Have you ever had a neighbor you’ve shared a key with?
We used to have neighbors who would come over to our house when we were gone for the holidays and get our cat and take the cat to their house, because they said they didn’t want her to be alone on the holidays.
We have neighbors on either side of us now, who have our key and we have theirs. We’ve taken care of each other’s dogs when out of town.
When keys are exchanged there is a relationship. There is trust. There is authority and access.
In Matthew 16:19 Jesus tells his followers, “I will give you keys. These keys have the power and authority of heaven” [my translation].
Keys allow you to access the purpose of the object they are applied. The purpose of a house is for living in it. A key can open the door to enter or close it shut. If it is a car, a key can start it or shut it off. If it is a post office box, a key can unlock or lock it. Keys are all about accessing the intended purpose.
Jesus’ keys are for the purpose of entering the realm of the King. Jesus’ kingdom keys allow access to the space where God rules and reigns. This is where things are as they should be and whatever is brought into God’s realm is made right.
I love Eugene Peterson’s take on Jesus’ words in Matthew, “You will have complete and free access to God’s kingdom, keys to open any and every door: no more barriers between heaven and earth, earth and heaven. A yes on earth is yes in heaven. A no on earth is no in heaven.”
Most of us here can tell a story of how someone used their key to give us access to the kingdom. The prevailing power of the church is based upon sharing access with others. What will you open, close, start, stop, unlock, or lock with the keys you’ve been given?