But Who Do You Say That I Am, Pt. 2

Matthew 16:13-19 says, “13When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? 14And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. 15He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 16And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17And 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. 18And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
Just as with Jacob, whose name means “heel-catcher, deceiver”, when God changed His name to Israel, because he was a prince who had power with God and men and had prevailed (Genesis 32:28), giving him a new walk and planting a kingdom within him, a kingdom that was established through tribes and is still in operation today and in eternity, Simon Barjona was given a name change. A name change always signifies a new, established kingdom authority. It identifies with a new position in the kingdom of God! It is why according to Revelation 2:17 and 3:12, believers who overcome in this life will be given a new name in heaven, indicating that they will be given a new authority in the kingdom of God that will not end, and they will rule and reign with God as kings and priests on this earth. Jesus Christ now called Simon, Peter, which means “Rock”. They were in the city known as the “rock of the gods”, but at this time, Peter was becoming a rock. This did not mean that Peter would become as a god, or that his genealogy would be the central figure of the church, which is the twisted mindset of the Roman Catholic Church in regards to the Pope. Peter would become a solid rock for God in due time, standing up for and steadfast his faith, insomuch that he would one day be willing to die for him. He was just the first one promised to receive the keys to the Kingdom of God! It is why on the Day of Pentecost that he stood up and spoke with boldness in the authority and power of the Holy Ghost the Word of God, and at least 3,000 souls gave their heart to Jesus Christ. It is why when John and he saw the lame man at Gate Beautiful that he told him, “Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee:  In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk” (Acts 3:6). He had a licensed authority now to shut the gates of hell through the name of Jesus Christ. It is why people would be healed by just standing in Peter’s shadow. We are to be doing greater works that in the time of Christ on earth, not because we are better than Him because in no stretch of the imagination are we, but we are to have the power of Christ residing in us, which causes multitudes of others to believe. It is about following the example of Christ and using our kingdom authority that produces signs, wonders, and miracles in order to expand God’s kingdom throughout the world by placing the jewels of souls in the crown of our Savior. It is time to preach the kingdom of God like never before so that the world may believe!

Of course, we know that Peter would eventually deny Jesus Christ three times at His passion, but after his repentance, he would become solid as a rock for God. Jesus was not building His church on the foundation of a man because men fail. The church is built upon the Word of God, for Christ Himself is the head of the church. It is the reason why in the parable of the two builders that the one who built his house on the rock overcame the storm, while the one who built his house on the sand fell greatly. They both received the same instructions, and they both faced a storm, but one stood while the other did not. It was based upon building on the Rock of Jesus Christ, believing and knowing that He truly is the Son of God! It is on this foundation that the church is built and the gates of hell, which is the area where Pan was worshiped, could not prevail against the church. The word “prevail” means, “to overcome or be superior in strength” (Thayer’s Greek Definitions). All of these gods pale to and fall in comparison to Jesus Christ. These lifeless, dead idols based on evil imaginations could never and will never win over a true, living God because our God is greater, stronger, and higher than any other! Peter announced Jesus as the son of the Living God because he was seeing a bunch of dead gods. Our God is not dead, but He is alive and well! While the Egyptian and Phoenician gods were translated to Greek gods, and then to Roman gods, they have been given different names, but they have and will never last. Our God and His Word will stand throughout the course of time. While these gods try to reflect a part of creation, our God is the Creator, and He is in control!