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Matthew 16:13-23 – On This Rock

Matthew 16:13-23 - On This Rock

“I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” (Matthew 16:18)1

It’s one of the great statements and promises of Jesus, but what does it actually mean?

As we take a look at the setting in the region of Caesarea Philippi and the storyline of what’s unfolding in Matthew’s gospel, we find some incredible symbolism that is present with the idea of a rock and the gates of Hades.

We discover the foundational role that the Apostles – starting with Peter – played in how Jesus is building His church.  We still benefit from their ministry today as the original announcers of salvation in Christ and the ones given the authority to pass on Jesus’ instructions to His Church.


1The Holy Bible: New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1984), Mt 16:18.


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