Jesus knows us, sometimes better than we know ourselves. And He knows our name. In fact, sometimes he changes our names to match who He made us to be, who He knows us to be. As He did with Peter.
Yesterday, I talked about John the Baptist saying Jesus was full of Grace and Truth. The story continues:
The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples, and he looked at Jesus as he walked by and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. …and they stayed with him that day, for it was about the tenth hour. One of the two who heard John speak and followed Jesus was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means Christ). 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). John 1: 36-37, 39b-42
It’s amazing to me that John calls Jesus the Lamb of God and Andrew immediately understands that Jesus is the Messiah. Such insight!
But my favorite part is how Jesus renames Simon Peter. The name Simon, or Simeon, means “hear” or “listen.” The name Peter means “rock.”
The minute Jesus met Simon, perhaps before Simon Peter said a word, Jesus renamed him. He went from being a hearer to being a rock, from being one who follows, to one who lays a foundation.
I’m guessing Peter didn’t feel too comfortable with the name “hear” since he was more likely to talk, but what it must have meant that Jesus declared him a rock!
Peter probably knew that underneath all his impulsiveness and lack of verbal self control (wow, sounds like me!), he had leadership qualities. Maybe others couldn’t look past the surface to see them, either.
So when Jesus calls out Simon’s hidden second self – by calling him Peter – I can imagine how known Peter felt, how for maybe the first time someone believed in him, saw his potential, loved him.
No wonder Peter followed Jesus!
And then there’s Nathaniel. I wept over his story when I blogged on it a few years ago here. Talk about being known and loved.
That’s the Jesus who knows me and my name. And loves me!
Dear Lord: Thank You so much for the examples of tender love You showed Peter and Nathaniel when You first met them. Help me to remember You know and love me inside and out, just like you did them. Amen.