Mat_16:5-12 Jesus warns his disciples against the leaven of the
Pharisees and Sadducees, and explains his meaning.
Mat_16:13-20 The people’s opinion, and Peter’s confession, of Christ.
Mat_16:21-23 Jesus foreshows his own death, and rebuketh Peter for
dissuading him from it.
Mat_16:24-28 He showeth that his followers must deny themselves in
prospect of a future reward.
What these Pharisees and Sadducees were we have had an occasion to show before in our annotations on Mat_3:7, See Poole on "Mat_3:7". There was a great opposition between them, as we may learn from Act_23:7,8. The Pharisees and scribes were great zealots for their traditions; the Sadducees valued them not. The Pharisees held the resurrection, angels, and spirits; the Sadducees denied all. But they were both enemies to Christ, and combine in their designs against him. They came to him
tempting, that is, desirous to make a trial of him; they desire
that he would show them a sign from heaven; such a one as Moses showed them, Joh_6:30,31 bringing down bread from heaven. They had seen our Saviour showing many signs, but they had taught the people that these things might be done by the power of the devil, or by the art of man; therefore they challenge our Saviour to show them another kind of sign, a sign from heaven, that they might know he was sent of God. See Mar_8:11.