Old Testament reading: Genesis 18-20
Despite Abraham’s best efforts, the destruction of Sodom, Gomorrah and the cities of the plain could not be avoided. What a terrible commentary on a city that ten righteous souls could not be found within her gates! It is often easy for us to become discouraged when looking at the world and society around us, perhaps even to the point of adopting an “all is lost,” defeatist attitude. However, we would do well to be reminded that faithfulness to God is possible, even in the midst of a wicked world. Both Noah and Lot serve as our examples in this respect. Getting back to our text – Some foolishly offer nonsensical explanations for the destruction of these cities. Perhaps the most well known is Sodom’s “lack of hospitality” (see www.christiancourier.com/articles/1443-plague-of-perversion-the). Jude makes it clear two thousand years later: “As Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in similar manner to these, have given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example suffering the vengeance of eternal fire” (Jude 7).
New Testament reading: Matthew 16-18
It is in this reading wherein we witness “the Great Confession” of the deity Jesus. Contrary to the thinking of some, the rock upon whom the church is built Jesus and Hid Deity, not Peter. Paul noted that no other foundation can be laid than the one already laid, which is Christ (1 Cor 3:11). Moreover, Jesus is called the chief corner stone upon which the church is built (Eph 2:20). We would note the complete failure of Paul to mention Peter in either text. Perhaps he was just jealous of Peter (kidding!). While the Greek word for “Peter” and the word for “rock” are similar, they are not the same. From a purely linguistic standpoint, they cannot refer to the same thing. “Peter” appears in the masculine form while “rock” is in the feminine gender. The Holy Spirit saw fit to make a clear distinction between the two. Many of our Catholic friends will attempt to argue that Jesus was speaking Aramaic, and that there is no distinction between the two in Aramaic. The proper response is, “That may be true; we don’t know. However, we do know that God chose to forever record and preserve it in the Greek, and in so doing made the distinction.