The day that we became believers we were changed. If you want to understand this in a good way all you have to do is follow the life of Peter. He was born Simon, but Jesus changed his name to Peter, “Rock”. I am sure that Peter, being a simple fisherman by trade, was a lot like we are. I am sure he thought that sometimes some people thought he was a “Rock Head”, because he was not perfect. I know that is how I would have felt if Jesus looked at me and said you will be called “Rock”.
The fact is a rock indicates stability, strength, immobility, and a solid stand. In Peter’s following of Christ in the early days we see none of these things. One of the most disturbing days in Peter’s life was the day that he declared Jesus as Messiah. If you read Matthew 16 you find this account. In this conversation Jesus made some startling statements to Peter.
Jesus told Peter, “You are Peter, upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome (or prevail) it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of Heaven, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose will be loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 16:18-19 N.I.V.)
This was a startling revelation to a man who had grown to be a fisherman. It would take any of us off guard. Yet we can all see a few things in this call to Peter. It is a call upon all who are part of Christ’s Church.
First we must understand that Christ builds the church upon His people. Anyone who has become faithful in following Christ is a part of His family. Every family has a purpose in being on this planet. We as the “Family of God” are here to tell others of Jesus and to carry out His mission of Salvation and Mercy into our world.
Second, not even Hell itself can stand up against the power of Jesus’ Church. The words did not say that Hades couldn’t stand against Peter. The words Jesus spoke said they could not stand against “it”, or against “My church”. Often we get the idea that we are lone rangers taking Satan on in our own power. The fact is that we are all a part of the greater church and Jesus is always with His church.
Third we are to carry on the power of Christ in the world today. We are called by Christ to use compassion to reach a world locked in sin. We as believers are called to tell people of the freeing power of Jesus Christ. We who have found the freedom of Christ must tell those still enslaved how to be free. The Holy Spirit does the work of changing their life, but we have the responsibility to proclaim the promise of Christ to the world.
We often do not feel we are adequate in our lives and witness, but the fact is that every believer is a rock for Jesus. If you are built upon the cornerstone, which is Jesus then you are a part of the foundation of a message of hope for the entire world. We all must stand firm in the foundation of our faith, and be strong unmoved rocks to a world that is sinking in sin. We must learn to have faith and trust Christ’s promises that Hell itself can not stand against Christ’s mission and His church.
We who are the church of Jesus must stand firm and boldly tell the world how to be free in the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Be His rock in the lives of people on the journey of life you are on.
— Daniel Shipton