What does the Bible say about keys?

Answered by Phillip Nicastro

The concept of keys is mentioned several times in the Bible, and it carries significant symbolism and meaning. Let’s explore what the Bible says about keys and their spiritual significance.

1. Keys as a Symbol of Authority: In Isaiah 22:22, we read about the key of the house of David: “I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David; he shall open, and no one shall shut; he shall shut, and no one shall open.” This verse refers to the authority given to Eliakim, who would have control over access to the king’s house. Similarly, Jesus, as the descendant of David, declares that he has the keys of death and Hades (Revelation 1:18), indicating his authority over life and death.

2. Keys as a Symbol of Access: In Matthew 16:19, Jesus tells Peter, “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Here, the keys represent the authority to grant or deny access to the kingdom of heaven. Peter, as a representative of the disciples and the early Church, would play a crucial role in proclaiming the gospel and inviting people into God’s kingdom.

3. Keys as a Symbol of Revelation: In Luke 11:52, Jesus rebukes the religious leaders, saying, “Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge. You did not enter yourselves, and you hindered those who were entering.” Here, the key represents knowledge or understanding of God’s truth. The religious leaders had failed to guide others in the right path and had hindered people from experiencing the fullness of God’s revelation.

4. Keys as a Symbol of Spiritual Power: In Matthew 23:13, Jesus again rebukes the religious leaders, saying, “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in.” The religious leaders abused their spiritual authority, using it to control and manipulate rather than guiding people toward God’s kingdom. In this context, the keys represent the power to open or close the access to spiritual blessings.

The Bible portrays keys as symbols of authority, access, revelation, and spiritual power. Jesus, as the ultimate authority, holds the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Through his death and resurrection, he grants believers access to eternal life. As his followers, we are called to use our authority and knowledge in a way that promotes God’s kingdom and invites others to experience the abundant life found in Christ.