When Jesus asked, “Who do people say I am?” the disciples answered Him, but when He asked, “Who do you say I am?” only Peter had the courage to answer. And what an answer! He got it right and received much praise from Jesus.
What rock is Jesus to build His church on? I have heard two different views on this passage. One is that Peter is the rock, and verse 19 seems to support that view. The other is that Jesus is the rock and when He speaks here, He is referring to Peter’s statement that Jesus is the Christ the Son of the living God! And on this the church has its founding. As the Christ, He is the one who will take away the sins of the world. As the Christ, He will restore Israel. As the Christ, He will restore all mankind to the Father.
In Revelation 21:14, it is clear that the apostles are the foundation with Jesus as the cornerstone, so I do believe in this case, both views are accurate. Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God! This is the bedrock of all our beliefs and yet God has chosen us to do the work necessary to communicate the gospel message. We are ambassadors for Christ. We, like His disciples, are His witnesses to the work He has done on the cross and the work He continues to do.
Peter and the other disciples built a firm foundation in the early church, and each successive generation builds upon the previous. This is why it is incumbent on each new generation of the church to continue to build upon the word that was established by Jesus Himself and to not stray from it, that the next generation of believers will be able to build upon the strong foundation and weather any storm. The question is, has the last Generation met its obligation to the next?