Isaiah 22:19-23; Psalm 138:1-3, 6, 8; Romans 11:33-36;Matthew 16:13-20
Upon this rock I will build my church. (Matthew 16:18)
For years, Mother Teresa of Calcutta was an object of international acclaim, a celebrity of sorts whom people wanted to meet. Yet not everyone who sought her out embraced her words about serving Jesus or finding God in the poorest of the poor. In a sense, Mother Teresa made people feel good. Here was a person freely serving the poor without wanting anything in return. How upbeat is that!
In a similar way, Jesus had become a minor celebrity in his own time. Many people knew of him, but not many grasped who he was or the nature of his mission. But that changed somewhat when Simon Peter announced that Jesus was the Messiah and Son of God. Up to that point, Jesus had revealed himself through miracles and sermons. Now it was time to move to the next level—at least with his disciples. It was time to begin showing them what kind of Messiah he was, that he was out to do more than heal and forgive. He had come to establish a Church, not just pardon people’s sins—and the disciples were destined to become that Church’s pillars!
Establishing the Church was the most important thing Jesus came to do. What good would it have been if he had stopped at redeeming us from sin? We would still have needed his ongoing grace to grow closer to him and help change the world. And that’s exactly what the Church is for. As we are taught by his word and nourished by his Body and Blood, we can keep moving forward, becoming the holy people he longs for us to be.
How do you see Jesus? As your personal Friend and Savior? Or as the Lord of a new creation? Yes, he came to rescue you from sin. But he also came to give you a new home!
“Jesus, thank you for making us into your people, your Church. Teach us to love each other and to lay down our lives for each other—just as you did.”~WAU