Summary: Jesus tells Peter that the church will be built by Jesus Christ himself.
Series: Solid Rock Choice
I Will Build
This week I had this memory pop back into my head of something that happened in the country of Colombia when a few of us were on a mission trip there a few years ago – we were helping with the construction of a tower which would hold clean water for the camp – part of the structure consisted of blocks that seemed to be made out of pottery. They would break fairly easily and the plan was to make a wall out of them in order to lock up the equipment. Now the blocks put together in a wall you could break through fairly easily, but after they were set in place, the builder came back with a mix of cement and sand, making a smooth coating so that the wall looked like it was made out of cement. What the coating did is not just cover the blocks but it connected and hardened them into a single wall which had strength beyond what the blocks individually were capable of. That covering unified them into something that would be extremely difficult to break, without it they would be a wall but not as strong. The reason this came to mind is because of this series about Jesus building his church – about building a group of people and binding them together forming something lasting and strong.
Last week we began with the truth of Christ being the solid foundation of the church and we are going to continue with that section from Matthew 16 with a conversation between Jesus and Peter. The conversation began when Jesus asked Peter who people generally though Jesus really was. From what Peter said most of the people thought Jesus was a messenger or one of the OT prophets reborn. Then Jesus asked Peter..
15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church
An important revelation happened in that moment – Jesus gives Peter a glimpse into the future and tells him that this thing called the church would be something built by himself. He claims that the things we call the church – our group and those who belong to God, are there because of his power and effort to do so. And through his relationship to individual people, like blocks to form a wall he would put them together and build the church. So let’s look first at that idea….
I. Basic Biblical Building
A. Start back where we ended last week – the question to be answered is the same one Peter had to answer, “Who do you say I am?”
1. Many people have sought to become the leader or a founder of an organization by searching out a group of people to form a pact or club and through their collective power they work to accomplish the goals of their leader.
2. Read through the Bible to where Jesus speaks to the crowds you will find that similar method of seeking out a group but he behaves differently than most people who seek to influence a large group. He preached to the individuals not the group as a whole but addressed them as individuals among the group, calling them to change their ways and be radically different instead of playing upon their strengths to gain their affection.
3. Then he claimed the authority of God – a move that would be nearly impossible to prove if he were not who he said he was.
*C.S. Lewis in "Mere Christianity" when talking about Jesus - “A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on the level with a man who says he is a poached egg—or he would be the devil of hell. You must take your choice. Either this was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us.” Because if Jesus isn’t who he said he is then this church and every other one out there is just a group of people trying to do good and not the extension of Christ’s kingdom on earth. We have to ask ourselves why we belong, come, and work together because if it isn’t for Christ then it isn’t on solid ground. Mr. Lewis is right, Jesus claimed to be God in the flesh, and left no other option for us to believe – he didn’t leave any wiggle room other than you consider him insane or an absolute liar.