Jesus told Peter: “‘And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.'” (Matthew 16:18) Now the name Peter means rock, but was Jesus saying he was going to build his church upon this man? Of course not. The church is built on Jesus Christ alone — he is the head.
What then is “this rock”? Right before Jesus spoke those words he had asked his disciples who they thought he was. Was he the Messiah? Was he John the Baptist or Elijah come back to life? It was Peter who came up with the right answer. He saw the truth when he replied correctly: “‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.'” (Matthew 16:16).
Jesus had not out and out said who he was; he was waiting for his works to reveal him and he was waiting to see who would figure it out first. Peter was the man. It was upon this confession of faith in Jesus Son of God that the church would be built.
It’s still true today. Many go to church. Many are good people and do acts of service and philanthropy. Many think Jesus was a good guy with a good message. That’s all fine but that’s not the real issue.
Who is Jesus Christ? Who is he to you? Peter knew. Now I ask you: are you too a rock?