Key of David’s house, what is that? What do you know about the “key of the house of David”? The two passages that I am familiar with that discuss this are Isaiah 22:22 and Revelation 3:7. In fact, I believe Revelation 3:7 ultimately answers the question of who holds the key. In this verse the LORD Jesus is speaking and He says, “. . . the Words of the holy one, the true one who has the key of David . . .” You will no doubt recognize that this is a part of one of the letters to the Seven Churches in Revelation, in fact to the church at Philadelphia. Obviously, Jesus holds the “key of David.”
I am aware cults have grown up around this concept of “key of the house of David.” I do not want to overstate my point, but I want you to consider something with me of our responsibility related to access to God. Many in our world are far from God. Can we be instrumental in helping them draw near? I believe not only that we can, but that we have been entrusted with a great responsibility.
1. The Key of the house of David
In Isaiah 22 God is speaking, and He says, “I will place on his (Eliakim’s) shoulder the “key of the house of David.” Keys symbolize access. They open and close locks to doors (again obviously). I am sure some scholar of “deeper truths” will rise up to offer their correction, but in my humble interpretation, I believe “house of David” has something of a double meaning. David’s descendants are the rightful heirs of the covenantal promises of the Old Testament. It is in that sense, I believe, a reference to the people of God.
In the time of Isaiah, the “house of” a king would also be a reference to the kingdom of that king. So the house of David is likely a reference to the kingdom of David and his descendants. These two concepts together would lead me to a conclusion that it represents a key to the Kingdom of God, a very prominent theme in the book of Matthew.
2. “Keys of the Kingdom.”
Indeed, in Matthew 16 we discover the confession of Jesus as the Christ by Simon Peter. There have been so many mistaken notions about this passage. Jesus calls Simon a “small pebble” and He speaks of building His church on a “great rock”. Peter is not the foundation on which the church is built. Jesus is that rock, and there are many shades of understanding that may be offered in this text. Perhaps the rock is the confession of Jesus as the Christ.
In this passage in Matthew 16, Jesus says “I will give you the keys of My Kingdom” (and please notice keys to the kingdom, not to the church, as Roman Church has suggested). Is there a distinction to make over the fact that it is “keys” in this text as opposed to “key” in Isaiah 22 and Revelation 3? I don’t know. Perhaps, (and did you hear me say perhaps, as in it might be a possibility) that Jesus holds the “master Key” (Revelation 3) and He entrusts to His church (believers) copies of those keys.
3. Stewards of Access.
If that is the case, as a follower of Christ we have been entrusted with an incredible responsibility and opportunity to open doors for people to enter the Kingdom. No doubt we can do that through our prayer life, and perhaps most significantly by sharing the Gospel with people that we meet.
Is it possible that we sometimes fail to unlock the door by more than just our failure to share a prayer for and a witness to someone? Do we sometimes fail to unlock the door by things we carelessly say, or CARELESSLY POST ON FACEBOOK, TWITTER, AND OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA? Those who are protectors of the Sovereignty of God (which by the way needs no protection) may take exception to whether we have that much impact. I think it is worth consideration.
Christian, let me ask you something. Do you make it more difficult for our missionaries to work among other ethnic groups around the world, and especially here in our own country? When we utter words that reflect our own prejudice more than they do anything else, do we leave doors more tightly locked? No, I didn’t miss the fact that Jesus opens doors no one can shut. But for some reason God, (not Brad) recorded in His Scripture the stewardship He has given related to “keys of the Kingdom.”