“17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
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.
19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
Now bear with me I am sure you have heard this verse spoken from the pulpit and writings numerous times. I wish to set the record straight, so the highest form of truth that being in Christ is exalted. And that everything that puts itself above the knowledge of God is subjected under God. With this goal will you walk with me?
The cross references of Peter’s confession and Jesus’s response is Mark 8:27-30, Luke 9:18-21, and a different confession but still a confession is John 6:67-71. In the verses in John Jesus asks the disciples if they will leave and Peter’s response is where will we go and a confession including the words “And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.” (John 6:69). Whereas the verses in Mark and Luke include the same event as Matthew, but do not include Jesus’s response in Matthew 16:17-19. Mark and Luke are only similar in the description of the event to Matthew in that it includes Peter’s confession and Jesus’s charge to tell no one that He is the Christ.
Matthew 16:17-19 has prior, Pharisees being rebuked and their doctrine being compared to leaven in a negative way. After this Jesus asks the question who do men say that I am, and the disciples respond, including Peter’s confession. After Matthew 16:17-19 is the time frame of when Jesus starts to tell the disciples the plan for Jesus dying on the cross and raising on the third day. This being said the major contextual part related to setting precedents is that Jesus seeks to know who people say that He is, and that the confession occurs before He tells the disciples about His death and resurrection.
The cross-references of the event do not add significant differences in pursuit of the truth. For the nitty gritty in the differences in the words are beneficial and will bring light to new insight, but for right now we are trying to establish a firm foundation that Christ has already set. In other words, reaffirm the precedent that has been abandoned by soothsayers, as such the old becomes new.
Thank you for walking with me thus far, I understand the fast-food mentality of our modern day has limited our ability to stay focused. In order to find the pearl at the end please bear with me a little longer. Okay, so the first thing most would do is to try to figure out what the author of Matthew was trying to do by including the event, but this vanity and empty for the Word became flesh and dwelt amongst men, and as such the Word of God is made by God written by the Holy Spirit through men (2 Timothy 3:16). The hammer doesn’t look back to the carpenter and say I have hammered the nail into the wood! As such the vessels of the Lord used like a pen to write the Word of God should not be asked why they wrote what they did, for it was not them but the true writer the Holy Spirit.
Set the Precedent
No, my friend, instead we focus on the Word of God itself. Firstly, what Jesus set in place in verse 17. It includes the teaching that it is only through God that men come to the knowledge of the truth of Jesus being the Messiah and the son of God. Cross-references to this precedent are Matthew 11:27, James 1:17-18, and Romans 1:18-32, there may be more than just these three, but I am using the Scofield Study Bible to help me in this letter. And to the critics, the Pharisees of the modern day, not every piece of information comes from this study Bible, it is simply being used to help find evidence. For example, Romans and James are not even mentioned as cross references in the Scofield study Bible.
“27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.”
In just this verse it expounds into multiple rivers of life, of the wisdom from the Holy Ghost, but for the precedent’s sake we will focus on but one. What this verse says is that it is only by the Father, who is God, that people know about the Son who is Christ. God is the one who reveals who Jesus is.
Now wait the faithless say that surely God is evil then, because if man is not revealed who Jesus is then God allowed these people to go without the knowledge of Christ and therefore, they are condemned to hell without even being given the knowledge of Christ. The wolves would further this by saying God condemns someone to eternal punishment for something they could not do, as they did not have the knowledge of Christ.
Unsheathe the Sword
How do we answer this brothers and sisters of Christ? simple we point to the Word of God. We unleash the sword from its sheath and allow the fiery word to burn away lies and so only the precious stones of God remain. It is true that God condemns people for not accepting Jesus as the Christ, which is not God’s desire as it speaks in,
“17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
However God has revealed the Light of the truth of the creator to all men, and so each person is without excuse as the knowledge has been revealed to them. And so, they are condemned for choosing evil over God even though they had sufficient knowledge to choose God,
“19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.”
Leviathan Rears It’s Head
But wait leviathan speaks, the serpent of old states how are people revealed the truth of Christ if there are islands that have yet to hear truth of the Gospel, and several countries did not hear about Christ during the early stages of the Christian church. Oh, you father of lies that have tricked the minds of the people and poisoned the waters at the pulpit, the Word cuts the head off leviathan and speaks the truth. Pick up the Word warrior of the Cross!
Cut Off the Head of Leviathan
It is true that the Bible teaches that people cannot believe unless it has been preached to them (Romans 10:14). However, does not all of creation preach to who God is? To answer this question, we go to Romans. Romans 1:18-32 contains in it wisdom that is much greater than philosophies developed by the human mind over centuries. No matter how much they hold onto Socrates all the way to Nietzsche, God’s word is much greater than any human invention of the mind. I shake under the fear of God, even now my hands are quaking under the Knowledge of God, how my human mind breaks and tears well up in my soul. Please my friend do not grow weary now we are so close to the truth! Keep the faith and walk with me for these next words will hold wisdom that breaks the conditioning of the devil of lies!
All of Creation
Romans 1:18-32 teach that God has revealed to all men the Truth of Christ and God through His creation. It is God as Creator the Father who has revealed the truth of Christ through all of creation since the beginning of time. My heart breaks and the tears run down my face my friend please I beg of you listen to the beautiful true story. The creation that was made into existence in Genesis, in 6 days was made to reveal who Christ is, all the stories of the Bible point to Jesus Christ. My friend God made us, to be in relationship with Him, He loves us so much the Truth is revealed all around us we cannot escape this revelation. It is not that God made it distance, but the truth is so evident, every time you see a plant or cloud it testifies to Christ and God. Or when you feel the wind or hear the birds it testifies to God and Jesus. The Lord loves us so much He made it so evident. It is no wonder The Word of God spoke the blind lead the blind,
“14 Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.”
Mind you critic the Word of God speaks of spiritual blindness, for if someone is born blind and deaf, they will still feel the wind which is created by God. If somehow all they are left with is their mind, then they still cannot deny Christ for I think therefore I am, if one is, then God created them. So, all of creation including are own being testifies to God.
Creation Preaches and We Preach the Gospel
Alas from this a false doctrine tries to arise, well surely then we do not need to preach the gospel. First and foremost, God commanded us and so we do, in the great commission (Matthew 28:16-20). Secondly it is true that creation testifies of God, and this is sufficient for each person to be held accountable for denying God. However, God, to help people come to Christ, has sent his ambassadors to give people an even greater chance to come to God. There are other reasons for this I am sure, such as bringing in unity within the church and having fellowship. However, focusing on the precedent that is through the Father that people come to the knowledge of Christ; God can send his people to spread the Word of God like seeds. In which a direct line of proof is made evident by evangelist who spread God’s word in the form of language, but ultimately it will be the Holy Spirit who will reveal to the person that Christ is Lord.
Thank you, my friend, for following my letter, for the precedent is known it is only by God the truth of Christ is revealed, and so the truth of all good things come from Christ is reaffirmed “17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” (James 1:17). And which is more my friend we accomplished putting everything under subjection of the knowledge of God, for anyone who comes to Christ even if someone helps that person away from their spiritual blindness God receives the glory. We completed the mission of putting Christ at the highest seat of knowledge. As such the truth of God always receiving all the glory is reaffirmed.
“12 Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.”
“12 Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.
13 And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.”
My friend you have come so far, so for now please chew on the meat of the Word of God, take your time and we will return with the next verses. And our mission for the next two verses in Matthew 16 will be continued. But for now, rest in the word of God and take upon the peace that only comes from Christ.
All Scripture from King James Version Public Domain
The Scofield Study Bible 1945 Oxford University Press, Inc.
(Featured Image was edited) Unedited Painting by Leon Dembowski Titled Mount Pyszna with the Smreczyny Lake in the Kościeliska Valley in the Tatra Mountains 1857 Public Domain