Matthew 16:16-18 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
The whole notion that Peter was the first pope, for the reason that Jesus chose Him as the rock of the church, is not actually supported by scriptures. The above is the scripture in question. The following is the Catholic church interpretation and explanation of it.
“Simon’s confession of faith was inspired by God, and Jesus declares that this divine aid to take hold of the truth makes Simon (and not just his faith) the rock foundation of the Church, so much so that Jesus changes Simon’s name to the Rock (Kephas in Aramaic (see Jn 1:42) or Petros (Peter) in Greek). Jesus further gives to Peter the role of leadership among the Apostles by telling him “you must strengthen your brothers.” (Lk 22:32) and “feed my sheep” (Jn 21:15-19). Peter continued to exercise this leadership in the life of the early Church at the Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15), declaring what “we believe” (v. 11), even to the extent that the Church under his leadership can speak in the name of the Holy Spirit (v. 28).”
I agree wholeheartedly that Jesus gave Peter some leadership over the other apostles, but now I point out also that Paul wrote more in the New Testament than Peter. So.. If Peter were truly the one Jesus wanted to build His church upon, then why didn’t Peter write the majority of the NT?
No. Jesus said “You are Peter, and upon THIS rock I will build my church.” In other words, you are rock solid on this, Peter, and this revelation is the rock upon which I will build my church. How many of us know that we are in fact still human? As was Peter. Nothing against him. He was mightily used of God. But if God built his church on a man, then we would long ago have been completely undone. More so than we already are.
I mean, come on people. We live in a day and age where false prophets abound, teaching doctrines that aren’t scriptural, and then adding to the bible. Writing new and extra books that are so full of theological errors that they have to make an entire religion out of them in order to keep it going. And that’s how we get the Mormon church, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Church of Christ, and every other weird out there denomination. I know for a fact there are followers of Jesus in these churches, and that’s a good thing, but I would caution all against many of these places, and I would tell you to examine every single teaching against the Bible itself. The moment it strays from scriptures, it is wrong. Which makes it a heresy. We are supposed to deal with these things, not just brush them off as denominational quirks. There’s no room for denominations in Heaven. There will only be followers of Jesus. He was clear in his teachings, and as His followers, we are called to live in the same way He did. He lived a life in the spirit, teaching in the temples, preaching to the lost, and performing miracles of all kinds in the power of the Holy Ghost.
This is what we are called to. Anything taught in scriptures is something we must know, and understand. But the teachings that we are to make sure we know first, are those that Jesus Himself taught.