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 (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it. – Matthew 16:15-18 (NLT)
One day Jesus asked his followers what people were saying about Him. Several responses came, but today’s passage tells us Peter’s response: “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus used this moment to introduce the idea of “church” to his disciples. In this passage we learn two fundamental truths about church:
- The church is built by Jesus, not by human will or accomplishments.
- The church is built on the fundamental belief that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God.
Though people make up the church, it is not built for us or by us. Christ will use us in various ways to accomplish its building, but there is a difference in a “tool in the hand of God” and our attempts to make church happen. Jesus has a great purpose, plan, and desire for the church. Our job is to seek the Lord’s revelation of that purpose, plan, and desire and make ourselves available to the Lord to build up the church through our unique gifts, talents, and abilities.
As a church, we are not called to promote ourselves but Jesus, the Son of God. Promoting Him to our community as the way, truth, and life is what changes people’s lives. As one person has said, “If you meet me and forget me, you have lost nothing. But if you meet Jesus and forget Him, you have lost everything.”
How about you? Are you trying to build church into what you want it to be or are you submitting yourself to the Lord as a tool He can build His church into what He wants? Are you doing your part at church and in the community to promote Jesus to others as Savior and Lord? Ask God to give you a love and a passion for His church, and let Him use you to make your church all God intends for it to be.