You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” [Matthew 16:18-19 ESV]
These two verses have separated Roman Catholics and Protestants for many years.
Some see the rock to be Peter and some view the rock as something else.
I once thought the rock was, as Jesus indicated, the revelation that Jesus is the Messiah.
Yet these days I understand that rock to be Jesus himself.
He is the Head of the church and its bedrock foundation.
It is odd to think that the Lord was referring to Peter as its foundation.
Many get confused by the next verse trying to discern what binding and loosing is all about.
To me the simple explanation is that the keys to the kingdom is prayer.
When we pray we affect matters pertaining to the kingdom of heaven.
When we pray things are bound and loosed - locked and unlocked.
In truth, prayer changes the world and transform us in deep ways.
This speaks to me of the importance of prayer and of our need to be faithful to pray.
You are my rock Jesus. Help me to be faithful to pray.
... this devotion is part of the Red Letters series. Click here to read more.