Jesus’ ministry was brief but potent! He was born to die. But before Calvary, Jesus made sure that Israel was exposed to their REAL DELIVERER. Signs and wonders, along with powerful teaching, were His calling cards. Woven into the fabric of His Messianic among the lowly of society, Jesus touched Israel in a profound way. He made Isaiah 61 come alive throughout His homeland. He healed the sick and He raised the dead. Who was this Miracle Worker? His works were His Father’s proof that Divinity had arrived with their deliverance in His heart! But what would be His next move? More signs and wonders or withdrawal? From Matthew 16 it appears that Jesus was set not only upon going to Jerusalem but also to deepen the understanding of the Twelve. This He did. Matthew 16:21 reads (NLT) From then on Jesus began to tell his disciples plainly that it was necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, and that he would suffer many terrible things at the hands of the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but on the third day he would be raised from the dead.
Matthew 16:21 presents a prelude to Jesus’ most bold conversations with His men. Yes, the time had come… as Luke 9:51 says, “He set His face to go to Jerusalem.” But in the interim, what did He say? His words were direct and troubling for His small band of men. He grabs their attention! He tells them of His pending appointment with Israel’s religious elite. They would judge Him and they would make their accusations stick! Ultimately, their chorus of “Crucify Him” would ring throughout Jerusalem and touch the ears of Jerusalem’s power brokers. JESUS WOULD DIE! They attacked their Messiah… they rejected God’s Anointed One! Ultimately, every sign, every miracle and every message only lessened the chances of Israel’s most religious from coming to salvation; from coming to their Deliverer!