Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Need some clues for understanding

There is a passage of scripture that I love. "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, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” 20 Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ. "Matt 16:13-20 (ESV)

There are all types of interpreations of this verse. I have heard pastors talk about The Gates of Hades. The ESV actaully calls them the gats of hell. I have heard messages about how gates are defensive and we storm hell and defeat the devil.

There is the problem. Number one, the devil isn't in hell. Once people are in hell, Jesus said in his parable that it's too late. But what does this gates of hell mean? Look at this picture. It's a place in Casarea Phillippi. It's a temple of a pagan idol, it's called the grotto of pan. Pan was beleived to go from his little perch (the small cut out) and he heads into the cave. There use to be a river that came from it. It was believed that pan went into the cave and it was beleived he went to hades (greek underworld) and wintered in hell. Yes, the first snowbird went to hell for the winter. Give you some perspective on Arizona. Anyway.

The cave? It's called the gate of hades. Jesus was in Ceseara Phillippi. There was a pagan temple called the gates of hades where Jesus tells Peter "The gates of hades will not prevail". Notice it's a turist attraction? Guess what. The gates of hades fell. The Roman empire became a Christian empire, the gates of hades fell. Hmmmm. Maybe, does that change your view a little? I think it should.

1 comment:

  1. I think we as believers give way too much attention and worry to Satan. Yes, he is a formiddable opponent. And yes we should not underestimate him. However, we serve the creator of Heaven and earth. We serve the God who created satan. We serve the God who defeated Satan. If my God says, "...the gates of Hades shall not prevail..." Then in whatever context He was meaning, I take it to mean that Satan and his minions will not prevailing. God is the Victor!

    As a result, God owns us. He paid a great price for us. As our owner, He will not allow Satan, to do any harm to us that He does not approve of. That means that Satan has no power over us other then what we let him have.