Who Is The Rock?

Discussion in 'Bible Study' started by Ben, Jul 7, 2008.

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  1. Who Is The Rock?

    There seems to be some confusion about just exactly who is "The Rock" is of scripture. Some teach that it was Peter and cite Matthew 16:18, "And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it." The Greek word Petros (Peter) literally means "a rock or a stone." So there we have it, Peter means "a rock or stone" and Christ said He will build His church upon a rock, so therefore the rock must be Peter? Well not quite so fast, lets see who else is called "The Rock" in scripture. God the Father is called The Rock no less than 27 times in the OT. Passages such as 1 Sam 22:47 ""The Lord lives! Blessed be my rock! May God, the rock of my salvation, be exalted!" Another example is found in Psalm 62:2, "He [God] only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be greatly moved."

    Jesus is also called a rock or stone in both the OT and the NT. For example in 1 Cor 10:4 "and all of them drank the same miraculous water. For they all drank from the miraculous rock that traveled with them, and that rock was Christ." 1 Peter 2:8 "And the Scriptures also say, "He [Christ] is the stone that makes people stumble, the rock that will make them fall." They stumble because they do not listen to God's word or obey it, and so they meet the fate that has been planned for them." (This passage is a quote from Isaiah 8:14.) Romans 9:33 states, "As it is written: "Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense,
    And whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame." (This passage quotes from Isaiah 8:14; 28:16.) 1 Peter 2:4, "Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious."

    So far the score is God 34, Peter 1. :D

    When a builder builds he begins with the foundation. Jesus said "Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock." (Matt 7:24.) Wise men choose a solid foundation such as a rock. 1 Cor 3:11 states, "For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ." Jesus said in Matt 7:26, "But anyone who hears my teaching and ignores it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. Sand is always shifting. Men of sand also shift, saying one thing with strong affirmation one minute then the next saying something opposite or nearly so. Matt 16:22, "But Peter took him [Jesus] aside and corrected him. 'Heaven forbid, Lord,' he said. "This will never happen to you!" Note this is just four passages from verse 18. Verse 23, "Jesus turned to Peter and said, "Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, and not from God's." Sand or rock, your choice.

    Note also that Jesus said "I will build My church..." Whose church? Christ's church, not Peter's church.

    This is not the only time there was confusion as to what Jesus actually meant when He spoke. In John 2:19-21, Jesus said, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days. The Jews replied, It has taken forty‑six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days? But by 'this temple,' Jesus meant his body." It is rather easy to imagine that Jesus placed both hands on His chest when he proclaimed "this temple" and it is just as easy to imagine He also placed both hands on his chest when He proclaimed "upon this rock." Gestures however are not found in either of these passages. :)

    Another explanation is that the term "this rock" could refer to Peter's statement, "Thou art the Christ the son of the living God." Jesus said that this truth was revealed "not by flesh and blood (in other words Peter didn't discover and proclaim this truth by himself) but by "My Father who is in heaven." One can imagine Peter's ego getting all puffed up when Jesus said "Blessed are you Simon Barjona..." only to have Jesus severly deflate it several moments later by calling him Satan. This is the only time a living person is referred to as Satan in the scriptures.

    Tradition claims that Peter died in Rome and was the first bishop of Rome. There is no scriptural evidence that Peter ever went to Rome. Paul, yes, Peter no. What did Jesus have to say about traditions? Mark 7:13, "[you] invalidate the word of God by your tradition which you have handed down; and you do many things such as that." Paul also warned us about following traditions in Col 2:8, "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ." Jesus mentioned traditions seven times in the NT, not even once did He ever command to follow them or obey them. In fact He never said anything good about them.:p

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