“Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven” (16:19)
Jesus says this to Peter and then he says it again to the other apostles in Matt. 18:18.
I am absolutely sure this verse probably didn’t stick out to you amongst all the other pearls in these three chapters, but I have been through this reading before and have wondered….what on earth Jesus is saying here?!! 🤔 So I decided to read a commentary on it by John Lightfoot and share with you what I learned.
This was a common phrase of the time used to pertain to doctrine. (The commentary gives a lot of examples of outside literature to prove that point.) “Bind” would imply “to declare forbidden” and “loose” would imply “allowed”.
When Peter uses the “keys of the kingdom of heaven” (vs.19) to open the door of heaven to us Gentiles (he did that in Acts 10:28), through the teaching of the Holy Spirit, Peter taught that it was now OK for Jews to mix with Gentiles, something that had been forbidden by Jewish law. Likewise eating certain food had been forbidden by O.T. law. Both of these examples show, “that which was now loosed, which before had been bound” (Lightfoot).
Jesus, in these scriptures of Matthew, is giving his 12 the authority, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to bind and loose OT and NT teaching. Another example of how/when the apostles did this would be found in Acts 15: 29 regarding circumcision, food and sexual immorality.
Huh! I’m glad I looked that up! I would have never figured that out on my own. Now those verses make sense. Wow! Jesus gave them a lot of authority!!!