Jesus went to the remote little village of Caesarea Philippi with His disciples. It was a beautiful place with orchards and running streams ― a wonderful place to relax and rest. It was also a perfect place for Jesus to set the stage to have a real heart-to-heart talk with His disciples. Perhaps gathered there under the unfolding branches of a tree, He posed a searching question, “Who do men say that I am?”
The disciples could have said, “Well, Jesus, some are saying You’re a winebibber, while others are saying You’re the devil. Others are saying You’re Beelzebub.” Sometimes we say a whole lot by what we don’t say. There are lots of things we may feel like saying, but they don’t need to be said because they cut to the bone. Instead, the disciples said, “Some say You’re John the Baptist, others are saying You are Elijah, and others say that You are Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
Perhaps then, Jesus paused and said, “Thank you for those fine compliments. It’s wonderful to be compared with such men. But let Me pose the most penetrating question: ‘Who do you say that I am?’” Quick as a flash, Peter, perhaps leaping to his feet, said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
And Jesus, the Bible says, blessed him and said, “Simon Peter, you did not find this out through men, but My Father in heaven revealed it to you. You are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church. Not upon you, Peter. You are not the rock. God is the rock. Peter, you’re a man. You are subject to shortcomings, faults, problems, and mistakes. You’re a man who will deny Me three times, but you will also walk through the streets, and when your shadow passes over people, they will be healed and rise up from their cots. I am the rock, but upon this revelation that you know who I am, I will build My church.” (See Matthew 16:13-18.)
Jesus used the words, “My church.” He used the words, “My Father, My disciples, My Word, and My church.”
The true Christian church is upright. It reaches out to the broken, the battered, the bruised, the weak and worn, and to those who are struggling.
That is the true Christian church of which we are a part ― the Church where Jesus is the foundation and where His name is lifted up.