Matthew 16:18 – And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Let’s begin by considering the term “rock” as used Biblically. While there are times when the significance of the term “rock” may have little if any significance, or perhaps refer only to a place or a stone in general, there are many references to “rock” (or stone) in the Scriptures that carry powerful meaning. Allow me to offer just a few. Abraham’s alter – Jacob’s (Israel’s) pillow – Joshua’s markers in the Jordan – David’s five smooth stones – Elijah’s alter on Carmel – the building stones of the Temple – the stone of stumbling – the rock of offense – the stone the builder’s rejected – the stone cast at the feet of Revelation’s image – the lively stones God has made us to be – “this rock” upon which Christ’s Church will be built. These are only a few, but I believe very significant ones.
While over time many have believed that Peter was the “rock,” that is not the case. The context in which Jesus was speaking was connected firmly to the wonderful gift of revelation knowledge. Look at the words of Jesus in Matthew 16:17. He said, “Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.” Jesus was speaking about a divine revelation given to Peter by His heavenly Father. And that was “the rock” upon which He said He would build His Church; the Rock of Revelation Knowledge that is unmovable, unshakable, changeless, eternally settled in heaven. That is the “rock” upon which we shall focus in the coming days as we examine the extra-ordinary events that took place that we read in Matthew 16:13-21.
And we will likewise focus on the place in which Jesus spoke these words. It was Caesarea Philippi. At that time, it was one of the most ungodly places on earth, but to be found in Israel made it even worse. To have this place exist in what we know as “the land of the Bible” is shocking beyond belief. Then when we read the commands and admonishments of our Lord as He stood there speaking to His disciples about His Church, we begin to see a picture of the work He intended for His Church; a work that has by-and-large, been lost to us, if not forsaken. It’s time to pick up that banner once again and prepare ourselves for entry into this great spiritual battle the church WILL NOT LOSE! In my spirit man I can hear the trumpet sounding, calling the Church to arise to this battle, trained, armored, and ready to “take it by force.”
Manna for Today – Matthew 16:13-21; John 6:63; John 15:7; Hebrews 1:3; Matthew 5:18; Luke 16:17; Psalm 119:89; Matthew 11:12