Upon This Rock I Will Build My Church

 MATTHEW 16:18,19

Jesus and His disciples came into the district of Caesarea Philippi at the base of Mount Hermon. This is in the territory of Bashan. Bashan was the land of the giants and was referred to as the place of the serpent and Hell. Og and Sihon were from Bashan. Caesarea Philippi was also known as Panias after the god Pan who was half man and half goat. Goats were sacrificed there in large numbers to him. There are still shrines there that you can visit today. It was believed that the entrance to Hades was in one of the caves there. It was no coincidence that Jesus took the disciples there to reveal Himself and His plans. It was right in the enemy's stronghold! Remember that Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil.

1st John 1:7,8. Jesus asked the disciples, " Who do the people say the Son of Man is? After hearing their response, He asked them, "Who do YOU say that I am?" Peter answered and said, " Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God." Jesus replied, "Blessed are you Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven." These next two verses have caused a whole lot of confusion since that time. The context here is of the utmost importance! The location is in a stronghold of satan. Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil and to establish His church. He just agreed that He is the Christ.

"And I also say to you," God revealed this to you. I also, as God, say to you, "you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build My church, and the gates of Hades will not overpower it." In Greek, Peter is a stone or little rock and rock is bedrock or a large rock. I believe that Jesus was giving the disciples a powerful object lesson here. He was going to build His church on the bedrock right at the gates of Hell. Now, who is the cornerstone? Jesus. Who is the foundation? Jesus. Matthew 7;24,25. Whose church is it? Jesus's! Who is building it? Jesus! It is not built on Peter, a sinful man.

Verse 23. I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of heaven, and whatever you shall bind on earth SHALL HAVE BEEN BOUND in heaven, and whatever you shall loose on earth, SHALL HAVE BEEN LOOSED in heaven." The authority and power come from God. Again, what is the context here? Jesus taught, preached, healed, and cast out demons and set people free from them. Are these terms used in the Scriptures? Yes, they are! Mark 3:27, Matthew 12:29, Luke 13:16, Revelation 1:17,18, 20:1,2 and Mark 1:25,26. So what is Jesus saying? What is this about? It is about destroying the power and the works of demonic forces! Binding and loosing refer to exorcism and power over supernatural forces. But remember, this is done by the power in heaven and in Jesus' name. Jesus was not done revealing things to His disciples yet.

Six days later He was transfigured on the top of a high mountain. This is most likely Mount Hermon which is about 9000 feet high. So, Jesus revealed that He is the Messiah, He will build His church, it will break down the gates of Hell, He gave His disciples the keys to binding and loosing the powers of evil, and He showed them His glory. Did this get satan's attention? Of course, it did! Jesus declared war on him. The devil tried to get Jesus to sin in the wilderness and failed. Jesus had to be stopped!

Six days later He made His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, and six days later was His crucifixion. I believe that Jesus baited the devil into having Him killed. After all, wasn't this God's plan? John 3:16. Jesus was the sacrificial lamb of God who takes away all our sins! The devil and man fell for it. 1st Corinthians 2:6-8. Yes, He was crucified but it resulted in salvation for us and the world. Hallelujah! Is God good! Yes, He is!

                                                  THINGS TO CONSIDER

Who do YOU say that Jesus is?

Jesus builds His church through us!

Are you or your church a threat to the devil?

If you haven't already done so, please accept Jesus's sacrifice on the cross at Calvary for you!

1 Comment

Rebecca O - November 7th, 2023 at 12:43pm

Thank you for this. Absolutely incredible when these connections are revealed. I was just introduced to this idea in Michael Heiser's "Supernatural Seminar" (youtube videos - He talks about it in part 4 starting around 22:51). I am shocked at how much context has been relatively unknown for much of this stuff. It's not necessary to know this stuff for salvation, but it helps so much in understanding God's plan and the overall story of the Bible. Thank you! Here's the video link: https://youtu.be/1ZzCHKfx6Os?si=aAdOCwt4TPS_sKcF&t=1371