Over the years, we’ve insisted on the biblical principle that the integrity of the teacher is irrelevant to their function. To illustrate this point, God repeatedly chooses sinners, like the Prophet Jonah, to spread his word. Insofar as they repeat the words of Scripture, the one who teaches Scripture has no bearing on the mission. It’s like in fantasy movies, when a ghost or an alien takes over someone’s body and controls their speech. Everyone watching the program knows that it is not they who are speaking. Likewise, when a priest stands up to read the Gospel aloud in the assembly, it is not he who is speaking.
In Matthew, when Peter speaks correctly about the Christ, it is only because God, through his Spirit, put the correct words in Peter’s mouth. Whether he himself lives up to these words is an entirely different matter.
Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 16:17-20
Please join Richard and Fr. Marc for a free webinar series on Ephesians 4, sponsored by the Orthodox Christian Leadership Inititivative on April 11 and 25 at 8am PST / 11am EST. To register for the webinar, please visit orthodoxservantleaders.com and click “events.”