his chapter is a juxtaposition of false doctrine to true. For some folk, the word doctrine makes their eyes glaze over. But it shouldn't be that way. Souls are saved &/or condemned based upon doctrine. God is glorified &/or ridiculed based upon doctrine. Eternity is affected by doctrine. Jesus was known for His doctrine. Doctrine is a litmus test for spiritual authenticity.
Matthew 16:1-12 shows us the Pharisees and their false doctrine. Their doctrine pushed them toward cynicism. They had confidence in themselves and no confidence in God. They were good at things that they could taste, touch, see, hear, smell and do, but their religion was all surfaces and no substance. Jesus warned his disciple about these highly religious leaders. He basically called their doctrine a cancer; a poison; an infectious disease; a communicable spiritual pathogen. Their brand of false doctrine was very dangerous (vs. 12).
From verse 13 on, we get a good dose of the antidote for false doctrine. The most important doctrine of all regards the name, nature and identity of Jesus Christ. If we get that part right, the rest of our doctrines can fall into line rather smoothly. With the Father's help, Peter got it right (vs. 16). Peter's declaration concerning Christ's character and role was so precise and perfect that Jesus immediately declared that such a confession would be used as the very foundation of the Church which He intended to build (vs. 18), an institution designed for the purpose of promoting true doctrine in a world polluted with the devil's doctrines.