to issue halakhic judgments, rulings about the interpretation of the application of Torah to daily life and to make rulings between individuals, like a justice of the peace or a local magistrate. Before the destruction of the Temple this authority was in the hands of the Sanhedrin as Israel’s supreme court, with lesser courts (Battei Din) operating out of most synagogues. Here Yeshua is taking that halakhic authority from the Sanhedrin and handing it to His disciples, who will soon become the Emissaries of His Kingdom on earth. This has absolutely nothing at all to do with the practice in some Christian circles of “binding” this or that demon, which is totally unbiblical. [BACK]   [RETURN TO 18:18]

24. A stauros (σταυρός) is an upright stake, especially a pointed one. It may also be either the familiar upright cross or an X-shaped cross. [BACK]

27a. Greek δόξα, doxa, splendour, brightness; the kingly majesty which belongs to God as supreme ruler; majesty in the sense of the absolute perfection of deity. The Complete Jewish Bible uses Sh'khinah, Hebrew שׁכִינה, from שָׁכַן, shakan, to settle down, abide, or dwell. It denotes the dwelling or settling of the divine presence of God and His cosmic glory. It is used to describe the glory of God that filled the Tabernacle and Temple. [BACK]

27b. Psalm 62:12; Proverbs 24:12 [BACK]

28. This was fulfilled six days later when Kefa, Ya'akov, and Yochanan saw Yeshua in his full glory. (Matt. 17:1-13; Mark 9:2-3; Luke 9:28-36) [BACK]

Originally posted on Friday, 22 May 2020

Page last updated on Tuesday, 30 April 2024 01:04 PM
(Updates are generally minor formatting or editorial changes.
Major content changes are identified as "Revisions”)

Anxiously awaiting Mashiach’s return

Blue Letter Bible Search Tool

Range Options:

e.g. Gen;Psa-Mal;Rom 3-9