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SALVATION QUESTION 122
If Peter is not the rock Christ is building His church on, why did He say to him, "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church...?" Matt. 16:18.
Peter just made the greatest confession of Christianity, "And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God." John 6:69. You will notice when Jesus address Peter, He did not call him "Peter," but "Simon Bar-jona." "And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven." Matthew 16:17. This is significant, because "Bar-jona" means son of Jonah, and "Simon" comes from a root word that means "hear or harkened." Jesus is saying here, Simon you have heard and confessed me as the Son of the living God? In the next verse, He addresses him as "Peter (a little stone)." The reason is clear, He is now going to speak of a Rock (a big stone), and in doing so He is associating Peter (a little stone), with Himself, the Rock (a big stone). This is precisely what each means, "Peter is a little stone, and the Rock, Christ, is a big stone." The big Rock is the Christ that Peter has just acknowledged as the Son of the Living God.
To paraphrase this I would say, "Peter you have just confessed that I am the Son of God and the Rock of Scriptures, that was smitten in the wilderness and that led God's people out of Egypt. I am going to build my Church on the Big Rock." (1 Corinthians 10:4) To this Peter agreed, "To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,..." 1 Peter 2:4. Paul agrees with Peter also, "For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ." 1 Corinthians 3:11. Isaiah also agrees, "Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste." Isaiah 28:16.
Are you trusting in Him? He is the only way, He is the Saviour of sinners.
All comments and questions to: Harold Smith
Updated July 2009, by Shelly Allen