"And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church" (Matthew 16:18).
Which is more important? (a) The first rock of God's Temple? (b) All the rocks put together (Church)? or, (c) The Person building the whole thing (Jesus Christ)?
About a thousand years prior to the time the words of our text were spoken, King David wanted to build a temple for God. The tent seemed inadequate. David's desire was worthy, but it was left for David's Son to be the real builder of God's Temple: "And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish His kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of His kingdom for ever" (II Samuel 7:12-13).
Just who would this Son be? One of David's sons, Solomon, did construct a beautiful but limited temple for his God, but this was a mere shadow of the glorious Temple to be made up of living stones (I Peter 2:5) and constructed by David's greatest Son (Matthew 1:1).
Jesus came to make a perfect Temple. He did not refurbish Solomon's or Herod's efforts. These mere shadows were insufficient, and Peter had just made an astounding confession—that Jesus was and is the Messiah, David's perfect Son, and God's most precious Son. This is the kind of confession Jesus desires, and Peter's confession qualified him as the first rock in Christ's new Church; many others, making similar confessions would follow. Should our focus be on one or even many rocks? Should we not rather look to the One putting all the rocks together? May all who read these words, like Peter, affirm the majesty and wonder of Jesus, the long-promised Messiah, God's unique Son, the only Savior of mankind! PGH