Summary: And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. - Matthew 16:18 What a shocking statement our Lord makes. Here Jesus tells a fisherman that he is the rock that he will build his C ..
And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. - Matthew 16:18
What a shocking statement our Lord makes. Here Jesus tells a fisherman that he is the rock that he will build his Church. You would think Jesus would have picked a theologian, pharisee or some other religious expert but he chosen a simple, rough, zealous fisherman. Perhaps it was Peter's child-like faith, or his determination to stand for the Lord at all times. Perhaps the Lord was thinking this fellow gets it wrong all the time so if the Church is established in his leadership everyone will know its a miracle and God working not a man. Either way or for whatever reason the Lord make this statement that he would give him the "keys of the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 16:19). There has been a lot of dispute over these verses if our Lord was saying it was the statement Peter made that he would establish the Church upon. It does seem clear in the wording he is speaking first person to Peter the entire time, then he started to speak to all the disciples, "Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah" (Matthew 16:20). What is important to realize here is that God's plan is to use imperfect people to accomplish his purposes on the earth. The plan of God is the Church and there is no alternative or other method for spreading his Good News.
Some it seems in our modern days have lost faith in the Church and have started to create doctrines and teachings that essentially repudiates the history of Church arguing that it never represented God or for most of history it did not. The Church, which is the people of God meeting corporately has existed in various wineskins throughout history. The belief that has become popular is the idea of restorationism where essentially right after the Apostles died the Church went fully apostate. Such thinking also has essentially been the seed bed of all cults that have started, where truth was gone and the prophet of the hour helped to restore it to the people of God. Whether it is Seventh-Day Aventism, Mormonism, Jehovah Witneses, and hundreds of other groups, they all started with the same premise. Sadly they preyed off believers who were disillusioned with the current state of the Church and especially those who saw the divisions in the Church and could not bear such confusion. It might be surprising to modern believers to realize that the Church has been unified for most of history. Since the reformation period there have been many more schisms to where today we have over 30,000 distinct groupings. Perhaps some of this division was necessary but in the end the Church does constitute mostly of larger unified Church bodies around the world. God is always furthering his Church in the world, we as Disciples of Jesus need to find our place where the traditions and the faith once delivered to the saints (Jude 1:3) is being passed on. Some bodies of the Church as wineskins lose its lampstand (Revelation 2:5). We cannot make it alone in this journey, we need each other in the body of Christ. God is still building His Church through imperfect people.