The Formation of the Rock

John 1:42 (ESV)
He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon the son of John. You shall be called Cephas” (which means Peter).

The Apostle Peter is one of my favorite disciples of Christ, mostly because in him I see so many human qualities that I can empathize with. Prior to Pentecost, He was a rollercoaster of emotions, often speaking without recognizing the consequences, impetuous, but yet passionate in his service.

Peter is noted in Scripture as being a part of the Lord’s innermost circle and is mentioned during several moments in the ministry of Jesus: when Jesus raises Jairus’ daughter from the dead (Mark 5:21-43); on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-4); in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36-38), among others.

In our study verse above, Jesus is calling Peter, because it is in Peter that our Lord sees his ability to lead others. Yet, we see in this verse a hint of future tense: you shall be called Peter, as opposed to His words a couple of years later in Matthew 16:18 that are in the present tense. Jesus recognized Peter’s maturity was still a work in progress, that his “rock” was still being formed.

Peter indeed had an open and receptive heart, and was zealous in recognizing the divine mission of Jesus, which were important characteristics or leading the apostles. However, there remained in him the characteristics noted above; and an overconfidence that led him to denying the Lord three times when the circumstances surrounding the crucifixion were closing in on him. The complete despair of Peter was matched only by the love of Jesus when, upon His resurrection, the angel of the Lord specifically asked that Peter be notified along with the others (Mark 16:7). In this, Christ demonstrates His forgiving love.

This very man, who publicly denied Jesus three times to save himself, became the central mouthpiece for the first Gospel message after Pentecost. “Thou art Peter”. And 3000 souls believed that day. Peter is now the rock upon which the church is built, through his oneness with Christ, the great cornerstone.

That is the practical application for us. Have we ever felt (or currently feel) that are sins are so horrible that God could not possibly use us? No, we likely will not be another Peter, but God is not calling us to be somebody we’re not. He’s calling us unto Himself just as we are. He’s calling us to serve just where we are.

Call upon Him today; surrender to His will for your life and ask Him to remember your sins no more.

Let the Almighty form you this very day.