Monday, January 18, 2010

Confession of St. Peter

The Confession of St. Peter
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
January 18, 2010

The Lord be with you

In the Church Year today is set aside as “the Confession of St. Peter.” On the secular calendar used in the United States today is used to remember Martin Luther King Jr. This post deals with the Confession of St. Peter found in Matthew 18:13-20, Mark 8:27-29, and Luke 9:18-20. This is where Peter confesses Jesus to be “the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” In each of the Gospels that record this event it is a turning point in the story. From this point on Jesus is heading towards Jerusalem and Holy Week.

The confession of St. Peter did not arise in the imagination of Peter’s heart but was revealed to him by the Father. The reason this confession is important is seen in Jesus’ response: “You are Peter [Greek Petros], and on this rock [Greek petra] I will build My church” (Matthew 16:18). As the people of God in the Old Testament began with the person of Abraham, the rock from which God’s people were hewn (Isaiah 51:1-2), so the people of God in the New Testament would begin with the person of Peter, whose confession is the rock on which Christ would build His church. But Peter was not alone (the “keys” given to him in Matthew 16:19 were given to all the disciples in Matthew 18:18 and John 20:21-23). As St. Paul tells us, Peter and the other apostles take their place with the prophets as the foundation of the Church, with Christ Himself as the cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20). The confession of Peter, therefore, is the witness of the entire apostolic band and is foundational in the building of Christ’s Church. Thus the Church gives thanks to God for St. Peter and the other apostles who have instructed Christ’s Holy Church in His divine and saving truth.

Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert

No comments:

Post a Comment