It is commonly believed that Peter was the first leader of the Church, but there is some interesting information that creates curiosity about the statements that Jesus makes concerning this fact. We know that Jesus is the cornerstone of the Church, of that fact, there is no question. But, as we go over the statements concerning Peter as being the leader, we must recognize that there was no Church at that time, except for the Jewish believers… But, no formal Church had begun and later on, we find that Paul takes over the leadership of the Gentile Church as it was being established and Peter keeps charge of the Jewish congregation. This happened as described in Acts when Paul and Peter discuss their positions that they have assumed. But, let us go back to when Jesus speaks about Peter and the rock on which His Church will be built.
Jesus is speaking to His disciples and asks them who they think that He is and Peter says that He is the Son of God. As part of the response to this, Jesus tells His disciples:
Matthew 16:18 “And I say also say unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
We understand that the name “Peter” translates as rock, but the cornerstone is also a rock as well. Jesus never actually makes the statement that it was Peter about whom He was speaking. The possibility exists that Jesus was talking about Himself when we consider what took place in Acts when Paul takes over as the leader of the Gentile Church. However, Jesus does give Peter certain authority in order to establish the principles of the Church that has yet to develop. We must remember that Paul had not yet entered the scene at this point.
Matthew 16:19 “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.”
There are some individuals that think that all believers have this power and some actually try to exercise this authority, but for some reason, it never seems to work out. Clearly, this power was given to establish the various Christian policies as the Church developed… But, it is important to remember that no actual Church existed at this time, with the exception of the disciples and a few followers. Jesus does tell us of the future Church in John as He explains a parable to His disciples.
John 10:16 “ And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.”
When Jesus appears to a few of His disciples after His resurrection, He tells Peter to “Feed my lambs”, but we must recognize that the sheep about which Jesus was speaking were the Jewish believers… It is only later on when the Church spread throughout the entire region that we see that Paul actually takes on the position of leadership.
Considering the number of different denominations that exist today, each of which have their own leaders, it seems almost insulting to Jesus as we recall His words; “and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.” We have reached the point of ridiculous as to the changes that have taken place from the original intent and principles of the Christian beliefs and we must never forget how it all began. The fact that so many people believe that they can alter the words of God for their own convenience and still think that this will be acceptable to Him is unbelievable, yet true… The answer to every question is very simple: One Bible, One Church and One God !!!
Matthew 18:18 Verily I say unto you, whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name there am I in the midst of them.
Here Jesus is talking to his disciples now look to 21 and 22 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him?till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times but until seventy times seven.
So if 18 does not apply to all , then certaintly when Jesus is answering a direct question from Peter then it doesn't apply either. I am a disciple of Christ therefore both apply. Dictionary definition-follower of person or idea: somebody who believes in and follows the teachings of a leader, a philosophy, or a religion