“Peter”

On March 10, Pastor Katy preaches on Matthew 16:13-23.

13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” 20 Then he sternly ordered the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.

21 From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and undergo great suffering at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. 22 And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This must never happen to you.” 23 But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; for you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”

As we enter the season of Lent, a period of reflection and repentance that leads up to Easter, we journey with Jesus on his road to Jerusalem and to the cross. One of the faces we meet over and over again is the face of Simon Peter. Within only a few verses, Simon Peter goes from being the rock upon which Christ would build the church to the stumbling block that would try to lead Jesus astray. Peter is both fiercely faithful and bold, and painfully flawed and rash. Perhaps he shows up as often as he does in the Gospels because we need someone like Peter to remind us that we too, imperfect as we are, are called to be the foundation of the church.

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