As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in Scripture: “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.” So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone, “and “A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.” They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do. – 1 Peter 2:4-8 ESV
The imagery in the Bible is fascinating. Jesus is called the ROCK. A ROCK is solid, it is what things are built upon, what people stand upon and what can be used as an offensive weapon and as a defensive assistant. It can build or it can be used to destroy. Notice the exchange between Peter and Jesus in Matthew 16: Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (Matthew 16:13-18) It is CHRIST, His blood, His Word, HIS NAME that does all the Work. It is God who wills in us and works in us. Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. (Philippians 2:12-13) It is God who prepares in advance, good works for us to walk through! See Ephesians 2:10
Leader, let me paraphrase THE WORD! In verse 18 Jesus is saying, You are Peter, A LITTLE ROCK, and upon this massive rock (the knowledge that I AM THE CHRIST) I will build my church. In other words, of himself, Simon is just a little rock, but in Jesus’ hands, he becomes a massive rock that Jesus will use on the Pentecost after His resurrection to start calling the church (notice that verse 20 of Matthew 16 explains that Peter and the other disciples were not to do this any earlier). The idea is not that the church rests on Peter, but that it begins upon an act of Peter—his PREACHING THE GOSPEL. Jesus is alluding to the fact that He would use Peter to preach the first sermon, the creation of the church- on Pentecost, and that He would also use Peter to bring the Gospel to the Gentiles (Acts 10). In this way, Peter would be foundational to the beginnings of the church. But this is a far cry from saying that Peter was the first pope. This is just one of many misinterpretations of the WORD OF GOD, by man in attempt to be RELIGIOUS- to be GOODNUFF for GOD!
Conduit, In 1 Samuel 17 we learn the power of a LITTLE ROCK in the hand of someone who could wield it with Great power! Then Saul clothed David with his armor. He put a helmet of bronze on his head and clothed him with a coat of mail, and David strapped his sword over his armor. And he tried in vain to go, for he had not tested them. Then David said to Saul, “I cannot go with these, for I have not tested them.” So David put them off. Then he took his staff in his hand and chose five smooth stones from the brook and put them in his shepherd’s pouch. His sling was in his hand, and he approached the Philistine. (1 Samuel 17:38-40) And the Philistine moved forward and came near to David, with his shield-bearer in front of him. And when the Philistine looked and saw David, he disdained him, for he was but a youth, ruddy and handsome in appearance. And the Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. The Philistine said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and to the beasts of the field.” Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. (v:41-45) A stone in the hand of a SLINGSHOT MASTER is deadly! David, a mere boy, took out a mighty giant- 9-foot 9-inch Goliath from Gad! In the ‘early days’ followers of THE WAY of Jesus, were called Christians- it was a derogatory term, it means LITTLE CHRIST! The power that we have is not in our strength, but in the hand of the MASTER WHO WIELDS this stone! Today, choose WHO IS YOUR MASTER? Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation. (1 Peter 2:11-12)