Luther Seminary God Pause
Thursday, 8/21/2014 Reading: Matthew 16:13-20
I was recently hiking in Pennsylvania and came across a unique rock formation there. The rocks looked like a stack of books that had been tipped carefully on its side. They were not lined up vertically like library books, but instead leaned a little so that it looked like one rock depended on the next to be there for its support. It was not clear which rock was the top of the stack and which rock was the bottom.
This text makes it perfectly clear who is the rock on the bottom. Peter, right? Yet just before Jesus names Peter as the rock upon which the church will be built, he says that the "rock-solid" confession Peter gave was possible only because it was revealed to him by the Father in heaven. Peter might be nicknamed the Rock, but unlike the rock formation in Pennsylvania, it is clear who is the base of our confession that Jesus is our Messiah and Lord.
O God, my rock in whom I put my trust, let your word be my foundation. Let your will be my guide. Let your church live on with you at its base. Amen.
Sarah Raymond Pastor, Calvary Lutheran Church, Grand Forks, N.D. Master of Divinity, 2013
Matthew 16:13-20 (NRSV)
13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" 14 And they said, "Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." 15 He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" 16 Simon Peter answered, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God." 17 And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." 20 Then he sternly ordered the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.
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