God gives revelation to Peter with regard to Jesus being the Messiah
God does not perform signs and wonders at the beck and call of those who are Pharisees, or for Sadducees who say that there is no resurrection, Mathew 22:23!
The death of Christ is the ultimate sign that is given for them to recognise who Christ is, and turn from their sin. However, it was because of their lack of honesty to accept the truth about their sin, that they were unable to discern the spiritual facts of a matter from the signs that were already done before their eyes, and yet, they are well able to discern the appearance of the sky, vs 1-4!
Jesus, therefore, terms them to be a ‘wicked and adulteress’ generation! He warns His disciples to beware of their wrong teachings, which had no ability to enable them or those who listened to them, how to overcome the sin that is hidden deep within their hearts, vs 5-12!
On the other hand, God gives revelation to Peter with regard to Jesus being the Messiah, the Son of the Living God, vs 13-16! It is only those who get this revelation from the Father who will be part of the Church that God is building and against which the gates of hell would be unable to prevail, vs 17,18! They will also be given the keys of the Kingdom, such that whatever they bind on earth will have been bound in heaven, and whatever they release on earth will have been released in heaven, vs 19!
Further, this revelation could not be transferred to others by telling them about the same, unless the Father Himself revealed this truth to them, vs 20. From that time onwards, Jesus began to show His disciples the things that He needed to suffer before He was raised from the dead, vs 21. Although Peter was given the revelation of who Jesus was, his carnal mindset could not accept the way of the Cross to be the pathway to the resurrection, vs 22,23!
Jesus then explained in no uncertain terms the conditions of discipleship, which included:
Denying one’s self
Taking up one’s cross
Willing to lose one’s life for Jesus’sake
Forfeiting the world, viz. the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life vs 24-26;
And eventually, each one will be rewarded according to what he did and the choices that he made, vs 27, yet there would be some standing there who would not experience death before they saw the Son of Man coming in His kingdom, vs 28!
So, the two categories listed in this chapter are those who are honest about their sin and are willing to turn from the same and those who are not! One will receive revelation of who Christ is and be part of the Church that Jesus is building, while the other will only keep asking for more and more signs which can conclusively prove the diety or manhood of Christ!
Nevertheless, such revelations cannot by transferred to others by mere words! However, even for those who have the revelation of who Christ is, denying one’s self, taking up the Cross and forfeiting the world to follow Jesus is mandatory, if they have to be partakers of His resurrection, and eventually, each one will be rewarded for the choices they make!
Let us, therefore, be determined to be honest about our sin, and be willing to give it up, so as to enter into the joy of our Master when He arrives! Amen.