In Matthew 16, Jesus asked His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus said, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church.”
Now let’s play a game. What is “this rock” on which Christ would build His church?
A) Peter himself
B) Peter’s confession
C) Christ and His teachings
D) All of the above?
If you guessed “Peter,” you are correct, but not if you’re Catholic. The Bible says Christ is the foundation and the head of the church, so in no way was He giving either of those titles to Peter and a successive line of popes. Peter is a lesser stone. The true rock is Christ.
You know who said that? Peter! In fact, we’re all lesser stones being built into a spiritual house unto the Lord (1 Peter 2:4-8). Paul said the church is built on a foundation of all the apostles (Ephesians 2:19-22). Christ is the cornerstone, meaning every other stone is set in relation to Him.
But what’s all that stuff about Peter loosening and binding on earth and in heaven? Though Jesus was speaking directly to Peter in Matthew 16:19, He wasn’t speaking exclusively to Peter, as He gave the same promise to the whole church in Matthew 18:18.
All Christians are living stones, like Peter, being built into the house of God, when we understand the text.