The Two-Named Leader of the Disciples

This week, our study picks up on the man few would argue against as the leader of the twelve: Simon Peter….or simply, Peter.

I picked up on something new while reading Chapter 2 of our study (this week’s assignment).  Our author talks about the two names for Christ’s “Rock”.  Simon and Peter.  Throughout the gospels, Peter is sometimes referred to as “Simon”; other times as “Peter”; and even fewer times as “Simon Peter”.

John 1:43 describes Jesus’ first face-to-face meeting with Simon Peter:

“Now when Jesus looked at him, He said, ‘You are Simon, the son of Jonah.  You shall be called Cephas’ (which is translated, A Stone).”

So, “Simon” refers to the old ways; the brash, vacillating, and undependable fisherman.

And, “Peter” refers to the person Jesus wanted him to be.

MacArthur writes:

“He wanted the nickname to be a perpetual reminder to him about who he should be.  And from that point on, whatever Jesus called him sent a subtle message.  If He called him Simon, He was signaling him that he was acting like his old self.  If He called him Rock, He was commending him for acting the way he ought to be acting.”

Maybe more of us should go through life with two names; one that describes when we’re acting less than our potential; and the other when we’re leaning towards greatness.

What would your two names be?

Rob Miller leads us this week as we dig more into Peter from the Chapter 2 reading.  Fellowship begins at 7:30 am.  Lesson starts at 7:45 am.  Cornwell Center.

I’ll see you then!

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