When Michelangelo was a young boy and determined to become an artisan, he went to visit a sculptor. Knowing of his interest in bringing objects to life, the artist gave him a young man half chiseled out of marble. For years he kept the object by his side and looked forward to the day when he would be able to free figures from stone.
Jesus possessed the ability to see what men and women could become. In John’s Gospel the story of Andrew bringing Simon to Jesus reflects this ability. “When Andrew brought Simon to meet Jesus, looking intently at Simon, Jesus said ‘You are Simon, the son of John – but you will be called Cephas, which means Peter.’”
In this intriguing story, Jesus looked at Simon and saw his potential – who he was and who he would become. That is precisely why He gave him a new name which meant Peter – which in Greek meant “Rock.”
Throughout the Gospels, Peter is not portrayed as being one who is “rock-solid” – an immovable object that would make a foundation safe and secure. But over time, as he grew in His faith and did the work of his Lord, he did become a solid rock for the faith that was established in the early church. By giving him such a significant name, Jesus introduced him to the person he would become by the grace of God.
What Peter became through the grace of God is what each of us can become. Peter tried and failed but he did not give up. He denied Jesus and turned his back on Him but he did not leave Him. Though he faltered and failed, he was one who never failed to follow Jesus and eventually become who God wanted him to be.
Prayer: Lord, we admit that we often fail in being and doing what You have planned for us. But give us a heart-desire to never leave You nor forsake You as we struggle to please You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: John 1:40-42 Jesus looked at him, and said, “So you are Simon the son of John? You shall be called Cephas” (which means Peter).