PLEASE READ THIS FIRST: Matthew 16:13-20
What do you sense the Lord saying to you in this passage?
“Whatever you bind or loose on earth will be bound or loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 16:19)
Jesus says something similar about forgiveness after the resurrection (John 20:23).
This sounds like Jesus’s followers get to decide who is saved, and who is not.
In the context, Jesus is asking about who the ‘son of man’ is.
For Jews, the Son of Man was Eve’s offspring who would crush the serpent (Genesis 3:15).
He would take back humanity’s position as God’s image-bearers, His sons and daughters.
Jesus is this promised ‘Son of Man’ who reclaims the title ‘Son of God’ (Matthew 16:16).
Adam was the first son of God (Luke 3:38); Jesus reclaims this for all of us (John 1:12).
As such, we are God’s partners who dispense God’s goodness for Him.
We are God’s “very important partners”, called to bring God’s grace to the world.
This idea echoes God’s call to Abraham to be the agents of God’s blessing (Genesis 12:3).
To be clear, we don’t DECIDE who is blessed; we DECLARE and SHARE God’s blessing.
If we hold back, we are keeping people from experiencing this blessing with God.
This is what it means to be called (elected); we are assigned a very important job!
Am I sharing God’s grace, or am I standing in the way of other’s experiencing it?
Lord, we hold the keys to the kingdom (restored life with You). People can experience it, or not, depending on how we relate to them. Make me a channel of Your grace, and not a barrier.