Jeremiah 2 & Matthew 16

Jeremiah 2

    The word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem, Thus says the LORD,

    “I remember the devotion of your youth,
        your love as a bride,
    how you followed me in the wilderness,
        in a land not sown.
    Israel was holy to the LORD,
        the firstfruits of his harvest.
    All who ate of it incurred guilt;
        disaster came upon them,
                                                                                                                                                                    declares the LORD.”
        Hear the word of the LORD, O house of Jacob, and all the clans of the house of Israel. Thus says the LORD:

    “What wrong did your fathers find in me
        that they went far from me,
    and went after worthlessness, and became worthless?
    They did not say, ‘Where is the LORD
        who brought us up from the land of Egypt,
    who led us in the wilderness,
        in a land of deserts and pits,
    in a land of drought and deep darkness,
        in a land that none passes through,
        where no man dwells?’
    And I brought you into a plentiful land
        to enjoy its fruits and its good things.
    But when you came in, you defiled my land
        and made my heritage an abomination.
    The priests did not say, ‘Where is the LORD?’
        Those who handle the law did not know me;
    the shepherds transgressed against me;
        the prophets prophesied by Baal
        and went after things that do not profit.
    “Therefore I still contend with you,
                                                                                                                                                                    declares the LORD,
        and with your children's children I will contend.
    For cross to the coasts of Cyprus and see,
        or send to Kedar and examine with care;
        see if there has been such a thing.
    Has a nation changed its gods,
        even though they are no gods?
    But my people have changed their glory
        for that which does not profit.
    Be appalled, O heavens, at this;
        be shocked, be utterly desolate,
                                                                                                                                                                    declares the LORD,
    for my people have committed two evils:
    they have forsaken me,
        the fountain of living waters,
    and hewed out cisterns for themselves,
        broken cisterns that can hold no water.
    “Is Israel a slave? Is he a homeborn servant?
        Why then has he become a prey?
    The lions have roared against him;
        they have roared loudly.
    They have made his land a waste;
        his cities are in ruins, without inhabitant.
    Moreover, the men of Memphis and Tahpanhes
        have shaved the crown of your head.
    Have you not brought this upon yourself
        by forsaking the LORD your God,
        when he led you in the way?
    And now what do you gain by going to Egypt
        to drink the waters of the Nile?
    Or what do you gain by going to Assyria
        to drink the waters of the Euphrates?
    Your evil will chastise you,
        and your apostasy will reprove you.
    Know and see that it is evil and bitter
        for you to forsake the LORD your God;
        the fear of me is not in you,
                                                                                                                                                                    declares the Lord GOD of hosts.
    “For long ago I broke your yoke
        and burst your bonds;
        but you said, ‘I will not serve.’
    Yes, on every high hill
        and under every green tree
        you bowed down like a whore.
    Yet I planted you a choice vine,
        wholly of pure seed.
    How then have you turned degenerate
        and become a wild vine?
    Though you wash yourself with lye
        and use much soap,
        the stain of your guilt is still before me,
                                                                                                                                                                    declares the Lord GOD.
    How can you say, ‘I am not unclean,
        I have not gone after the Baals’?
    Look at your way in the valley;
        know what you have done—
    a restless young camel running here and there,
        a wild donkey used to the wilderness,
    in her heat sniffing the wind!
        Who can restrain her lust?
    None who seek her need weary themselves;
        in her month they will find her.
    Keep your feet from going unshod
        and your throat from thirst.
    But you said, ‘It is hopeless,
        for I have loved foreigners,
        and after them I will go.’
    “As a thief is shamed when caught,
        so the house of Israel shall be shamed:
    they, their kings, their officials,
        their priests, and their prophets,
    who say to a tree, ‘You are my father,’
        and to a stone, ‘You gave me birth.’
    For they have turned their back to me,
        and not their face.
    But in the time of their trouble they say,
        ‘Arise and save us!’
    But where are your gods
        that you made for yourself?
    Let them arise, if they can save you,
        in your time of trouble;
    for as many as your cities
        are your gods, O Judah.
    “Why do you contend with me?
        You have all transgressed against me,
                                                                                                                                                                    declares the LORD.
    In vain have I struck your children;
        they took no correction;
    your own sword devoured your prophets
        like a ravening lion.
    And you, O generation, behold the word of the LORD.
    Have I been a wilderness to Israel,
        or a land of thick darkness?
    Why then do my people say, ‘We are free,
        we will come no more to you’?
    Can a virgin forget her ornaments,
        or a bride her attire?
    Yet my people have forgotten me
        days without number.
    “How well you direct your course
        to seek love!
    So that even to wicked women
        you have taught your ways.
    Also on your skirts is found
        the lifeblood of the guiltless poor;
    you did not find them breaking in.
        Yet in spite of all these things
    you say, ‘I am innocent;
        surely his anger has turned from me.’
    Behold, I will bring you to judgment
        for saying, ‘I have not sinned.’
    How much you go about,
        changing your way!
    You shall be put to shame by Egypt
        as you were put to shame by Assyria.
    From it too you will come away
        with your hands on your head,
    for the LORD has rejected those in whom you trust,
        and you will not prosper by them.

(Jeremiah 2 ESV)

Matthew 16

    And the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and to test him they asked him to show them a sign from heaven. He answered them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ And in the morning, ‘It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.” So he left them and departed.

    When the disciples reached the other side, they had forgotten to bring any bread. Jesus said to them, “Watch and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” And they began discussing it among themselves, saying, “We brought no bread.” But Jesus, aware of this, said, “O you of little faith, why are you discussing among yourselves the fact that you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive? Do you not remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many baskets you gathered? Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many baskets you gathered? How is it that you fail to understand that I did not speak about bread? Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” Then they understood that he did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

    Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.

    From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”

    Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done. Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”

(Matthew 16 ESV)

Matthew 16: It is a question we must all ask ourselves and ought to present before others as well - “Who was Jesus?” We believe Jesus is the Christ and the Son of the living God. We believe He is the Creator and Savior of the world. The world of which He possess all Authority over as the Sovereign Lord of creation. Like Peter, I know that I have answered the question correctly, and I acknowledge that I have only answered correctly because God has graciously revealed this to me and granted me understanding. However, what concerns me most is another question that I must ask in light of the first one - If I truly believe Jesus is who He says He is, then does my lifestyle confirm my confession?

For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? (Matthew 16:25-26)

If I truly believe these things I've said about Jesus then wouldn’t I freely give up anything and everything just to know and serve Him? How careless it is to be so strongly attached to this world and the things of this world that we overlook the infinitely more valuable soul of immortality that we possess! May God harmonize the rhythm of our hearts with what our heads know to be true.