Matthew 15–17; Mark 7–9

April 10, 2023 to April 16, 2023

In the chapters for this week’s study, Jesus gives keys to Peter and is transfigured before his apostles. Read Kent Brown’s study to learn what Jesus is promising to Peter by giving him keys.

“Peter’s Keys (Matthew 16:18–19),” S. Kent Brown, BYU New Testament Commentary
The keys promised to Peter bear links to the gates of hell, to the next world, and to a greater knowledge of God. “When Jesus promises to entrust keys to Peter, part of the promise is that “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it [the church].” (The grammar of this sentence tells us that “it” means “the church.”) …The notion is that, when Jesus descends into the world of spirits after his death on the cross, he faces closed gates that keep the departed spirits inside a prison. Meeting resistance from those who hold the keys, who are death and hell (see Revelation 6:8; 20:13–14; 2 Nephi 9:12), he takes control of the keys from them and opens the closed gates. In the language of Isaiah, after this confrontation, he opens “the prison to them that are bound” and proclaims “liberty to the captives” (Isaiah 61:1; also Luke 4:18, where Jesus applies Isaiah’s words to his ministry without distinguishing between his mortal and postmortal work). These words from Isaiah are both metaphorical and real. Metaphorically, Jesus offers liberty to those held captive by their sins and opens doors to them to escape the prison of their worst selves (see 3 Nephi 20:26). Physically, in coming to earth, Jesus invades the domain of Satan and engages in a contest for souls (see Isaiah 49:2 5; 53:12; 2 Nephi 2:29).”

“‘The Keys of the Kingdom’: Keys from Masada,” Marti Lu Allen, BYU Studies, Vol. 36, no. 3
Photos and discussion about actual keys in the world of the New Testament. Use for visual aids.

“Keys of the Priesthood,” Alan K. Parrish, Encyclopedia of Mormonism
“The keys of the priesthood refer to the right to exercise power in the id of Jesus Christ.” Jesus Christ holds all the keys of the priesthood. While on earth, Christ promised the keys of the kingdom to Peter. These keys are “necessary to maintain order and to see that the functions of the Church are performed in the proper time, place, and manner.”

Jesus Is Transfigured
“The Doctrine of Divine Embodiment: Restoration, Judeo-Christian, and Philosophical Perspectives,” and “Part I: Restoration of the Doctrine of Divine Embodiment,” David L. Paulsen, BYU Studies, Vol. 35, no. 4
On the transfiguration (Matt. 17): Doctrines of the Restoration show that God the Son is an embodied person. This understanding affects how we view the experience in Matthew 16, when Peter, James, and John received a witness that Jesus is the Christ.