13 When Yeshua came into the territory around Caesarea Philippi, he asked his talmidim (disciples/students), “Who are people saying the Son of Man is?” 14 They said, “Well, some say Yochanan the Immerser (John the Immerser), others Eliyahu (Elijah), still others Yirmeyahu (Jeremiah) or one of the prophets.” 15 “But you,” he said to them, “who do you say I am?” 16 Shim‘on Kefa (Simon Peter) answered, “You are the Mashiach (Messiah), the Son of the living God.” 17 “Shim‘on Bar-Yochanan (Simon Son of Jonah),” Yeshua said to him, “how blessed you are! For no human being revealed this to you, no, it was my Father in heaven. 18 I also tell you this: you are Kefa,” [which means ‘Rock,’] “and on this rock I will build my Community, and the gates of Sh’ol will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you prohibit on earth will be prohibited in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.” 20 Then he warned the talmidim not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.
The teaching from this passage is a huge part of our trips in Israel. The events that happened at Caesarea Philippi were a turning point in the life of the Community. At one of the highest points in Israel (the area is on the Golan Heights and sits just at the base of Mt Hermon - the highest point) Jesus was declared to be the Messiah, the Son of God.
Simon Peter recognized, in an area that was filled with Gentile idolatry, that Jesus was more than just a mere man. He was no the "pre-runner" or a "prophet," He was truly the Messiah.
Peter's name means "rock." Jesus said, "and on this rock I will build my Community..."
Jesus did NOT use the word church like many of us think. Jesus did NOT come to establish a church as we know it. Jesus came to establish a Community that reached around the world.
When we think of a church, we think of "going somewhere." Even though most of us understand that we ARE the church, and we make comments accordingly, we still think of "going to church."
God wants us to think of Community. Community is where we live. Community is where we do LIFE. Community is making a difference in the immediate world around us. THIS concept is what God built upon.
There is so much more that can be said about all that occurred. But I want you to ponder today on, "what are you doing in your community?" Are you making a difference where you live?
Love and blessings,
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