“Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, ‘Who do people say that the Son of Man is?’ And they said, ‘Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.’ He *said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ The time had not come for the nation to know that Jesus was their Messiah. They heard about His teachings and saw His mighty works, but God kept this knowledge of who He was from them.
Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. Until the day of Pentecost when Peter preached the cross and the resurrection the Father only told a few who Jesus was.
I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.’ Then He warned the disciples that they should tell no one that He was the Christ. (Matthew 16:13-20)
Now some would say, “Peter received unique authority for the building of Christ’s church. After all he was given the “keys of heaven.” That would be true if Peter was the “rock” Jesus was talking about, but Peter was not the topic of this conversation that Jesus initiated. They were being taught how faith in Jesus begins. He is revealed by the Father. Faith in Jesus is the “rock” that the church is built upon. Faith in Jesus is the foundation that withstands attacks of the enemy.
About those keys. Are we not told that the prayers of a righteous man prevails much? (James 5:16) And that faith can cast mountains into the sea? (Matthew 21:21) Faith in Christ grants us the authority of prayer. (Matthew 18:19; John 15:16, 16:23) Because God revealed, we believe. Faith in Christ is rock the church is built upon.