I Will Build My Church (Matthew 16) - Part 1

Date: 8/27/2017
More audio from All Saints Church
Type: Sunday Sermon
Topic: Ecclesiology
Organization: All Saints
Price: FREE

Matthew 16:13–20  - Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but 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 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. 19 “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.” 20 Then He warned the disciples that they should tell no one that He was the Christ.

A Critical Moment of Identity (vv 13-15)
The beginning of the chapter addresses the question of identity: “The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus and tested him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven.” This matter culminates in the words of Peter (v 16).

A Critical Moment of Confession (vv 16-17)
Consider Peter’s role in Matthew’s Gospel: Peter has been personally called by Jesus to be a “fisher of men” (4:18). Jesus has healed Peter’s mother-in-law (8:14). Peter has attempted walking on the water with Jesus (14:28). Peter with only James and John sees the Transfigured Jesus (17:1). Peter will voice the famous question about reconciliation (“How often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” 18:21). Peter pledged his full allegiance to Jesus (26:35), only to deny him a few hours later (26:58ff). In this passage Peter made a critical confession . . . but only a few verses later Peter is rebuked: “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s” (16:23).

A Critical Moment of Commitment (vv 18-20)
Despite Peter’s lack of understanding of the mission and purpose of Jesus (16:23), the Lord still makes an amazing commitment to Peter: “You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.” It is upon this basic truth that Jesus will build his church. Now that the true identity of Jesus is clear, he will begin very shortly to teach his disciples that his role as Messiah leads first to death (16:21) and then to exaltation (16:21, 27–28; cf. 17:1–9).

Gregg Strawbridge Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as receive a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more