"And I will give unto you the keys of the Kingdom..." (Matthew 16:19).
This is perhaps one of the more noted sayings of Jesus, and the very idea that we can actually open and close heaven's doors fills our imaginations with both wonder and inquiry. What does He mean by this?
Some would argue that since Jesus was speaking specifically to Peter, these words make him the first of many successive Popes who hold an authority to which no other human may lay claim. Not so. For the same words were spoken to all the disciples on other occasions. Jesus is saying that His followers, those who are a part of the Community of the Called Out (see previous blog), have been given the ability to grant access into the kingdom -- as well as close access to those who will not enter.
Furthermore, it is not Heaven's doors we are opening and closing. Rather, this is about helping others access the very real and royal presence of the Lord and His work here on the earth. This is a right now activity, not something in the sweet by and by.
Did it ever occur to you that you can actually be the means whereby the Lord extends His love, light, and life to others? You can be the one that makes it possible for someone else to actually experience a real and lasting touch from Jesus; a touch that heals, that forgives, that cleanses, and that transforms. Christ can make Himself known through your hands, through your words, and through your deeds.
You are a carrier of the Keys that opens the Kingdom. And you have been authorized by the King to give away to others what your have freely received yourself. Ah, but there's the rub. Have you indeed received it yourself?
Has the touch of Jesus healed you, cleansed you, forgiven you, and transformed you? If so, then in the words of the Psalmist, "let the redeemed of the Lord say so!" (Psalm 107:2) ). But If not, then what in the world is keeping you back? I open the door to you right now! Come on in and behold the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living!
One final note. This is not a free-for-all, indiscriminate toss out of heaven's treasures like candy thrown from floats in a passing parade. No, Jesus set clear perimeters in His commissioning us a carriers of the Keys. "What you open on earth must already be opened in heaven," He said. In other words, we are to follow God's lead -- just as Jesus Himself did. "I only do those things I see My Father doing."
So, yes we have authority, symbolized by holding the Keys; but we also are charged with the responsibility to only do as the Lord directs. This means we must always be in relationship with Him, for that is the only way to handle each and every situation as Carriers of the Keys.
So, what are you waiting for? There's a whole lot of folks just waiting for you to pass their way.