The keys to the Kingdom
This is what God in his wisdom said about you:‘I will send prophets and apostles to them, but they will kill some and persecute the others.’ “As a result, this generation will be held responsible for the murder of all God’s prophets from the creation of the world—from the murder of Abel to the murder of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, it will certainly be charged against this generation. “What sorrow awaits you experts in religious law! For you remove the key to knowledge from the people. You don’t enter the Kingdom yourselves, and you prevent others from entering.” As Jesus was leaving, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees became hostile and tried to provoke him with many questions. They wanted to trap him into saying something they could use against him. Luke 11:49-53
From the text, Jesus rebuked the religious leaders for they “remove the key to knowledge from the people.” Instead of guiding people to come to the saving knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, they prevented them and saddled the people with “unbearable religious demands and never lift a finger to ease the burden” (Luke 11:46). Their role was to help the people understand the writings of the Scriptures so that they will turn their lives to God and enter His Kingdom. It appeared that these religious leaders were also locked out from the Kingdom of God. Then when Jesus charged His disciples, He told them that they have the keys to the Kingdom. “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.” Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah” (Matthew 16:19-20). The phrase “the keys to the Kingdom” refers to the gospel, the message of salvation. This was the message written and was woven throughout the Scriptures. Christians who came to trust Jesus their Lord and Savior were given the privilege to the keys that will unlock the minds of the people so that they will respond to God’s offer of salvation. Jesus told His followers to use these so that people’s minds will be opened so that they too will enter the Kingdom of God. It is the power of sin over the lives of people that separates them from God and hinders them to acknowledge God in their lives. “But your iniquities have separated you from your God” (Isaiah 59:2). The Scripture was written so that people will know that by believing Jesus they will have forgiveness and life eternal. “But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:31). This is the key that will unlock the door to the Kingdom of God and as Christians nothing should deter you from sharing this message of the gospel for God in His authority has charged you to proclaim. “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20).