Matthew 16:13 – 23 Peter Declares That Jesus Is the Messiah
Who is Jesus? This is the question of the Gospels, and of the last 2,000 years. Who is He? Who was He?
Was he a prophet? A teacher? A healer/magician? Or was He the Messiah?
When we profess our faith in Jesus, it is not our faith in a Creator, in an afterlife or in the Moralistic Therapeutic Deity – we are professing our faith in Jesus as the Messiah. The Anointed One whom God sent to redeem His people and to reconcile all of humanity to Himself.
The latter part of the passage is a matter of interpretation: Roman Catholic or not (Protestant, Orthodox). The concept of Papal authority stems primarily from this passage.
Was Peter (which means “rock”) the rock on which the church was built, or was it the confession of faith? Is the holder of the keys to the kingdom Peter himself (and his “descendants,” a.k.a. the Popes) or to all who confess Jesus as the Messiah?
In my Facebook feed recently was a tweet from Pope Francis from 2017: “Jesus entrusted to Peter the keys to open the entrance to the kingdom of heaven, and not to close it.” Maybe Jesus was hinting at opening the kingdom to the Gentiles…? Maybe Jesus was giving the job of missionary to the Gentiles to Peter, it was Peter who had the vision about Cornelius and Peter who backed Paul at the Council at Jerusalem.
Who do you say that Jesus is?