I want to share Matthew 16:15-19 today so that we can see what Jesus was actually saying. You may have heard this all before, but this will give you something to use when you want to share it with others! First of all, Jesus asked His Disciples who the people were saying that He was. When the disciples gave all the different people that He was rumored to be, He asked them who THEY thought HE was!
15He said to them, But who do you [yourselves] say that I am?
Peter was the one to answer:
16Simon Peter replied, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.
Then Jesus said this to him:
17Then Jesus answered him, Blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied) are you, Simon Bar-Jonah. For flesh and blood [men] have not revealed this to you, but My Father Who is in heaven.
Jesus was explaining Revelation Knowledge to Peter! Do you remember this from 1 Corinthians 2:14:
14 But the natural, nonspiritual man does not accept or welcome or admit into his heart the gifts and teachings and revelations of the Spirit of God, for they are folly (meaningless nonsense) to him; and he is incapable of knowing them [of progressively recognizing, understanding, and becoming better acquainted with them] because they are spiritually discerned and estimated and appreciated. AMP
Jesus was explaining that we, as natural human beings, are incapable of understanding the depths of the Word of God. It isn't until the Spirit of God reveals them to us, once we are born again, that we can truly understand the Word! And yes, I absolutely am saying that a person who has not been born again cannot understand the Word! They can understand their need for a Savior, but that is all. That is why we should never try to TEACH unbelievers, but preach the Gospel to them! THAT is the purpose for the Church (as a whole), and that is what Jesus was saying here:
18And I tell you, you are Peter [Greek, Petros--a large piece of rock],
This is sort of like saying "a chip off the old block"!
....and on this rock [Greek, petra--a huge (massive) rock like Gibraltar]...
The revealed knowledge of the Word of God that comes from the Holy Spirit, NOT Peter!
...I will build My church, ...
The whole Church, or Body of Believers in Jesus, NOT the Catholic Church or any other denomination!
...and the gates of Hades (the powers of the infernal region) shall not overpower it [or be strong to its detriment or hold out against it]. 19I will give you ... AMP
Again, the entire Church
... the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you prohibit on earth will be prohibited in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.” CJB
Shalom in Him!