John Maybury - 8 December 2019

Bind & Loose

The Keys of the Kingdom

Part of Series: "The Keys of the Kingdom"

One of the most dramatic moments in Jesus’ life is recorded in Matthew 16:13–20. After asking his disciples who they thought he was, Peter rightly identifies him as “the Christ, the Son of the Living God” (16:16). Moments later Jesus says this to Peter: “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (16:19). So what are the keys of the kingdom?
In both the Old and New Testaments, keys symbolize power and authority. The nature of that power and authority varies depending on the context. Jesus claims that the experts in the Jewish Law “have taken away the key of knowledge.” In other words, through their hypocrisy they have not only failed to enter the kingdom of God themselves, but have prevented others from entering as well.
While the focus in this passage is Peter, this same authority is extended to the entire church in Matthew 18:18.

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