Sermon Date: August 27, 2023
Matthew 16:13-18 ( Expanded Bible):
“13 When Jesus came to the area of Caesarea Philippi [C 25 miles north of Lake Galilee near Mount Hermon], he asked his followers [disciples], ‘Who do people say the Son of Man is?’
14 They answered, ‘Some say you are John the Baptist. Others say you are Elijah [C some Jews expected Elijah to return in the end times; Malachi. 4:5], and still others say you are Jeremiah or one of the prophets [Deuteronomy 18:15].’
15 Then Jesus asked them, ‘And [But] who do you say I am?’
16 Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Christ [Messiah], the Son of the living God.’
17 Jesus answered, ‘You are blessed, Simon son of Jonah, because no person taught you that [ flesh and blood did not reveal this to you] [ But; Rather] My Father in heaven showed you who I am [revealed it].
18 So I tell you, you are Peter [ the Greek petros, like the Aramaic Cephas, means “rock” or “stone”]. On this rock I will build my church, and the power of death [gates of Hades/the underworld] will not be able to defeat [overpower; conquer; prevail against] it.”
A Rocky Metaphor of Life (Pastor Mike)
“We see the top of rocks but not the bottom; settled and embedded.
We see where the winds of life have weathered those tops over the years.
We see where the rivers of life have washed over them, somewhat battered and pitted.
We see them tumbled and scuffed by life experiences, hardened by storms and gales.
We see where the Rock of Life Jesus, comes into human contact among us and rolls alongside in the journey; leading and guiding through mountain tops and deep valleys crossing the shadowlands into the light.
Maybe you’re old enough to understand how this works, but maybe you’re just starting out.
Maybe you can have compassion for those whose lives aren’t smooth but are jagged, coarse, sharp, and rough.
Maybe you see those who aren’t gems but just scraggly rocks, who need the compassionate yet firm hand of a stone-cutter to shape and perfect those rocks into something new, not yet seen or imagined.
Maybe you are those stones, those rocks, fragile, crumbly, loose, and sliding, encrusted and hiding within a beauty yet to be revealed by the Master Stone-Cutter’s Word, the chisel in His hand.”