It is hard to imagine the confusion that swirled around Jesus during his ministry. The entire Jewish world had already been ripe with expectations of a Messiah, but Jesus was not exactly what they expected. It is strange when you think about it—that a person could miss seeing the Messiah because he expected the Messiah to be different. I think this is what the prophets were talking about when they warned man about making God in their own image. It is sobering to consider that I could miss something very important about God because I expected something else. It is testimony to the importance of keeping an open mind.
When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 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. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.
Now what seems strange to me about this passage is that not one of the disciples asked Jesus,
Lord, what is a church? Don’t you think that is odd? Up to this point, he had said nothing about any church. Now, out of the clear blue sky he says He is going to build his church. What is a church, anyway?