Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Wednesday after the Fifth Sunday after Trinity Sunday

Posted on July 3, 2024 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
Leave a comment
Scripture: St. Matthew 16:13-26 (NKJV)
16:13 When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?”
14 So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
16 Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.
18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
20 Then He commanded His disciples that they should tell no one that He was Jesus the Christ.
21 From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.
22 Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!”
23 But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”
24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”
Roman Catholics think that this passage establishes their doctrine of the Papacy. According to them, the first pope, Peter, is the “rock” upon which Christ’s Church is built. As that rock, he and all his successors have authority to introduce new laws and customs for securing the forgiveness of sins.
However, the Scriptures teach that the Church is not built upon any one man. It is established in the right confession about Jesus Christ. The Church is “built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone” (Eph. 2:20). Thus, in our reading today, Jesus does not say that the Church is built upon Peter. Rather it is built upon Peter’s confession of faith: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
While this passage does not give Peter authority to add new laws for securing righteousness, it does give him authority to bind and loose sins. All those placed into the Office of the Ministry are authorized to forgive sins, according to Jesus’ words, “whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Thus we can be confident that when our pastor forgives our sins, he is doing it by God’s authority. God has authorized him to forgive sins. Therefore, when our sins are loosed by him on earth, they are also loosed by God in heaven.
Collect: O God, Who hast prepared for them that love Thee such good things as pass man’s understanding: Pour into our hearts such love toward Thee, that we, loving Thee above all things, may obtain Thy promises, which exceed all that we can desire; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Leave a Comment