Wikiquote states, “Key is word which refers to physical devices used to open locks such as those in a door, or presentation devices which provide information necessary to proper understanding of other things, such as a guide to a map, chart, graph, plot or diagram, or a key to a cryptography algorithm. Metaphorically, it is often applied to anything considered important or indispensable.” This is a little deep for my simple mind but for some of you who have magna cum laude status I am sure you are thinking, “finally she is thinking deeper than the rain puddle on the road.” I do like metaphors because they help me grasp difficult to understand concepts with their “symbolic significance.” I appreciate Jesus used parables and metaphors to help his uneducated, motley crew (then and now) understand all the symbolism used in the Temple and Torah. The best teachers are the ones who can break a difficult subject into understandable pieces and then put the puzzle pieces together to produce a complete grasping and use of the subject matter. Kay Arthur of Precept Ministries has been providing the key to Scripture study for years and I am eternally grateful for those Precept studies I did. Freda and I still don’t completely agree about James but she is coming around to my way of thinking. (I can see her rolling her eyes at me! LOL)
Matthew 16:19 is a great example of the use of metaphor to teach of authority when Jesus says, “ And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
What on earth is Jesus talking about binding and loosing. This “key” is the Greek word, kleis, used to denote power and authority of various kinds and according to Thayer’s Greek Lexicon it is used in Matthew 16:19 referring to the power of David’s kingdom which now belongs to Christ. (I had a teacher tell me one time the key to being considered smart was not how much you knew but if you knew where to go to find the answers to your questions! I kept this tidbit!)
Revelation 3:7 seems to repeat Matthew 16:19: And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;”
The Amplified Bible may explain this a bit better: “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind, that is, ‘declare to be improper and unlawful on earth must be already bound in heaven;’ and whatever you loose on earth, ‘declare lawful,’ must be what is already loosed in heaven.” Rodney W. Francis writes in his article, Keys of the Kingdom in The Gospel Faith Messenger, “Keys are for binding and loosing, opening and shutting, first in the spiritual realm and then in the natural. The spiritual realm is where revelation comes from to give us authority to do these things.” He further goes on to write, “The keys of the Kingdom of Heaven have been given to us by Jesus ‘through revelation’ for us to be workers together with God…” Francis states, “That revelation enables us to know who we are as His representatives here on earth. This determines our calling, ministries, giftings, effectiveness, everything!”
(I highly recommend you read this article in its entirety: www.gospel.org.)
Mr. Francis asked the question that begs to be answered: “What are you doing with those keys?” and he says we have one of four choices. Do nothing, use them to bind and loose, or give them back to God.
Jesus told His disciples, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” (John 14:12) I have a feeling it is in using these keys this is done. Can you imagine what this world would look like if we all did what Jesus told us to do????
I think this is enough for today! I have to “chew” on this for awhile! I am not comfortable with power and authority but it seems I need to embrace the concept if I want to be effective in all God has told us to do. It would appear He is not interested in wimpy believers. I have heard all my life, “No guts no glory.” I guess I have to have guts so He can receive the glory. Has anyone seen where I laid down my shield of faith? WHEW!