I find Dr. Tim Gray to be so informative and so enlightening, I can’t imagine why EWTN sticks his series into the wee hours of the morning, but they have a lot of good stuff there.
I just watched (at 3:30 a.m.) his episode on Matthew Chapter 16.
What a great lesson.
He explains a whole lot in a short time, and here’s a couple nuggets of the episode.
Mt 16:19 is the verse about Jesus giving Peter the keys of the Kingdom. This is often misunderstood in the familiar but misleading image of St. Peter standing by the pearly gates of heaven. Gray: That’s not the kingdom. The kingdom is here.
Read Isaiah 22 from about verse 15 to the end of the chapter. Eliakim is given the “keys” which means he is the overseer, or prime minister of the kingdom. Recall how in Genesis, Joseph was made the what? overseer or prime minister under Pharoah? He was in charge of everything.
That is what Jesus means by giving Peter the keys of the kingdom. Peter’s role is very biblical.
This overseer is in charge when the king is away. OK? So, in Mt 16, Jesus “begins” to tell his disciples how he must suffer and die. See? He’s “going away” and Peter will be left in charge of the kingdom.
Gray says we know why Jesus had to die. Jesus had many chances to die. If people declared him as Messiah openly, then he would be a king in oppositio to Herod and Caesar, and would have been killed quickly and handily. Even when he was crucified, that was the charge posted above him on the cross.
But, why did Jesus have to live, Gray asks? It was to establish the kingdom, and Mt 16 is pivotal in understanding that Jesus actually did it, and how he did it, in setting Peter in charge. Then and only then, as it says at the end of the chapter, Jesus began to tell the disciples how he must die.
Now, Gray is explaining what others have found before him. Look up Mt 16:19 in a bible with cross references, and you will see the cross reference to Is 22:22f. Jesus meaning is clear and unmistakable. but, my main point is, I’ve never heard this expressed so well in all my years of being a Catholic.
In this chapter, is one of the few instances of the use of the word ‘church.’ Jesus equates His kindgom with the Church. Written to the Jews, they wouldn’t have understood the word. But, they did understand the idea of a kingdom.
Gray says without elaboration, the whole church is in the kingdom, but the church is not the entire kingdom (or some such words to this effect).