“He [Jesus ] asked them, ‘But who do you say I am?’
Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God!’
Jesus replied, ‘Simon, son of Jonah, you are blessed! No human revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven revealed it to you’ ” (Matthew 16:15-17 God’s Word).

What a story this tells! This reveals the rock upon which Jesus would build the Church, standing on what God says, a very personal relationship with Creator, and speaking out and/or acting upon the revelation of God.

Machu Picchu, 2008, showing how the city is firmly set on the moutaintop

Machu Picchu, 2008, showing how the city is firmly set on the mountaintop

Note: While the pun about Peter’s name meaning “stone” appears in every commentary and devotional the doctrine that Peter is the foundation goes contrary to all of Scripture. For example, “After all, no one can lay any other foundation than the one that is already laid, and that foundation is Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:11 God’s Word), and “You are built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets. Christ Jesus himself is the cornerstone” (Ephesians 2:20 God’s Word). So, Jesus refers to divine revelation about the Messiah as the “rock”. Peter being only a “stone” can’t do it.

What happens only a few verses later reinforces what I have said:
“From that time on Jesus began to inform his disciples that he had to go to Jerusalem. There he would have to suffer a lot because of the leaders, chief priests, and scribes. He would be killed, but on the third day he would be brought back to life.
Peter took him aside and objected to this. He said, ‘Heaven forbid, Lord! This must never happen to you!’
But Jesus turned and said to Peter, ‘Get out of my way, Satan! You are tempting me to sin. You aren’t thinking the way God thinks but the way humans think’ ” (Matthew 16:21-23 God’s Word).

Suddenly Peter gets caught listening to the devil, when moments before the great revelation about Jesus as the Saviour came to the very same person!

Be alert! Every waking moment of every day, “Keep your mind clear, and be alert. Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion as he looks for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8 God’s Word).

If Peter can one moment be deep in the arms of God and the next be spouting demonic trash, I guarantee anyone can.

“So, people who think they are standing firmly should be careful that they don’t fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12 God’s Word).

Humility, God-like love, servanthood and community accountability help protect against such error.

“Pray in the Spirit in every situation. Use every kind of prayer and request there is. For the same reason be alert. Use every kind of effort and make every kind of request for all of God’s people (Ephesians 6:18 God’s Word, emphasis added).