Can we receive a challenge to our entire world view?
A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.”Matthew 16:4
Pharisees considered themselves righteous. Paul said of himself, “As for legalistic righteousness [I was] faultless.” Jesus’ view of them as wicked and adulterous meant their view of life was fundamentally wrong.
We are adulterous when we follow a path other than Jesus. We are wicked when we are so sure of our path that we persuade others onto it. Pharisees elevated their reading of the Bible. What path do we elevate? Path to God? Environmental action? Political opinions? ..?
We know we are on an adulterous way when we catch ourselves denying compassion or honesty to those of an opposite persuasion. We know what the way is by the congratulations we embrace.
“Be careful,” Jesus said to them. “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”Matthew 16:6
This is not just a personal quirk. Jesus says such influences are to be guarded against.
Given this context, Peter’s response to Jesus’ question, “Who do you say that I am?” is extraordinary.
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”Matthew 16:16
Peter is throwing away all credibility. This is an “All in” moment. Am I willing, at the cost of my credibility, to lift up Jesus as the only answer for the world’s problems?