The Pope in Scripture

Jesus Christ appointed Simon to be the very first Pope.

MT 16:13-23 NAB

Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi

Caesarea Philippi is a very special place. On top of the rock was a Roman Temple dedicated to their gods. At the foot of the rock is a hole so deep it was reputed to go all the way to Hades, the home of the dead. Keep this in mind as you listen to Jesus’ words to St. Peter.
and he asked his disciples,

“Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”

They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah,
still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

Jesus asked His students, whom the people thought that He was. They gave various answers, the people thought that Jesus was the reincarnation of John the Baptist, Elijah or one of the other Prophets.

He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”

Then He asked them, pointedly, who they that that He was. This time, they fell silent. Except for St. Peter. He spoke up immediately!

Simon Peter said in reply,
“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

He said, “You are the Messiah for whom we’ve been waiting. He who is to save the world. God incarnate.”

Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah.
For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.

And Jesus in turn said to St. Peter, “You could not have known this if my Father in heaven had not revealed this to you. Therefore, I want you to know that you are blessed.

And so I say to you, you are Peter,

Further, I name you Rock.

and upon this rock I will build my Church,

Because of your rocklike faith, I will build my Church upon you, the way this Roman temple is built upon this mountain.

and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.

And the Church which I build will storm the doors of hell and hades and give eternal life to all whom she baptizes and persevere in well doing.

I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven.
Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven;
and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

And I will give you, Peter, the keys to heaven. Whom you save will be saved. Whom you do not save will not be saved. What you decree will be obeyed on earth and in heaven. Because your voice will be the voice of God on earth.

By naming him Rock, Jesus gave Peter His own name. Thus signifying that Peter would represent Him on earth. Is this shocking to you?

Perhaps you never wondered why Jesus named Simon, Rock. Here’s why. Because He wanted all to know that Simon would be he to whom all must turn who want to know God’s will. There is a precedent for this in Scripture:

Exodus 7:1
King James Version (KJV)
7 And the Lord said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet.

Exodus 18:13-15
King James Version (KJV)
13 And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses sat to judge the people: and the people stood by Moses from the morning unto the evening.14 And when Moses’ father in law saw all that he did to the people, he said, What is this thing that thou doest to the people? why sittest thou thyself alone, and all the people stand by thee from morning unto even?15 And Moses said unto his father in law,
Because the people come unto me to enquire of God:

Exodus 19:9
King James Version (KJV)
9 And the Lord said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee, and believe thee for ever. And Moses told the words of the people unto the Lord.

God put Moses in a position of authority over the people. Jesus has done the same thing with Simon. God covered Moses with the Cloud, Jesus gave Simon His own name, Rock along with the keys to the Kingdom (Matt 16:18-19) and appointed him Shepherd over the Church (John 21:15-17).

In the same way, Jesus has appointed Simon as Shepherd over His flock.

John 21:15-17
King James Version (KJV)
15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.

16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

And in order to bring this point home, Jesus gave Simon His own name, “Rock” or “Peter”.
This is to signify the type of authority which Jesus has given to Simon. He has the authority to bind and loose in God’s name.

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