"I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I ... My church; and the gates of Hades will not ... it." -Matthew 16:18 ... words of Jesus above spoken to Peter conveyed m
"I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it." - Matthew 16:18 (NASU)
The words of Jesus above spoken to Peter conveyed many meanings. They were not only an utterance of prophecy. They were meant also to build up and to give Peter a life of significance. Peter was a man given to impulse, a characteristic that belied an obvious need to be esteemed.
There are many like Peter, people who desire a life of significance. Yet, in this world of increasing materialism, instant gratification and compromised morals, finding significance is more like a search for the Holy Grail.
Still, living a life of significance is possible. It begins with four thoughts we can find in the verse quoted above.
1. KNOW YOU ARE SPECIAL ("...You are Peter"). Jesus wasn't merely reminding Peter of his name. He was, in effect, saying, "You are somebody. In fact, you're no longer Simon the fisherman, but Peter the rock!"
God doesn't create junk. He created you with a perfect and eternal plan in mind that, when fulfilled, will reveal the profound love God has for all mankind. He's given you skills, talents and gifts so you can do your part in that divine plan.
2. KNOW YOUR PURPOSE ("...upon this rock I will build My church"). God's divine plan is fulfilled when we realize that we are in this world for a purpose. Certainly that purpose isn't confined in building our own home, owning the latest car model or wearing the most expensive jewelry.
Our purpose would definitely have something to do with other people. Thus, we must find our purpose in serving others or meeting their needs. A purpose that seeks to benefit others is not only noble, it is divine.
3. KNOW YOUR WEAKNESSES ("...and the gates of Hades will not overpower it"). What defeats divine purpose is our weaknesses, because weaknesses tend to feed the self and cause problems (e.g. Peter's denial of Jesus).
Yet, when we admit our weaknesses and seek to correct them, we consequently mature and become more of a blessing to those we serve or relate with. In turn, we also help others mature. We must not go through life with a defeatist but a victoriuos attitude. This means we must first conquer our weaknesses.
4. KNOW WHO GOD IS ("I also say to you..."). It was Jesus who was addressing Peter, therefore he was trustworthy and believable. But, more than this, he was the Son of God!
And this is the crux of the matter: It is within a relationship with God that we can find significance in our lives. It's not about religion; it's not about doctrines and dogma; it's not about church and denomination.
It's about relationship. In our mundane world, we need to be able to touch the divine. To do so is to begin to live a life of significance.
Dee Mapa has been a writer for over 20 years. His thought-provoking artickes have appeared in various off-line and on-line publications. You can subscribe to receive his weekly messages by sending a blank e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org