← back to list

Feb 06, 2022

The Keys of the Kingdom

The Keys of the Kingdom

Passage: Matthew 16:13-20

Speaker: Pastor Stephen Palm

Series: Matthew: The King and His Kingdom

Category: Expository Book Study

Throughout Matthew’s gospel we have seen the disciples struggle to understand who Jesus is. In this passage Jesus puts the question to them in a round-about way, asking them who others say that he is. They cite the variety of possibilities ranging from John the Baptist come back from the dead to several OT prophets. He then asks, “Who do you say that I am?” This sets the stage for Peter’s bold confession, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” Jesus commends these words and issues some prophetic promises to Peter. These promises suggest that Peter will be a “foundational” leader, the Rock upon which the church will be built. These words have become a point of division between Roman Catholic theology and Protestant theology. Is Jesus suggesting that Peter will be “the first pope” or will he be the first amongst equals in the apostolic band? Will his authority be absolute and his judgment infallible, or will there be limits to his authority and errors in his judgment? Does the language in this text concerning “binding and loosing” extend to all of us and is heaven obligated to follow our lead? These are several of the profound questions raised in this text which is one of the most important and difficult texts in Matthew’s gospel.