In one of my daily readings recently was the scripture Matthew 16:17-18, which says, “ Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” Like many scriptures, I had heard this one before and taken it for face value. Peter would be the disciple to physically start church. Recently, however, the Lord gave me something else to think about.
Peter, depending on the day, is either the hero or the dunce. He is widely known for walking on water as well as for three times denying Christ. Isn’t this just like us? Some days we’ve nailed it’ – we could post it to Pinterest. Other days, we hide away in the hall of shame. Who am I kidding – some days it’s minute-by-minute.
Yet Jesus ‘builds His church’ on ‘this’. What is ‘this’? The ‘this’ that Jesus builds His church on is revelation of who He is. Jesus was quizzing disciples about His identity. They gave a list of guesses according to recent polls of and rumors amongst Jesus-groupies – the crowds that followed Jesus to hear His teachings. But Peter got personal revelation about who Jesus really is – the Christ, the Son of the Living God. Personal revelation. ‘Peter’ means ‘rock’. Jesus builds His church on the rock of the revelation that Jesus is the Saviour .
There are other things we try to claim as the foundation of the church. None of these are the solid rock of foundation which is revelation through the Holy Spirit. The sinking sands of the law, brought through Moses, the temple (building), brought through Solomon, or the traditions of man, brought through the Pharisees, are not the intended foundations of the church.
Matthew 7:13-14 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” John 14:6, “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Jesus is the narrow gate and receiving Him is the only way. Only those who receive Him have access to the revelation that builds His church.
It doesn’t stop with the revelation of His identity as the Son of God, though. Even the devil knows that and we know what his eternal status is. The ‘way’, the ‘truth’ and the ‘life’ is a dimensional revelation. The ‘way’ to eternal life with the Lord is through accepting Jesus as our Saviour. The ‘truth’ is the Word of God revealed to us by the Holy Spirit as we seek Him in reading His Word. The ‘life’ is the Spirit speaking God’s will for us into our hearts daily to guide our steps. Matthew 7:24-27 spells it out. “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” Building is a verb, which implies action. Building a house and building the church require action on our part. We not only need to receive the revelation, we need to participate with the revelation. We need to receive all the gifts He has given and use them for Him.
Jeremiah 33:3 challenges us, “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” What revelation does the Lord have for you to receive from Him today so you can walk out the abundant life He came to give?