English Standard Version, David Cochran Audio Bible
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, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it [the Greek words for Peter and rock sound similar ]. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
20 Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.
Scriptures are multifaceted. They are historical, for today; also important in mere verses and the way the parables are structured together. We've already thought about Jesus' important decision to bring the disciples to Caesarea Philippi for this important declaration.
Let's think about Peter. The man Jesus chose to walk His journey with Him.
John 1:40-42 40
One of the two who heard John speak and followed Jesus was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. 41 He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means Christ). 42 He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “So you are Simon the son of John? You shall be called Cephas” (which means Peter).
Peter is Not chosen because he had the good spiritual eyes to see Jesus for all that He is. And point out Jesus first.
We are God's family and we will embarrass Peter, for a moment, with all of our funny remembrances of him. (Like your mom telling your Jr High Prom date how cute you were in the bathtub as a baby.)
Matthew 14:28-30 The Message
Peter, suddenly bold, said, "Master, if it's really you, call me to come to you on the water." 29-30 He said, "Come ahead." Jumping out of the boat, Peter walked on the water to Jesus. But when he looked down at the waves churning beneath his feet, he lost his nerve and started to sink. He cried, "Master, save me!"
Matthew 15:14-16 New International Version
Leave them; they are blind guides. If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” 15 Peter said, “Explain the parable to us.” 16 “Are you still so dull?” Jesus asked them.
Matthew 16:22-23 The Message
Then Jesus made it clear to his disciples that it was now necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, submit to an ordeal of suffering at the hands of the religious leaders, be killed, and then on the third day be raised up alive. Peter took him in hand, protesting, "Impossible, Master! That can never be!" 23But Jesus didn't swerve. "Peter, get out of my way. Satan, get lost. You have no idea how God works."
Then Peter chimed in, "We left everything and followed you. What do we get out of it?"
What did our Jesus see in our Peter?
He permitted no one to go in with him except Peter, James, and John. They entered the leader's house and pushed their way through the gossips looking for a story and neighbors bringing in casseroles. Jesus was abrupt: "Why all this busybody grief and gossip? This child isn't dead; she's sleeping."
Six days later, three of them did see it. Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up a high mountain. His appearance changed from the inside out, right before their eyes. His clothes shimmered, glistening white, whiter than any bleach could make them. Elijah, along with Moses, came into view, in deep conversation with Jesus.
He then asked, "And you—what are you saying about me? Who am I?" Peter gave the answer: "You are the Christ, the Messiah."
After this a lot of his disciples left. They no longer wanted to be associated with him. Then Jesus gave the Twelve their chance: "Do you also want to leave?"
68-69 Peter replied, "Master, to whom would we go? You have the words of real life, eternal life. We've already committed ourselves, confident that you are the Holy One of God."
We know God can see into our souls and see us at our best - perhaps Peter was chosen for the spiritual growth ahead. Being such a perfect leader....
That's when Peter stood up and, backed by the other eleven, spoke out with bold urgency: "Fellow Jews, all of you who are visiting Jerusalem, listen carefully and get this story straight."
Cut to the quick, those who were there listening asked Peter and the other apostles, "Brothers! Brothers! So now what do we do?"
Peter said, "Change your life. Turn to God and be baptized, each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, so your sins are forgiven. Receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
They couldn't take their eyes off them—Peter and John standing there so confident, so sure of themselves! Their fascination deepened when they realized these two were laymen with no training in Scripture or formal education. They recognized them as companions of Jesus, but with the man right before them, seeing him standing there so upright—so healed!—what could they say against that?
So what are we learning about Peter - with spiritual growth we are made perfect to face the lion's den??? So ... perfect we are God's mirror image?
And he went out and followed him. He did not know that what was being done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision.
And he became hungry and wanted something to eat, but while they were preparing it, he fell into a trance 11 and saw the heavens opened and something like a great sheet descending, being let down by its four corners upon the earth. 12 In it were all kinds of animals and reptiles and birds of the air. 13 And there came a voice to him: “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.” 14 But Peter said, “By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean.” 15 And the voice came to him again a second time, “What God has made clean, do not call common.” 16 This happened three times, and the thing was taken up at once to heaven. 17 Now while Peter was inwardly perplexed as to what the vision that he had seen might mean
Paul said about Peter...
But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12 For before certain men came from James, he was eating with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party. 13 And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. 14 But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, “If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?”
So what does Peter do with the Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven and what can we learn from Peter's life?
But Peter lifted him up, saying, “Stand up; I too am a man.”
Peter was never perfect. He could not build a Church of God's to last 2,000 years. I was talking to a woman, today at Church, weeping because she has need for more tests for re-occurring cancer. Ashamed of crying for her fear, because it would not please Jesus. Jesus never loved Peter because he was perfect. Not once.
Hezekiah sure cried and cried & God wasn't upset with him for that.
Did Jesus love Peter? Yes - ! He died for Peter. Jesus always loved Peter for who God created him to be. Jesus tells us over and over. We do not save ourselves. Peter was like David - willing to walk on water for God, but when Peter got over his own self-righteousness - he still was willing to get into the water and swim to Jesus. Jesus thought eternity of David and Peter because they looked to Him, asked Him, loved Him. He loved them first.
What does God say about the Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven???? I am sure it pleases the living man named Peter, Keeper of the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. God says the 12 Gates of Heaven are always open.
And the twelve gates were twelve pearls, each of the gates made of a single pearl, and the street of the city was pure gold, transparent as glass.
22 And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. 23 And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24 By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, 25 and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. 26 They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. 27 But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb's book of life.
Blessed are You. Lord God Almighty. Lord God of Hosts. Blessed be Your Son, Jesus. Amen.
1 Peter 5:7
And I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David. He shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open.
casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you