Binding and losing done right (Matt16:19-20)
Verse 13 This verse sets the context for this lesson. This is about 20 miles north of Galilee.
- This was a very Gentile region and perhaps the perfect back drop for what Jesus wanted to do.
- In the parallel story of Luke and Mark Jesus asks, “who do people say I am?”
Verse 14 The point here is, there is still confusion over who Jesus is.
Verse 15 Jesus then redirects the question to the Disciples themselves.
Verse 16 Peter is the first to speak up and declares Jesus to be the Messiah.
- This is the first time his disciples have used this term of Jesus.
- Others have called Him the Christ at this point.
- Demons have even referred to Him as son of God.
- This confession of Jesus as Messiah is the foundation for the teaching that is to come on binding and losing.
Verse 17 Jesus commends Peter for giving the right answer.
- The word translated here as Blessed, is a Greek word that means divine favor.
Verse 18 This appears to be the first time that Jesus calls him Peter.
- Peter calls Jesus Messiah for the first time and then Jesus calls Simon “Peter” for the first time.
- The idea that Peter is the Rock is mostly a Catholic Theology.
- Then Jesus says He will build His church on the rock. Which is why some think the Rock is Jesus.
- Then Jesus makes the statement the gates of hell will not overcome it.
- This has long been disputed as to what this really means.
Verse 19 Jesus goes from talking about the gates of hell in verse 18 to the keys of heaven in verse 19.
- The word translated here as “keys’ in the original language here means access to power.
- This same type of language and imagery of binding and losing is used in the OT and several times in other Jewish Rabbinical writings of the day. Jesus probably has one of these other uses un mind when he says this.
- As Commentator Tokunboh Adeyemo Points out, “Binding and losing were technical terms which were used to describe the authority of Rabbis determining what conduct was or forbidden and what was permitted.”
- This is largely where the tradition that Peter was the first pope of the Catholic church comes from.
Luke 9: 18-27 Because Matthew was writing to a Jewish audience, he takes what Jesus says very much through a Jewish lens and interprets this with the binding and losing imagery since that was language associated with Jewish Rabbis. Whereas Luke is writing to a Gentile audience and interrupts this through a different lens of how we are to live out our faith In Christ.
- Mark 8: 27-30 As is typical with Mark, He tends to give us the abbreviated version of the story.
- Isn’t it interesting that only matt includes this part about binding and losing?
- First rule of Good Theology, be very careful when something only appears once in Scripture.
- According to Luke 9 it seems like what Jesus was saying was more related to following hard after Jesus in Faith and not being Ashamed of Jesus and His Gospel.
- ** We are to create spiritual frameworks or systems that hinder and limit the work of the devil on earth while releasing the fulness of heaven on earth.
- When Jesus commended Simon for his faith in Verse 18 he refers to the gates of Hades.
- Psalm 100:4 can be a real key for us to enter into God’s gates.
- Rather than give verbal commands of losing heaven, I can give thanksgiving and Praise and I will enter into the Presence of God and His Fulness. The gates
- And in the very act of doing that, I have created a structure and framework where the devil is now unable to work.
- Luke 9:23 If it is Jesus and the Kingdom of heaven we want and not the work of the devil then we need to live a surrendered life.
Verse 20 The rendering of this verse is the one thing all three synoptic Gospels can agree on.
- Therefore, this is the main point of this section.
- If word gets out that the disciples have figured out that the Jesus is the Messiah, then things with the crowds could get ugly as they the crowd would try and force Jesus to meet their expectations.
Conclusion: So, let’s not think of binding and losing as quick verbal command prayers. But as a surrendered lifestyle that by default limits the work of the enemy and releases Kingdom atmosphere.