Matthew 16:18 (NRSV): 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.
There’s an interesting play on words here. The Greek version of “Peter” is “Petros”. The Greek word for “rock” is “petra”. So when Jesus says “on this rock I will build my church…” he means that Peter and the disciples will be the foundation of the church which will start after Jesus ascends to heaven and has sent the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.
What grabs my attention today is “and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it”. I’ve generally thought of the church as something that takes a defensive posture, repelling attacks of the enemy as we share the gospel of Jesus and make disciples. But that’s not the picture Jesus paints for us here.
It is Hades on defense (behind its gates) and the church attacking!
I love this! There is much evil in our world, as you know. Today I’m wondering how I can be more aggressive in fighting evil, taking the fight to the enemy rather than waiting to be attacked. Mostly this involves being proactive in prayer, which is our primary weapon to defeat spiritual powers of evil. I’m spending some time in prayer today.
What about you? Where do you see evil on the loose? Will you take time to pray that evil will be defeated? Lord let it be so. Amen.