I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH…WHICH ONE?
The offer of the King and His kingdom is now in the process of being rejected by Israel, and the King is in the process of rejecting them. He has given an overview of how their offer of the Kingdom would be infiltrated by wickedness. This is the purpose of the parables in chapter 13. As he teaches His Disciples, He expounds more clearly some of the details.
The religious leader keep up the pressure, tempting Him to give them a direct sigh from heaven. His answer was that they were able discern the approaching weather, but were completely blind to their own Scriptures, and the prophesied signs of their Messiah. The one sign that would validate all He taught and did will be validated by His resurrection out from among the dead. Paul quotes this as a proof text of His deity. “…Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; 4 And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:” Romans 1:3-4.
As they departed and sailed across the lake, Jesus still has His mind on the Pharisees and Sadducees. He warns His Disciples to take heed of the teaching of these groups. The Disciples are confused because He used the word “leaven” instead of the word doctrine. Leaven, in many ways, and in most cases, is a type of evil in some form. Here, He warns them of their doctrine. “Of the hypocrisy of the Pharisees Mat 16:6-12Mark 8:15Luke 12:1 Of other evils 1Co 5:6-8Gal 5:9 Parable of Mat 13:33Luke 13:21.” Nave’s Topical Bible:
As the Lord continues the training of the Twelve, He must be sure that they are convinced as to His person. When the question is asked “whom do men say I am?” Their answer was, John the Baptist, Elias, Jeremiah, and other of the prophets. In other words, the multitudes were not sure. It was not imperative that they know, but His Disciples must be sure if they are to preach to others.
The question gets more direct, and Jesus asks the Twelve whom do you say I am? With limited understanding of Christ’s mission, Peter gives the right answer. “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” The Lord told Peter that he was blessed to know that, and He would build His Kingdom of Heaven church on that truth.
It is at this point the Baptist brethren make their greatest error. They assume the church Jesus speaks of is the church which was the mystery church revealed to Paul. They appear to be ignorant of the church that existed in the Old Testament, and during the transition period. Stephen speaks of this church. “This is he that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us:” Acts 7:38. That church was called out of Egypt. It consisted of the nation of Israel. Although in apostasy, it existed during the earthly ministry of Christ and His Apostles. However, most of that church had died and were in Paradise. This is the church that the “gates of hell” would not keep. They would be resurrected, and join with others who accepted Him as their Messiah, the Son of God. “Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.” Hebrews 2:12. “22 I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee. 23 Ye that fear the LORD, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel.” Psalm 22:22-23.
The “keys” given to Peter and all the Disciples is the knowledge and understanding of who Jesus Christ is. John sums it up. “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” John 20:31. Now, one should read this text without attempting to read the writings of Paul back into it.
The Disciples will be seated on twelve thrones judging the nation of Israel. They will have the delegated power and wisdom of Christ so that the decisions in all matters of judgment will be final and have the approval of the Father and the Son.
NOW, I hope I can get your attention for a few minutes. Verse 21 says it was at this point that Jesus BEGAN to inform of His Disciples of His upcoming rejection and death at Jerusalem. If pastors could grasp the implications of this truth, it would revolution their theology. At this point, it is but a few days until His crucifixion. NO ONE knew of His predestined death. However, He and the Twelve have been preaching the gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven to Israel for three years! Now, it is obvious that none preached His death, burial, and resurrection in any manner for salvation. John tells us that they did not know that He was to be resurrected. “For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.” John 20:9. The Disciples had much to learn. I have tried for years to get a Baptist to tell me the content of their gospel, and in what way Johns baptism related to their gospel. I have not had a straight answer yet…wonder why.
In light of His death, He tells them they must be willing to lose their life, if they hope to save it. Although every Christian should be willing to follow Christ to the death, the context is still part of the Kingdom Gospel. The promise of a view of the Kingdom would encourage them. We know the story, but one can only imagine what went through their mind.
Pastor Ken Blue was born in Boswell, Ark. In 1955 he accepted Christ as his Savior. He and his wife Joyce were married in 1955. They have 5 children. He graduated from Midwestern Baptist Bible College in 1969 and started the Open Door Baptist Church in Lynnwood, Wa. where he pastored for 39 years. Because of health issues (ALS) he was forced to resign as pastor. It is his desire to continue to be used of God to help pastors and believers through this ministry.