A Sign from Heaven
Found in Matthew 16:1-4 and Mark 8:10-13.
This was the second time the Pharisees had asked for a sign.
About a year ago, the Pharisees were asking for a sign in Matthew 12:38-40
The scribes and Pharisees: Master, we would see a sign from thee. (Luke says “a sign from heaven”)
Jesus: An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonah.
Jesus explained what he meant by the “sign of Jonah”. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
And Jesus and his disciples came by ship (into the coasts of Magdala – Matthew 15:39) into the parts of Dalmanutha.
Now the Pharisees (and the Sadducees – Matthew) came forth, and began to question with Jesus, seeking of him a sign from heaven, tempting him.
Jesus (sighed deeply in his spirit): When it is evening, you say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and threatening. O you hypocrites, you can discern the face of the sky; but can you not discern the signs of the times? (Matthew 16:2-4)
Jesus also speaks about discerning the face of the sky in Luke 12:54-56. When you see a cloud rise out of the west, straightway you say, There comes a shower; and so it is. And when you see the south wind blow, you say, There will be heat; and it cometh to pass. You hypocrites, you can discern the face of the sky and of the earth; but how is it that you do not discern this time?
Jesus continued, repeating the answer he had given the Pharisees before: A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonah.
And he left them, (entering into the ship again and departed to the other side – Mark 8:13)
Leaven of the Pharisees
Matthew 16:5-12 (Also found in Mark 8:14-21)
When the disciples arrived on the other side with Jesus, they realized they had forgotten bread, and they only had one loaf in the ship.
Jesus: Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees (and of the leaven of Herod – Mark).
The disciples thought he was saying this because they have taken no bread.
Jesus (perceiving this): O you of little faith, why are you reasoning among yourselves, because you have brought no bread?
Do you not yet perceive, neither understand? have you hardened your heart? Having eyes, do you not see? and having ears, do you not hear? (Mark 8:17b-18a)
Don’t you understand yet? Don’t you remember the five loaves of the five thousand? How many baskets full of fragments did you take up?
Jesus: Don’t you remember the seven loaves of the four thousand? How many baskets full of fragments did you take up?
Jesus had just recently provided food for thousands, why should they worry about food?
Jesus: I spoke it that you should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.
Then the disciples understood that Jesus was telling them to beware of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.