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Gates of Hell

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The Gates of Hell

Tal midem – Hebrew for disciple

  • Not a pupil in the sense that they want know what their teachers knows
  • But passionate commitment to be what the teacher is
    • What he knows
    • How he lives
    • What he thinks
      • Example: “This too is Torah and I need to learn.”
    • They had a passion to be like their teacher

“To fulfill the Torah (Law)” meant to interpret it in such a way that those who hear it can live it correctly

  • Jesus’ goal was to show His disciples how to live in this relationship

In the gentile world, religion was just a way toward success there was no direct correlation between religion and the way they lived.

  • This would be a key to their message that the way you life matters a lot
    • God saying I love, I want to establish a relationship with you
    • But it is important how you live

Greek Model: Student was trained to stand alone armed with the truth

Rabbinic Model: create a community of followers

Faith – passionate call to action

Mark 8:27-30

v. 27On the road

  • All roads in Caesarea Philippi lead to here…

Jesus’ tour group is standing before the great Mt. Hermon at Caesarea Philippi.  (See the map and pictures.)  This place has been a center of demonic power for centuries.  Legend is that when the angels fell from heaven, they crashed on the summit of Mount Hermon, broke through the snowy rock and crashed out at the bottom, tearing a gigantic hole through the mountain and forming a vast cavern at the base.  Unscathed, the fallen angels went forth from the cavern to enslave humanity in sin.  And you know the rest.

   In the days of the Canaanites, the cavern became known as the “Mouth of Ba’al.”  For centuries inside the mouth, tribal people sacrificed animals and children to their gods.  Later, after the conquest of the world by Alexander the Great, a temple devoted to the Greek god Pan was attached to the rock face around the cavern.  Pan was the monstrous shepherd god, half man, half goat, whom we often see characterized with his Panpipes.  The city there was renamed to Panias, the place of Pan, in his honor.  “Pan” is also a common adjective in Greek, meaning “all.”  We get the word pantheon from ‘pan,’ which means “the place of all gods.”

   Bear with me a little longer.  The mad Roman Emperor Caligula gave this area to King Herod.  Herod’s son, King Philip, renamed it to Caesarea Philippi, which means, “Philip’s Caesar.”  There Philip instituted the worship of the Emperor and the sun god Helios.

Full description of v. 30


Matthew 16:16-20

Simon Peter answered, “You are the •Messiah, the Son of the living God!” 

And Jesus responded, “Simon son of Jonah,  you are blessed because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father in heaven.  And I also say to you that you are Peter, v and on this rock w I will build My church, x and the forces  (gates) of •Hades will not overpower it.

 330 bc Alexander the Great – placed his fertility god Pan

  • Pan – disgusting god
    • Half man, half goat
    • Sexually suggestive poses
  • Goats
  • Goat dancers

Jews thought that the gates of Caesarea would fall when the messiah comes because they thought something this wicked could not exist while the messiah was here.

“On this rock…”

  • Here they were at the gates of hell itself, in this evil place in their world
    • And he says on this rock, I will Build my church!
    • Gr. Petras – Rocky Cliff or bedrock
  • This worship center represents everything, sick, broken and wrong with this world
    • Your life matters
    • Their life matters
      • This is not where you will a hope and a future
      • This is not where you will find your worth
    • I am going to send my church into this evil world build a community
      • on what is real
      • on what is true
        • This church was meant to replace this empty way of life, This empty hope
          • With real significance and meaning

“The gates of Hell shall not prevail”

  • Gates where defensive. A stronghold
    • Image how the disciples must have been feeling
  • This Pan worship was attracting people from all over
    • Here they were a handful of Jews against a stronghold of evil


• Or the Christ; the Greek word Christos means “the anointed one”.

v 16:18 Peter (Gk Petros) = a specific stone or rock

w 16:18 rock (Gk petra) = a rocky crag or bedrock

x 16:18 Mt 18:17; Ac 5:11; 7:38; 8:1, 3; 9:31; 11:22, 26

• The Greek word for the place of the dead; it corresponds to the Hebrew word Sheol.

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