On this Rock

One of the most often quoted passages in relation to the reason why Roman Catholics consider the Pope to be the head of the universal christian church on earth is this from Matthew 16:

15 He *said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.18 I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.

Two arguments in Scripture can be aligned against this passage being used to say that the successors of Peter (as the Popes like to consider themselves) are the rock on which the church is built.  The first is from the Apostle Paul:

11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

(1 Corinthians 3:11)

And the second is from Peter himself:

As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For in Scripture it says:

“See, I lay a stone in Zion,
    a chosen and precious cornerstone,
and the one who trusts in him
    will never be put to shame.”

Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe,

“The stone the builders rejected
    has become the cornerstone,”

(1 Peter 2:4-7)

It is therefore clear that the rock on which the universal (or catholic) Church is built is the Word of Jesus Himself.  It is also clear that we cannot see Him now in a physical body on the earth and so, like Peter, we need to have Him revealed to us by the Father.  It is upon this revelation that God will build His church.

The question for the reader is:  Do you know Jesus? Really?  Has He spoken to you?  If so what He has said to you will change the world if you do it.

 

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