Wednesday, February 9, 2022
17-18 Jesus came back, “God bless you, Simon, son of Jonah! You didn’t get that answer out of books or from teachers. My Father in heaven, God himself, let you in on this secret of who I really am. And now I’m going to tell you who you are, really are. You are Peter, a rock. This is the rock on which I will put together my church, a church so expansive with energy that not even the gates of hell will be able to keep it out.
19 “And that’s not all. You will have complete and free access to God’s kingdom, keys to open any and every door: no more barriers between heaven and earth, earth and heaven. A yes on earth is yes in heaven. A no on earth is no in heaven.”
20 He swore the disciples to secrecy. He made them promise they would tell no one that he was the Messiah.
-Matthew 16:17-20 The Message
Verse 17: And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.
Verse 18: And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock, I will build My church; the gates of Hades will not overpower it.
Verse 18 study: The rock Jesus built the church on identified as:
- Jesus himself, his work of salvation by dying for us on the cross.
- Peter; the first leader in the church in Jerusalem.
- The confession of faith that Peter gave and all true believers would give.
The rock is referred to as Peter, the leader of the church not by his character; his functionality is what made him a leader. Just as Peter identified Christ, Jesus revealed Peter’s identity and role.
Peter reminds Christians that they are the church. Did you hear that? Read it again. Christians are the church! We are the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Jesus Christ as the cornerstone.
1 Peter 2:4-6: As Living Stones
4 And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by people, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, 5 you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For this is contained in Scripture:
“Behold, I am laying in Zion a choice stone, a precious cornerstone,
And the one who believes in Him will not be put to shame.”
All believers are joined into the church by faith in Jesus Christ as Savior, the same faith that Peter expressed.
Ephesians 2:20-21: 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord.
Jesus praised Peter for his confession of faith. It is the faith of Peter that makes the foundation of Christ’s kingdom.
Verse 19: I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.”
Verse 19 study: The meaning of this verse is debated and has been for years. some say that the keys represented the authority to carry out church discipline, legislation, and administration.
Matthew 18: 15-18: Discipline and Prayer
15 “Now if your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that on the testimony of two or three witnesses every matter may be confirmed. 17 And if he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, he is to be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. 18 Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.
While others say the keys give authority to announce the forgiveness of sins.
John 20:23: If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained.”
Others say the keys may be the opportunity to the kingdom of heaven by presenting them with the message of salvation found in God’s Word.
Acts 15: 7-9: 7 After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, Brothers, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles would hear the word of the gospel and believe. 8 And God, who knows the heart, testified to them giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He also did to us; 9 and He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith.
Religious leaders beleived that they held the keys of the kingdom, but also tried to shut out the people. We can’t decide to open or shut out the kindom of heaven for others to find their way in. To everyone that believe in Christ and obey his words, the kingdom doors are there and open.
Verse 20: Then He gave the disciples strict orders that they were to tell no one that He was the Christ.
Verse 20 study: Jesus warned the disciples not to publicize Peter’s confession because they didn’t understand the kind of Messiah he came out to be. Not the military commander, but a suffering servant. They needed to understand in full terms of Jesus and their mission as disciples before they can proclaim it to others in a way that would not cause a rebellion. Meanwhile, they would have a difficult time understanding what Jesus came to do in his earthy mission was completed.