keys of the kingdom

Matthew 16:19

16:19 keys of the kingdom. The “keys” here are not literal keys, of course, but rather a metaphor for the message that would open the way to salvation for those hearers who would respond. A similar figurative use of a “key” is in Luke 11:52, where Jesus charged the lawyers of His day with taking away “the key of knowledge.” Peter, representing all the apostles, used these keys (i.e., the gospel message) to open the door to the Jews at Pentecost, then to the believers of Samaria, then to the Gentiles at the house of Cornelius (Acts 2:14-41; 8:14-17; 10:17-48).

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