Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 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. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. (Matthew 16:17-19)
Jesus asked His disciples, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” After receiving various answers, He then asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” That is when Peter boldly answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” He nailed it in one, but not because of his own ingenuity — it was a revelation he received from heaven. “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.”
The kingdom Jesus preached and taught is the connection between heaven and earth. The revelation Peter received on earth came from the Father in heaven. It was the foundational truth that Jesus is the Messiah, the One Anointed by God to redeem His people and be their King. Indeed, Jesus is the Son of the Living God, which is to say that He is the only true God and the source of all life. This powerful truth is the basis for the kingdom of Heaven on Earth, and of the Church.
Jesus said that on this rock, this revelation, He would build His Church, and the gates of hell could not be able to overcome it. The gates of ancient Biblical cities were where the business pertaining to those cities was conducted. They were where counsels were determined and strategies devised. All the strategies and devices of hell will never be able to prevail against that which Jesus has built on the revelation of who He is. Indeed, the Church shall overcome and undo all the strategies of hell. For the Church has been given the keys to the kingdom of Heaven on Earth.
Keys control the gates. They open things up and shut things tight. They bind and they loose. The keys of the kingdom are the authority and power to bind on earth what has already been bound in heaven and loose on earth what has already been loosed in heaven. It is not the gates of hell, but rather the counsels and strategies of heaven, the will of our Father being done on earth as it is in heaven, that will prevail.
The authority and power of the keys to the kingdom of Heaven on Earth is found in the revelation that Jesus is the Anointed King, the Son of the Living God.
The Kingdom of Heaven on Earth
Keys to the Kingdom of God
in the Gospel of Matthew
by Jeff Doles
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