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The Living Stone

A stone is not a living thing. A stone is solid, sometimes immovable. A stone is used to build something upon. As the author of these epistles, Peter may have recalled the declaration Jesus made in Matthew 16:18, “On this rock I will build my church.”

“Who do people say the Son of Man is?’ They replied, ‘Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ ‘But what about you?’ Jesus asked. ‘Who do you say I am?’ Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ Jesus replied, ‘Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.’” (Matthew 16:13-18).

On the surface, it seemed as if Jesus was referring to Peter when He said, “On this rock I will build my church.” Because of the previous conversation from this passage, another viewpoint is more likely.

The word rock or stone has two meanings in Greek. One is Petros, meaning a movable stone. The other is Petra, meaning a large immovable stone. In other words, Matthew 16:18 would read, “you are Petros (a movable stone), and on this Petra (an unmovable large stone) I will build my church.”

Peter verbally identified that the Foundation Stone, the Cornerstone, the Living Stone was/is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. On that basic truth, God will build His church.

Jesus Christ is the beginning, the present, and the eternal reason for the church to exist. The Living Stone needs “stones” to build upon. That is the church.

Scripture says, “You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” (I Peter 2:5).

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