Matt. 16:13-20 – Who Do People Say That I Am?
Ultimately that’s the question that needs to be answered. For me, however, the words are not enough. How does my belief find voice in the actions of my life is of greater importance to me.
A couple interesting thoughts in connection to this passage. The first is that Jesus tells Peter that his “revelation” was given to him by the Father and not something that he necessarily put together in his own head. Being a logical person who has a fondness for the scientific method I have to recognize that there are limitations to putting together arguments meant to lead to faith. There’s always some gulf that reason cannot get us all the way too. This is not to say that Faith is deliberately illogical or that God intentionally does things contrary to logic (though Jesus does say that the Father delights in revealing his truth to the innocent and simpleminded while hiding it from the “wise” (Matt 11:25). It’s just that the Reality of Faith tends to move past logic and what can be known logically.
As a non-catholic, the literal interpretation of Peter’s supremacy is problematic. As someone who has a hard time understanding human attempts at supremacy to begin with, I’m not sure what to do with the concept that someone has the authority to effect universal heavenly change (binding and loosing things). Given how Jesus himself was wrongly subjected to the political authorities (though ultimately for good reason), it just causes me to be reluctant to see God’s authority in the decisions of men. Maybe it’s better to think about the fellowship of believers being founded on the Truth of who Jesus is and thus the Faith built on that Truth has the means to change things (for the good) on Earth and in Heaven. I just don’t see in the 2000 years since these words were spoken that any governing body has done any better regardless of their confession regarding their supposed Faith in God. This is something that is just beyond me, at the moment.
The important thing is how one’s Faith and understanding of who Jesus is effects the rest of one’s life. JBB 11/29/2004