The Gospel of Matthew
Session 37 – 11/9/2014
Fr. John Codis
Jesus is Christ the Son of God
“But who do you say that I am?”
Peter was the first man on earth, whom it was revealed to him by the Father, to proclaim Christ as The Son of the Living God.
The revelation of the Messiah and His true purpose could not be realized through flesh and blood men; it could only come through divine revelation.
“You are Peter, and on this rock”
Christ will build His Church on such a rocklike “confession of faith” as Peters.
Peter is the rock – not in himself, but insofar as he embodies the Church’s confession.
Theodore of Mopsuestia says “This means he will build his church upon this same confession of faith.”
“I will build my church”
The church in this sense is not a building an institution with organizations, buildings, offices, services and meetings, it is understood here as a “gathering assembly.” Christ refers to the gathering of His disciples as “they meet to form and constitute the renewed messianic Israel,” the new Israel.
“And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven”
Peter is made the steward of the Kingdom with “authority to administer God’s house.” He will be responsible and given the great power and blessing to open the doors for thousands upon thousands of people.
“ Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
“Christ declares that His disciples, gathered in community, have power to speak with the voice of God. To join the Church is to receive the Kingdom, and to oppose it is to war against the Most High.”
“Then He commanded His disciples that they should tell no on that He was Jesus the Christ.”
To tell people that Christ was the Messiah was to spark rebellion against the Roman Empire. Christ did not want that to happen yet. The time would be the Cross and Resurrection.
Peter was given the great revelation of the truth about Jesus Christ; the responsibility and privilege. It is a revelation that we all have the ability to see and comprehend and when we are given it, the same privilege and the same responsibility will be laid upon us.