spiritualsnippets.com

Seeing life's events in the light of God's Word.

Jesus, the Rock of Our Salvation

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Matthew 16:13-18   

13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” 14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” 17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter,[a] and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades[b] will not overcome it.”

 

In my last blog, I became a victim of what can happen when one takes a verse out of context.

Yes, I usually do use just one verse in each of my weekly Snippets. However, that is not always a good idea, especially if one does not carefully read the verses preceding the highlighted verse.

That is precisely what happened when I chose Matthew 16:18. I made a common mistake in thinking that the verse referred to Peter as the rock, when, in fact, it does not.

So, I want to attempt to correct my error by studying verses 13-18 in Matthew this week.

In verse 13, Jesus is asking his disciples if they really know who he is. Verses 14 and 15 record their replies. Then, in verse 16, we see that Peter understands that Jesus is the Son of God. And, in verse 17, Jesus says that God the Father had opened Peter’s eyes to who Jesus really was. (Jesus had never before explicitly taught the disciples the “fulness of his identity.”)

So, we see in verse 18, that Jesus is referring to himself–that he is the rock–the foundation of our faith—and not Peter.

I hope I have adequately explained these important verses. I stand corrected by God’s Word.

 

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UNMOVABLE

 

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Matthew 16:18– “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.”

So, what does it mean to be a “rock”?

We’ve heard the term “rock hard” as pertaining to muscles.

We’ve heard it when talking about someone having steady nerves.

It also means to have resolve and be unmovable.

When Jesus called Peter the “rock,” He gave us a visual picture of the very foundation of a building.

Jesus was beginning to build his church. Not a physical building, but a company of believers. Peter, the “rock” was there to support the others as they spread the “GOOD NEWS.”

Just as Jesus is the foundation of the Christian faith, we need to be prepared to support fellow believers in their daily Christian walk.

Whatever the future brings, His strength will uphold us and together we will be unmovable.

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A Glimpse of Heaven

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1 Corinthians 2:9-  “…What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived—the things God has prepared for those who love him.”

 

 

Mom’s eyes were filled with tears when she recounted last’s night’s dream.

“I didn’t want to come back,” she sobbed.

“What do you mean? Come back from where?” I held her hand and brushed the soft gray hair away from her face.

“From Heaven. It was so beautiful. I just wanted to stay there forever.”

I slid my chair closer. “What was it like?”

“Oh. I-I-I don’t know how to explain it.” She paused, a faraway look in her eyes. “It was all laid out before me. It went on forever. And, all the colors. I’ve never seen colors like that before. The jewels—they sparkled like… Oh, it was so wonderful. I want to go back.”

I thanked God for the little glimpse of Heaven given to my dear mother who is now experiencing the last stages of Alzheimer’s—and for the reassurance given to me as she spoke those words just a few days ago.

Not that we necessarily want this life to end, but most Christians would say that they, too, look forward to Heaven.

Streets of gold, colors beyond description…

Although we may imagine what it will be like, our human brains cannot even conceive of its magnificence.

Jesus will be there and I cannot even begin to understand what it will be like to be in His presence, to sit at His table, and talk with Him face to face.

For now, though, I’ll just have to be content to dream along with Mom.

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