Marked By Jesus
And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
(Matthew 16:18 ESV)
In Matthew 16:13 – 20 Jesus marks Peter. He calls him a rock and tells him that his future will be filled with strength, constancy and stability. Peter is going to be a guy that prevails, even in the face of great evil.
This is kind of an odd statement because at this point in Peter’s life, he isn’t any of those things. He is just the opposite. He isn’t strong, or constant, or stable. Peter is impatient, impetuous and unreliable. As a matter of fact, shortly after calling Peter a rock, Jesus calls him Satan because Peter was trying to keep Jesus from going to the cross. In other words, Peter is many things, but he isn’t a rock. And yet, what does Jesus say: Peter, I name you rock.
This passage teaches us that Jesus gives people names that do not seem to fit and then over time he grows people into those names. This is exactly what he did with Peter. Over time, as Peter walked with Jesus through success and failure, through doubt and belief, Jesus’ words about Peter became more real and true.
The same is true for us. Jesus has given us names that at first don’t seem to fit. He calls us blameless, holy, kind, and gracious. We are blessed, forgiven and free from sin. And at first we may look at what Jesus says about us and think: Jesus who are you talking about? These things don’t describe my life.