Now What? – Reconciliation

“When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, ‘Feed my lambs.’”  John‬ ‭21:15‬ ‭NIV‬‬

When Peter meets Jesus the first time, Peter is not yet called Peter. His actual name is Simon. And when they meet, Jesus does two highly unusual things. First, He shows Simon that He knows who he is before he even opens his mouth. “Andrew brought Simon to Jesus, who looked at him and said, ‘You are Simon son of John.’  (John 1:42) So Jesus knows Simon. Simon’s name preceded him, and at first glance, Simon was not much to look at. He was a nobody. He probably could not read. Standing in front of Jesus for the first time, Simon didn’t get a chance to define himself. It had already been done by the world. He was a fisherman. He was not a student of a Rabbi.

But then Jesus does something even more unusual. Jesus gives him an entirely new name! “You are Simon, son of John – but you will be called Cephas. Which translates into Petros or Peter or The Rock. Basically He gives him the nickname “Rocky.” Usually nicknames are given by someone who shares a special bond with you. Someone you have known for awhile. But Jesus did know Simon Peter. He knew his character. Jesus cuts right through any formality. I know you so well and love you so deeply that in my heart I want you to know what I think of you. You might be Simon son of John to the world and just some fisherman to them – but to me, you are Peter – The Rock – Johnson.
What a vision! Jesus immediately rejects whatever the culture thought of Simon, and instead projects onto him who he COULD BE. Incredibly, Jesus does the same thing to us. He sees us BOTH as we are and also as we could be. In His eyes, we are not less because of our histories and backgrounds. Rather, it becomes complete in our relationship with Him. That is why when Peter denied knowing Jesus, that Jesus reminded him they were still in relationship. “Peter, do you love me?” “You know that I love you.” Jesus forgave Peter and reconciled with him. Jesus reminded His friend “Rocky” they were still friends. Jesus also reminded Peter he had a calling to fulfill. “Feed My Sheep.” We all make mistakes and we all have a calling to fulfill. May we also reconcile with Jesus when we deny Him. May we all remember to live out our nickname and fulfill our calling like Peter.

In Christ’s love and service,

Pastor Paul Marzahn