Think, Act, Be, Day 4-Matthew 16:3-19
“Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven.”
One of the tasks that Jesus gives the church is to bind and loosen. The metaphor relates to an ancient doorkeeper. This person held the keys to a large building and stood at the entrance watching those who came inside. He opened doors and closed access too. It was a heavy responsibility for anyone.
In the same way, Jesus gives us an awesome responsibility. We are the doorkeepers for Jesus. As we teach scripture, we bind and loosen. We bind people to Jesus aligning them with his word. We also use scripture to loosen them from the bonds of sin and from rules, guilt, and duty that have burdened their lives. Parents use scripture to help them guide their children, and churches use scripture to guide our teaching. It’s a heavy responsibility. How we teach, share, and welcome people into the faith affects heaven.
For example, take the issue of slavery. For centuries, Christians taught that the scriptures permitted slavery. Why? Because slaves are addressed in scripture. By the 18th century, people began to read Paul quite literally in Galatians, “In Christ, there is neither Jew nor Greek, male nor female, slave nor free.” Churches became a place to release (to loose) those held captive by others.
How do we know what is binding and what we are to loosen? By trusting Jesus and his word to guide us. Built on the rock of Christ, we use the keys he has given us to open doors for others to believe in Him by grace.
Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. 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. 19 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.”