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Matthew 16


Simon and Judas were exhausted after a day of teaching and healing. They rested comfortably in front of a campfire outside of town. Tomorrow was Judas' 17th birthday! As the fire died down and the desert night grew cool, Judas snuggled closer to Simon, wondering whether tomorrow would be the day Jesus finally fulfilled his secret promise to make Judas the First Disciple ...

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The next morning, as all the Disciples gathered across the lake with Jesus, the Disciples forgot to bring bread for themselves and the crowd.

"Be careful," Jesus cryptically said to them, "Be on your guard against the yeast of the Jewish Rabbis." The Disciples, confused, discussed this amongst themselves and said, "Is it because we didn't bring any bread?"

Aware of their discussion, Jesus turned to say, "You of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread? Do you still not understand? Don't you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many basketfuls of leftovers you gathered? Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? How is it you don't understand that I was not talking to you about bread? But be on your guard against the yeast of the Jewish Rabbis." Then they understood that he was not telling them to guard against the yeast used in bread, but against the teachings of the Jewish rabbis.

Doh!

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Later, after the day's crowd had dispersed, Jesus asked his gathered Disciples, "Who do the people in the crowd say that the Son of God is?"

Judas replied diplomatically, "Sir, some say he was John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the Prophets, but I ..."

Peter quickly interrupted, "But I know it is you, Jesus. You are Christ, the Anointed One, the Son of God!"

Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Peter, for this was not revealed to you by any man, but by my Father in Heaven. And I tell you Peter, that upon you I will build my Church, and not even the Gates of Hell will overcome it. To you, Peter, I will give the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven; whatever you agree to on earth will be agreed to in Heaven, and whatever you cast aside on earth will be cast aside from Heaven.

But do not tell anyone that I am the Christ!

Now I must reveal to you ... that I am soon to be captured by the authorities, questioned, tortured and put to death.

Do not look so dismayed! For I will arise from the dead after three days!"

Peter ran over to Jesus and shook him, "No way! I will not allow this to happen to you!"

Jesus pushed Peter to the ground, calling him, "Satan! Get out of my way! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men."

Then Jesus once again told his Disciples that they must pledge and forfeit their lives in service of God if they wished to join him in Heaven after their deaths, and that some of them would not die before the End of the World arrived.

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Judas was pissed off big time, thinking, "Well, if he wants to be captured by the authorities, I can certainly help with that!" He left the group in disgust.


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