Upon this Rock I Will Build My Church
Series The MacArthur Commentaries
And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it. (Matthew 16:18)
In Matthew 16:18–20 Jesus points up features and characteristics of the church that He builds. First, He set forth the foundation of the Church: And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church.
For more than fifteen hundred years the Roman Catholic church has maintained that this passage teaches the church was built on the person of Peter, who became the first pope and bishop of Rome and from whom the Catholic papacy has since descended. Because of this supposed divinely ordained apostolic succession, the pope is considered to be the supreme and authoritative representative of Christ on earth. When a pope speaks ex cathedra, that is, in his official capacity as head of the church, he is said to speak with divine authority equal to that of God in Scripture.
Such an interpretation, however, is presumptuous and unbiblical, because the rest of the New Testament makes abundantly clear that Christ alone is the foundation and only head of His church.
Peter is from petros, a masculine form of the Greek word for small stone, whereas rock is from petra, a different form of the same basic word, referring to a rocky mountain or peak. Perhaps the most popular interpretation is therefore that Jesus was comparing Peter, a small stone, to the great mountainous rock on which He would build His church. The antecedent of rock is taken to be Peter’s divinely inspired confession of Jesus as “the Christ, the Son of the living God” (vv. 16–17)... Read More
|Sep 29, 2010