“… He brought Simon to Jesus, who looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You are to be called Cephas (which is translated ‘Peter.’) (John 1:42)
When Jesus met Peter, his name was Simon and his life was characterized by instability. Yet Jesus gave him the nickname “Peter,” which means “rock” and essentially “stability.”
In Matthew 16 we have an intriguing interview between Jesus and Peter. Jesus had done the “who are you?” question in reverse. He asked the apostles, “Who do you say that I am?” Peter came up with the right answer. The Lord then said in so many words, “You’re not that smart Peter. That answer really didn’t come from you. It came from My Father.”
In this interview Jesus was telling Peter who and what Peter was, and what he was being called to be. When I had a chance to meet with Ravi Zacharias in my home, I asked him, “who is Ravi Zacharias?” He responded, “I think what really matters is how our Lord would answer that question.” In this interview with Peter, Jesus answered that question for him.
In the Gospels Peter’s life is recorded like an unstable spiritual roller coaster. But after Jesus called Peter a ‘rock’ for three years, and after Peter experienced Pentecost, we read in Acts that this unstable man became the rock-like, stable leader of the New Testament Church. When you read the Gospels and Acts, you realize Jesus was convincing Peter of what he could become because he had come to know his Lord and Savior.
Do you hear the voice of the Christ Who lives in your heart trying to give you His answer to this question, “What are you?” Is He making you know what you can become and do for Him since He has made you a new creation? Is He making you know what He can equip you to become as He is calling you and revealing what He wants you to be and do for him?
Dick Woodward, A Spiritual Compass (p. 71-72)