On a serious note, I highly recommend this procedure to everyone. Colon cancer is one of the most treatable forms of cancer if it is caught early. The trick is early detection; and one or two days of inconvenience every few years for prepping and procedure is a small sacrifice for good health and peace of mind.
In any event, colonoscopy patients are not allowed to undergo anesthesia unless they have a designated driver to transport them home. Mine was my precious wife. As might be expected, when I robed up for the procedure, I had to leave all my belongings with her. When cleaning out my pockets, that which I found myself the most reluctant to let go of was my ring full of keys. I hesitated; but eventually passed them along.
As I did, my wife retorted… “And now… hand over that wallet as well!” We laughed together. But as I have spent the day recovering, I have been pondering what it was that so distressed me about having to hand over, not my wallet, but my keys.
Why do keys matter? I suppose it is because of what they symbolize. They represent power. Simply put, giving up my keys meant I was no longer in control of anything – at least for the rest of the day. You see, at that point, I had signed papers granting others permission to have complete control over me for the next few hours.
Thereafter, giving the keys and wallet to my wife meant that even after the procedure, I would be still be completely at the mercy of another person to find my way home. On my own, I could not crank a vehicle to transport myself anywhere. And assuming I did get back home, I could not enter the house. I would be locked out. My destiny was completely under someone else’s control.
Thank God, therefore, that the one who had control of the keys chose to use them for my benefit. Which leads me to my point. In the sixteenth chapter of the New Testament Gospel of Matthew, Jesus and His disciples are in the northern part of Galilee at a place called Caesarea-Philippi (modern day Banias).
In this place, a giant natural cave had been overlain by the Romans with a group of temples dedicated to various emperors and gods, collectively known as the Temple of Pan. (Pan of course, means many - as in the "Pantheon" or temple to all gods in the city of Rome.)
It was at this very spot, with men and women coming and going from their various acts of worship at the numerous temples, that Jesus asked His disciples who people were saying that He was. They replied that some were saying that he was Elijah or Jeremiah or one of the other prophets. And still others were saying that He was John the Baptist.
He then asked just exactly Who they thought He was. Peter affirmed that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the Living God. It is apparent from the context that Peter was implying that all the other gods on display were non-living and therefore, false gods. Jesus affirms Peter for both his perception and his faith.
Then, in verse 19, Jesus makes this strange statement: "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."
The Sea of Galilee lies just south of Banias. It is arguable that the amount of ink spilled by theologians over the ensuing centuries in their attempt to explain this single statement might very well fill that small inland sea. But at the end of the day, given the context, it appears that Jesus’ intent is self-evident.
The text makes plain that, from that day forward, Jesus took His disciples and headed south to Jerusalem, explaining to them as they went about the process of redemption soon to unfold, one that would result in His death on the cross.
As verse 21 states: "From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life."
So Jesus’ point is that He, as the Christ, the son of the Living God, was going to His death and eventual resurrection in order to pay the sacrificial price for Mankind’s sin and to make a way for people to go to Heaven. For this to happen, people would then need to have the same faith in Him, as the Christ, that Peter had just displayed.
And of course, Jesus knew that after His resurrection, He would ascend to Heaven to be seated as the Son of God at the right hand of the Living God. How, therefore, were people to believe in Him if they had not known Him while He was here on earth? And how were they to hear of Him and His atoning love if they were not told? And who was there to tell them if not disciples who had faith like Peter?
Little wonder then that the Apostle Paul would go on to quote from the Prophet Isaiah when he wrote in his New testament Letter to the Romans (14:21): "How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"
If you are a believer, remember the awesome responsibility with which you have been entrusted. By sharing the message of the gospel with people, you unlock both the path and the door to heaven for them. Conversely, keeping quiet when you have the opportunity to be a witness is tantamount to closing and locking that door!
And that is the power of the keys! Please don’t take it lightly.
READ MORE: http://www.biblewalks.com/Sites/BaniasTemples.html.
SEE ALSO: http://www.bible-history.com/biblestudy/caesarea-philippi.html.
SCRIPTURE SOURCE: http://biblehub.com/niv/matthew/16.htm.