(Matthew 16:19 KJV) 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.Romans Catholics use this as evidence that Peter was the first pope and that the church has authority. The secular world has made this a source of cartoons about Peter being gatekeeper to heaven with all kinds of punch lines between him and people wanting to enter the pearly gates. That is our culture’s unbiblical image of getting into heaven.
I think we miss the point of having the keys. Think about what it means this Sunday. The person who has the keys at church gets there early and leaves late. The one who has the keys to every door is usually a servant, a janitor. They are the ones who are expected to do all the work.
Think about it in the world today. Most kings don’t have any keys. I would guess that the President of the United States does not carry any keys. They don’t need them because someone else opens the doors. Someone else checks the locks. Keys are a sign of being a servant, not of being in charge.
We have changed the image. We give people keys to the city. We have made keys a badge of rank instead of the tools of a servant. We want to be kings instead of servants so we take a Biblical idea and change it to serve ourselves.
We should begin to give keys as signs of trust and responsibility. They should come with a job description and a list of duties. Do you deserve the keys to the kingdom? Do you have keys to the church? Do you remember the first time you had the keys to the car?
Following Jesus means being called to servanthood not positions of power.
homo unius libri