Thankful: God builds the church

When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”
“Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.”
Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?”
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus replied, “You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being. Now I say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.

– Mathew 16:13-18

Today, I am so thankful that Jesus is the Messiah, the rock upon which He builds the church.

When Jesus blessed Peter for recognizing and proclaiming His true identity as God, as the long-awaited redeemer, Jesus changed his disciple’s name from Simon to Peter. Peter is the word for a stone, or a small piece of rock. Then Jesus said that upon this rock (or massive stone or boulder) He would build His church. I picture Jesus pointing to Himself as THE rock, the cornerstone of the church (Psalm 118:22, Isaiah 28:16). Peter would be part of His plan to grow Jesus’ church.

Jesus took it upon Himself to carry the weight of the church. It would be built on Him. The church would exist because of Him, because of the freedom given to us because Jesus would shoulder the burden of our sin on the cross.

The church is God’s work, not ours. He is in charge. He is the master builder. He places us together, piece by piece, into the fortress walls that cannot be conquered by hell.

We can’t take credit for the growth of the church. It is God who transforms lives, who builds us together, stronger than we ever could have been on our own. We are grounded in Christ, and we as His church will not be shaken.

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