Like a symphony conductor, Jesus wants to release the music of His presence and power in and through groups of people who gather in His name. He explained that to His disciples in Matthew 16. However, our understand of Jesus’ explanation has been influenced by the way the King James Bible translators chose to use safe, religious language to bring the Greek into English and because most translators since then have used the King James as a model to guide their translation. However, here’s an alternative reading that can rock us out of the KJV “church” boat.
The King James version leads us to believe that Jesus built a structure or an organization. I woke up during the night thinking about the words that KJV uses; “I will build.” When I woke up the next morning, I looked up the Greek word translated “I will build” and was amazed to see that it can mean either build as in “build a building” or build up as in “edify, train, or lead.” This alternative version causes us to think that Jesus is building up and training a group of people. What do you think Jesus had in mind? Here’s the alternate version:
“Jesus asked: ‘Who do you say that I am?’ Simon Pebble answered, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ Jesus replied, ‘Fortunate are you, Simon son of Jonah, for human nature and reasoning didn’t show that to you but my Father in Heaven. And I tell you that you are Pebble, and on this massive, foundational rock (of supernatural revelation) I will personally build up, train, and conduct My town meeting (ekklesia — the city council of Greek city-states).”
Here’s another option:
“Jesus asked: ‘Who do you say that I am?’ Simon Stone answered, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ Jesus replied, ‘Fortunate are you, Simon son of Jonah, for human nature and reasoning didn’t show that to you but My Father in Heaven. And I tell you that you are a small building stone and on this huge foundation rock of Divine revelation, I will assemble, direct, and mature My open forum.”
To learn more about ekklesia go to this link.