#0108 The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone
Scripture relevant to today’s posting…
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 The same was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
John 1:1-5 (KJV)
Today’s posting is part 10 of the new series: “Words of the Bible vs. the WORD”. This series is based upon material to be included in my new book. As I am inspired to write this, I am posting these ideas on-the-fly, so they will be fleshed out and edited more before they get incorporated into the book. Today we are going back to the original source scripture for Apostolic Authority which the Catholic Church uses as its spiritual foundation—and seemingly with impunity. We are taking another look at that scripture in Matthew 16:13-18 to see if we can begin to detect a new perspective from what Jesus is saying to Peter and to the rest of us who are listening. I will be employing another Scripture from Matthew to help us get a bead on this new perspective.
Words of the Bible vs. the WORD
These money changer and merchants were filling a niche market afforded them by the Mosaic Law. The law required that the people bring a live bird or other small animal with them so they could give it to one of the temple priests who would slaughter and burn it for them; and in this way they would make their obligatory burnt sacrifice. These merchants were making it more convenient for them by having doves for sale right in the vestibule of the temple. Think of them as concessionaires.
The question remains today: “Where does the struggle between these two authorities leave the Holy Ghost authority-wise?” This is the big question left hanging in the air since the time of Luther and the other reformers came along challenging the Apostolic Authority of the Catholic Church. Could it be there is a 3rd option which hasn’t been considered…something that is mentioned in the scriptures, which alludes to authority but at the same time gives this authority back into the control of the Holy Ghost. This is where divine authority (God’s authority) belongs and from there God—the Holy Ghost—distributes it when, how and to whom He will? Perhaps the very same scripture in Matthew on which the Catholics place so much importance has been misinterpreted and misrepresented all this time. When Jesus says to Peter: “…upon this rock I will build my Church.” maybe He was referring to something else—not Peter—as being the rock upon which He intended to build the Church. We are going to look at those Matt. 16 verses again in just a minute; but in the meantime, let me throw something else at you that Jesus says in a later verse of Matthew…
42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures:
“‘The stone the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
the Lord has done this,
and it is marvelous in our eyes’?”
Matt. 21:42 (NIV)
In using this reference to “the stone the builders rejected”; Jesus is referring to Himself and He goes on to say that this stone has become the cornerstone. By employing this reference, Jesus is using the same imagery He used while addressing Peter in Matt. 16, to illustrate the design and construct of His Church. In this illustration, He refers to Himself as the cornerstone; so if Jesus is the cornerstone (metaphorically speaking) around whom all of His disciples are meant to gather and form the Church…why would He make Peter the bedrock of this edifice?! Wouldn’t it be a clearer metaphor if Peter was portrayed as a foundation stone—one of many—who is perhaps positioned in close proximity to Jesus: the “cornerstone”?! Wouldn’t the Catholic’s presumption that Peter is the rock upon which the Church is built, tend to confuse the imagery? Doesn’t the portrayal of Peter as the very bedrock underlying the entire edifice of the Church place Jesus (as its cornerstone) in a position subordinate to Peter’s?! There is something askew with this picture. Now let’s look at Matt. 16 again; but this time let’s begin with verse 13…
13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.
Matt. 16: 13-18 (NIV)
I highlighted key words to help make my point. This whole episode is a depiction of Jesus testing where His disciples were spiritually. He first asks a general question: Who do the people think I am? And they report out about some chatter they’ve been getting from the crowds who’ve been following them around as to whom they think Jesus is. Then Jesus asks: Who do you guys think I am? At this point, Jesus is just fishing to see if any of them has a different—a deeper—notion about who He is. And when Simon Peter answers with what he says and in the way he says it gives Jesus the answer to what he was testing for; had the Holy Ghost rested on any of them yet—revealing to them who Jesus was? It was obvious that He (the Holy Ghost) had done so; at least with Peter. And He may well have rested and revealed Jesus’s identity to some of the others—possibly to all of them—but Peter just happened to speak up first.
If you have a question or a comment about this or other postings please feel free to send them in. As usual, thanks for reading.
TBC: Saturday, September 17, 2016