Matthew 16:15-18, “He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Simon Peter replied, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ And Jesus answered him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.’”
“The Church is the hope of the world!”
Peter correctly identifies Jesus as the Christ, which prompted Jesus to say, “On this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” The disciples, together with Jesus, are in Caesarea Philippi with Mount Hermon in the background — a mountain notorious in the ancient world for being the gateway to the realm of the dead.
Jesus’ dramatic message says the gates of hell are under assault and will not hold up as he has put the hostile powers of darkness on notice. He came to earth to take back what is his and the Church — with its message: “Jesus as Messiah” — is his method of operation.
The Bible describes the Church as the body of Christ. Many parts, working together. It’s made up of people from all backgrounds who have believed in Christ’s life, death and resurrection and have chosen to follow him. Jesus is building his family, the Church, one life at a time. The forces of darkness are in retreat. The Church is the hope of the world!
Is the local church a part of your life? If so, stay committed and serving. If not, get connected this coming year!
Dear God, thank you for the church and its message of eternal life found in your son, Jesus Christ. I choose to be committed to the body of Christ. Help me find my place of service within it. Amen.