Read: Matthew 16:13-20
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.
Built on the Rock
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Brady couldn’t believe it! It was still there! A whole year later, and it was still standing!
Last summer, Brady and his sister had a little friendly competition. Their family was on vacation and stayed in a cabin near a lake. One afternoon the two decided to have their own lake cabin building competition. Over by the edge of the woods along the shore of the water, the two went to work with their creations. Brady’s sister grabbed everything she could for her mini-cabin—branches, leaves, mud. She wanted to use the branches and mud to shape the best-looking cabin ever. Brady, however, grabbed a bunch of stones. He found a big, huge, flat, and solid stone that was the foundation. Then he carefully chose and stacked up other stones on top of it as he made his “toughest” cabin ever.
A day later, the mud cabin was gone. It rained and the lake water rose up onto the shore, completely washing the cabin away. But Brady’s stone cabin still stood there. In fact, one year later when they returned, there it was! The cabin of stones was still standing, strong as ever! Brady wisely chose to build his cabin on a solid foundation.
We have a solid foundation, too! Jesus makes that very clear to us today. Jesus asked his disciples who other people thought he was. There were all kinds of interesting but wrong answers. Peter had the right one: “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Peter believed in Jesus as the promised Savior who came to take away all our sins.
Jesus was happy with Peter’s answer because it was built on the rock-solid foundation that Jesus is the Messiah, the promised Savior. That is the solid foundation of his Church.
But watch out for mud and sand! Some people want to build faith on something besides Jesus. Some people believe if they are a good person, they can get into heaven. Some think Jesus was just a nice guy and a good teacher. Watch out! Those foundations will wash away! Build your trust on the rock-solid truth that Jesus is God’s own Son and your own Savior. That is a foundation that will never ever wash away!
Dear Jesus, help me to build my life on the rock-solid truth that you are my Savior from sin. Keep me firm in this faith. Amen.
The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.
Questions for Younger Children
- Why would you want to build something on rock instead of sand?
- What makes Jesus strong like a rock?
Questions for Elementary Age Children
- Why is it dangerous to think that Jesus is just a good person, a good example, or a good teacher?
- Jesus said today that the gates of Hades (hell) are not strong enough to overpower his Church (us believers). Why is that so encouraging for your life?
Questions for Middle School and Above
- What are some of the other sandy, shaky foundations that people try to build their lives on in this world instead of Jesus?
- Explain this statement: The empty tomb proves to us that Jesus is a rock-solid foundation to trust in and build on.
Hymn: CW 538:1 – The Church’s One Foundation
The Church’s one foundation Is Jesus Christ, her Lord;
She is his new creation By water and the Word.
From heav’n he came and sought her To be his holy bride;
With his own blood he bought her, And for her life he died.