Friday, February 22, 2013

Yet another reason Catholics regard St. Peter as the first pope...

...is he given the gift of infallible revelation.

Matthew 16:13-17 records a conversation between Christ and his disciples where Jesus asks who people say he is. The disciples give all kinds of answers and you can almost hear the chuckling among them at the outlandish claims that people have made about Jesus. Jesus then gets more specific and asks who they say that he is. Simon (his name isn't Peter yet, more on that next time) replies “you are the Messiah, the Son of the living God”.

We take this truth for granted today. We all know that Jesus is the Son of God and the long anticipated messiah of the Jews but at that moment it wasn't obvious. Jesus was a good man to be sure. He was certainly a prophet or one of the other great prophets come back to life but the Son of God? That wasn't on most people's radar at the time of Matthew 16.

How does Simon Peter figure out who Jesus is? Direct and infallible divine revelation: Jesus responds to him “blessed are you Simon, son of Jonah, flesh and blood have not revealed this to you but my Father in heaven”.

That God elected to use Simon Peter to reveal who Christ is to others, even the other disciples, is yet another reason Catholics regard him as our first pope.

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