Matthew 16:1-5

Mat 16:1 (KJB)
The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired him that he would show them a sign from heaven.

Tempting - Entice to sin, put to the test, or try

The Pharisees were the strict legalistic separatists which demanded total obedience to a great amount of tradition which was passed down through the ages. The Sadducees rejected the traditions of the Pharisees and also rejected the idea of resurrection, angels, and devils plus they only accepted the five books of Moses as authoritative. They had already seen the miracles of Jesus which were definitely signs pointing to the deity of Jesus. However, this was not good enough for these groups. They wanted a specific sign to be given to them, probably one that they would concoct themselves which would cause Jesus to sin by breaking some law. They wanted to put Him to the test to see if He really was who He claimed to be. How unwise they were because how could anyone do the miracles Jesus did unless it was God doing them? They came to Jesus in the region of Dalmanutha which was on the northwest shore of the sea of Galilee in the vicinity of Magdala.

Mat 16:2 (KJB)
He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red.

Since Jesus was on the shore area, He answers these men with a narrative about the weather which they would probably have been familiar with. He wanted to do this because He wanted to show them that they were capable of foretelling the weather.

Mat 16:3 (KJB)
And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowering. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?

Jesus continues His narrative by stating that if the sky is red at night, then there will be fair weather but if the sky is red and lowering, then the weather will be bad. Lowering means gloomy, dark, threatening, or menacing. It is like looking out your window and in the distance you see black clouds gathering on the horizon, so you would instantly know that bad weather is approaching. Then Jesus calls them hypocrites because they are able to see and interpret the sky, that is, they can interpret the natural signs but are unable to spiritually discern the signs of the times. If they would have truly known the Scriptures instead of their commentaries, they would have understood who Jesus was and His mission but they were blinded to this truth. Just like today those in false religions can see the political picture or can see the economical picture but they are unable to discern the spiritual realities of the coming judgment. This is what happens when a personís life is tied to this world and does not see beyond the natural. (Eccl 8:5 KJV) Whoso keepeth the commandment shall feel no evil thing: and a wise man's heart discerneth both time and judgment. The wise man is the one who is saved but who also studies the Scriptures and discerns the times we live in. (Mat 24:14 KJV) And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. The times we live in is the first time the Gospel has been preached to every nation in the world. This has happened because of the Internet where the Gospel goes into every country in a second of time. According to Matthew 24:14, the next event will be the return of Christ.

Mat 16:4 (KJB)
A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed.

Those who attempt to try God or the Son of God are showing their wicked and adulterous nature. Previously Jesus answered this type of query with the story of Jonah. Here He tells the Pharisees and Sadducees that they are wicked and adulterous and uses the terms of the old prophets. (Hosea 3:1 KJV) Then said the LORD unto me, Go yet, love a woman beloved of her friend, yet an adulteress, according to the love of the LORD toward the children of Israel, who look to other gods, and love flagons of wine. Israel had prostituted itself economically, spiritually, and socially and had become adulterous toward God. Once Jesus told them that they are only going to get the sign of Jonah, He left them. Of course, here He is referencing His resurrection on the third day. When Jonah was vomited up by the whale it was symbolic of Christ being ejected by the earth since death could not hold Him because He is the Son of God. Death has no claim upon Jesus and no claim upon His children whom He died for.

Mat 16:5 (KJB)
And when his disciples were come to the other side, they had forgotten to take bread.

Now the disciples had crossed from the western shore of Galilee to the eastern shore where there was mixed races and they would not be able to find a Jewish bakery to buy bread. They had probably thought they had a lot of bread left over from the seven large baskets but it looked like they forgot to check their supplies before they left land. This may have also happened because the departure of the Lord Jesus Christ from the Pharisees and Sadducees was quite hasty.

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