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Peter and the Rock — 8 Comments

  1. Peter is the head of the church. It is true that ""Peter"" means small stone, but in this context, Jesus want him to be a big one on which the church is built. It is not the first time that Jesus makes change in Peter' life. So he passed from fisherman to fisher of men.

    • When Jesus asked the question, "Who do men say that I, the Son of Man am?", Peter was not the only one to answer. "So THEY said, 'Some say John the Baptist, some [say] Elijah, and others [say] Jeremiah or one of the prophets.'"

      But when Jesus asked the next question - "But who do you say that I am?", Peter was the first, and the only, one to answer. Peter seems to have been an impulsive person, with a habit of putting himself forward, but times this got him into trouble.

      Geremie, you write that Peter was the head of the church. Do we have anything to substantiate this thought? My mind goes to the first apostolic council : it was a significant meeting, but who presided in it? It appears to have been James that presided, and James [not Peter] was the spokesman. (Acts 15.)

      There is also an interesting thought in Galatians. Paul mentions that "when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me", they gave us (Paul and Barnabas,) "the right hands of fellowship". (Gal 2:9)

      That is, "James, Cephas, and John" gave their approval, support, and co-operation to Paul's missionary venture. But who was this Cephas? Cephas was Peter. Peter, together with James and John, were regarded as "pillars" of the church, but none of them have seniority. (Although the order suggests again that James was the one that led out, not Peter.)

      • Good thoughts Stewart. To classify Peter as one who is often at a loss for words, an understatement.
        How important were preceding verses Matt.16:5-6,10-11. Is Peter in this focus? When some draw attention to Peter, I think of the attention that Peter chose to ignore. Matt. 26:69-75.

      • Gal 2:9 confirms that Peter is a pillar of the church among James and john. Furthermore, this section confirms that Peter has the power to approve and to disapprove.
        (Gal 2:9)“…they gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised”.

        (Matthew 16:17-19) And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

        I am not talking about to preside or not to preside over a meeting, because whoever can preside at a conference without having a leading position; whatever guest can become a spokesman. That role is not limited to only the leader. That’s why I cannot consider this reasoning as a step of my argumentation.

        I rather mean that Peter received authority from Jesus. The first time, after the promise of the power of the Holly Ghost(Acts 1 full chapter), the gospel was preached to unbelievers was the day of Pentecost (Acts 2: 1-38) by Peter. Because Peter has received the keys of the kingdom of heaven, he could open the door and allow 300 disciples could enter.

        We need to believe what we read –

        We have not the need to look up the definition of words in that context because all the versions tell the same thing:(it is question of somebody who does something upon somebody else)). Nothing difficult to understand.

        When we read 1 Peter 2:7, 8 ►(King James version)… the word stone refers Christ and the word rock also refers to the same person (in this context). …and a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.

        In another context, stone determines we the believers and the same word stone also determines Jesus. Christ is a stone and we are stones (2 peter 2:4-5).

        So, looking for significance of the words stone or rock cannot help us explaining what Jesus said to Peter.

        By the way, it seems that Greek was not Jesus' language in the daily conversations, he was born in Israel.

        In the context of Matthew 16:18, we read that Jesus call Peter the rock. According to the words of Jesus, Peter deserves to be a rock, this stone is like a rock, strong like a rock because God have chosen him to answer Jesus question.

        • It seems to me that Peter likely knew better than anyone else what Christ meant when He spoke to him. And there is no indication that Peter ever considered himself to be the head of the church. Rather he called Christ the chief cornerstone.

          Atheists by the way, Palestine was a Roman province at the time of Christ and Greek was widely spoken. It is very likely that Greek was spoken in Nazareth.

          • Note that I am not saying that Peter considered himself to be the head of the church. In order to avoid misinterpretation I explain what I mean when I mention "the head of the church" in my comments. Please read my new post if you want to suggest something.

            About greek language:

            The current spoken languages in Israel are Arabic and Hebrew. If this people come from Egypt and in Egypt they speak Arabic, we can conclude that in the time of Jesus, Greek was not as understood as these languages or one of them.

    • "on this rock I will found the church" on Peter? No, upon the statement of Jesus. "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God."
      To the petros (the rolling pebble) he says upon this Petra (the solid immovable rock) I will establish my church. Peter was called in vision to be the Missionary to the Gentiles (acts 10) but he stayed in Jerusalem for the Jews. Paul was raised to show forth "what great things you must suffer for my name". He took that calling in Peters place. Paul wrote many of his letters before the synoptic Gospels were penned. He says he was the least of the brethren.

      It is awesome to see our weakness is never lost on jesus. his plan proceeds through someone, but he never loses the hope of working in us. John 21:15ff He wants to restore all of us as he did the calling (again) of the failed Peter petros. The head of the church is a man, the man Jesus Christ!

  2. Geremie T. Charles:I applaud your Bible knowledge and your calling to witness with what God is doing through u. When Jesus annoints and appoints us he teaches us through our experience to be more like himself. His words to Peter were just that. He was telling those who have been nothing in this world that they are somebody's in his eyes. Even more so, we can be a pillar to our generation. Jesus still does this today to the pebbles who are socially awkward and unlearned. When he spoke to him(Peter) of the binding and releasing he was saying "today you are weak, vassilating and inconsistent. You need to grow up in me so that your words will be as powerful as my words.". Jesus was confirming his future as important, and that we all have a way to find a powerful ministry in Christ. There has never been a holy man separate from the source of Holiness, especially not Peter. By binding Jesus words to our hearts we carry the same message as heaven would deliver. That is his goal in us, to be the lively stones built up into an edifice, a church not of bricks but of powerful witnesses. Thanks for your calling, I hope you can arise in that calling as Peter did in his.


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