Who is the rock of the church, Peter or Jesus?

Published 8:30 am Friday, March 23, 2018


The question was asked, “In Matthew 16:18 Jesus said to Peter: you are a rock, and on this rock foundation I will build my church, and not even death will ever be able to overcome it, so is Peter the rock of the church?”
Consider the statement Jesus made: “He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? (16) And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. (17) And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. (18) And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:15-18 KJV).
As often is the case, the statement of Jesus is misunderstood because it was misread. Jesus did not say that Peter was the rock. Jesus said that the confession that Peter had made was the rock. So what was the confession that Peter had made? Peter said that Jesus was the Son of God. The truth of this confession is the foundation of the Church, and Christianity. Paul said, “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:11 KJV). To the church Peter wrote, “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” (6) Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded (1 Peter 2:5-6 KJV). These passages make it clear that all Christians are part of the spiritual kingdom of God; however, the cornerstone, the foundation is Jesus. In truth there has never been a man other than the Son of God who could be the foundation, the Rock of the Church.
One should realize that there is a great spiritual battle being waged. Without the sure foundation of Jesus the world has no hope of victory. The attack is on; the Church is waging a war against our adversary, Satan (1 Peter 5:8). Jesus states that in the end the church will prevail. Of utmost importance in this consideration is the fact that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). This being a biblical truth reminds us that Hades is filled with those lost in sin. According to Hebrews 2:14, at one time Satan was in control of this realm, then came Jesus. The Hebrew writer wrote, “Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil” (Hebrews 2:14). Knowing this we must be sure to be on the right side of the war.
Are you a Christian? Consider your own soul and make the choice to be a Child of God. If you have faith, if you believe that Jesus is the Son of God, hear God’s Word, repent of sins, make the great confession that Jesus is the Son of God, and be baptized into the body of Christ (Romans, 10:17, Luke 3:3&5, Matthew 10:23, Romans 6:3-4, Acts 2:38, Galatians 3:27).
(Tony Hoss is minister at the Centerview Church of Christ, Elizabethton. He can be contacted at 737-2287 or by email at: tmagho1@comcast.net)

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox