Church Rocks

Posted: July 19, 2013 in church

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Jesus said, “on this rock I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18). I often wondered, and still do, what is “the rock” to which Jesus referred. Discarding the view that the Lord is making His disciple a saintly key-holding figure, it seems to me we have three options:

Firstly, the rock could be the revelation process  – God’s supernatural transmission of information; the opening of our eyes to truth that otherwise we could not possibly grasp, and yet through revelation it becomes an anchor in our very soul. Jesus said that Peter’s words were not revealed to him by “flesh and blood but by my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 16:19). Disciples are made (John 6:44), matured and mobilised (1 Corinthians 2:11-16) by revelation from the Spirit of God (Psalm 25:4). Without revelation there would be no living, growing and maturing church.

Secondly, the rock could be the truth that “Jesus is Lord.” It seems as though the commission to help build the church cannot be given to anyone who does not accept the Mastership of Jesus. His servants cannot build if He is not their Lord (Psalm 127:1). They cannot believe Him for great things and neither can they be “useful to the Master” (2 Timothy 2:21). Those who aspire and feel called to serve God in church building should ensure first and foremost that Jesus is their absolute Lord. If He isn’t, they may find themselves constructing another temporary tower in Babel-land.

Finally, the rock could be the yielded and available servant, in this case Peter but applicable to any follower of Christ. I am quite sure we should not think of rock as meaning ‘strength’ (Peter was not always strong: Luke 5:8-11) but rather ‘something to work with.’ Like Peter we will all make mistakes or feel inadequate, but the Master as always is not looking for ability but passion for Him made manifest in availability (John 21:15-17), qualifying us to become co-labourers and builders with him (1 Corinthians 3:9).

So which of these did Jesus mean when He spoke this famous words some two thousand years ago? It seems to be that a good combination of all three will allow us to become “living stones” in His ever growing and glorious Temple (1 Peter 2:4-5). Did you ever notice before which disciple it was who described the church as made of “living stones”?

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