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.” vs. 19Matthew 16:17-20
While actual historical evidence is lacking, there is no doubt that Peter was associated with the community of Christians in Rome and probably died there as a martyr. As centuries passed and the bishop of Rome gained greater authority, Peter was widely believed to have been the first pope. They pointed to this verse from Matthew as verification of his primacy. He was Peter, the Rock, and on him, Jesus had established his Church. As the years passed and the bishop of Rome consolidated power, various popes realized that this authorization as the keeper of the keys had enormous significance. By wielding this power to bind sins, popes were able to bring the rulers of Europe to their knees and even declare allegiance to them. They even used the power of keys as a money-maker and were able to sell indulgences for their capital projects, including St. Peter’s Cathedral in Rome. It’s difficult to see how this could have been a part of Jesus’ intention when he called Peter the Rock. Naturally the Church needs leaders, but there’s no need for them to use their positions for personal gain and notoriety. We need sacrificial servants and not folks who flaunt their wealth and material possessions. Thank God that there are such servant leaders rocking the Church today! They are a solid foundation!
Thought for the Day: How is the power of the keys used today?