Summary: As a kid, we loved nicknames. It meant acceptance, identity. Once playing baseball, someone called me, "Slugger." Thrilling. What must it feel like to have the Lord give you a name? Fulfill your potential.
A Man Called Peter
Opening day of the 1954 baseball season. A rookie named Jim Greengrass put on a stellar performance. With a made for baseball name, he went 3 for 4 with a couple of extra-base hits. Another rookie started that day also. Didn’t do so well. Struck out 4 times, and dropped an easy fly ball. Not such a great start for poor Henry Aaron. Who do you think sports writers saw more potential in that day?
When I read that story in Leadership magazine, I thought of Peter. What did Jesus see in this guy?
Why is this man called a rock?
Is it because he is steady or hard-headed?
What does it tell us about Jesus as a judge of character?
1. To be a rock with Jesus is to allow my faults to be revealed.
** Don’t feel like you have to meet up to some standard in order for Christ to accept you.
A great snare of the devil--to think I have to qualify for Christ.
Like Peter, we all have faults. We all have moments we wish could rewind the tape and keep our mouth shut, relive a moment.
Some questions asked of Peter reveal his ignorance, failure, and ineptitude.
Mat. 14:31, when sinking from walking on water, "You of little faith, why did you doubt?"
Pete didn’t understand a parable, so he said,"Explain please." and in Mat 15.16, Jesus asks him, "Are you also without understanding?"
The night before the crucifixion, Peter falls asleep when the savior needs him the most. In Mat 26.40, He asks Peter, "Could you not watch with me one hour?"
When Peter acts in defense of Christ, trying to help Him along, he cuts off the ear of a servant who served the high priest in arresting Jesus. Jesus asked peter, "Am I not supposed to drink the cup which my Father gave me?", Joh 18.11.
2. To be a rock with Jesus is to allow my heart to be revealed.
** What Christ wants from you is a genuine confession from your heart.
He wants you to answer
"Who do you say that I am?"
What does Jesus see when He sees me?
Jesus wants to know where you priorities are. How important is He to you? Do you understand Who Jesus is?
Watch Jesus get a snapshot of Peter’s heart:
Jesus--"Will you leave also?" Joh 6.67.
Peter--"You have the words of eternal life." v. 68
After all your failures and letdowns, after all your sin and blasphemy, after all your treason and hypocrisy, Jesus has one more question: "Do you love me?", Joh 21.16.
After we have answered these questions for ourselves, we can stand back and look at what the Master is trying to accomplish with us.
3. To be a rock with Jesus is to allow my whole life to be sculpted by the hands of Jesus.
**Your relationship with Jesus will not depend on your performance. Failures and faults don’t stop Him.
**There is a lot to criticize, and Jesus could do that.
But when Jesus sees me, he looks as He looked at Peter.
You have probably read about the great sculptor who had unveiled a statue featuring a king. "How do you get a king out of a slab of stone?" he was asked. "I chip away everything that doesn’t resemble a king, and I smooth and polish everything that does."
**Jesus looks at you and sees what He can make out of your life.
We see a hot-head, impulsive.
But he also left his net immediately to follow Jesus.
We may be hot-headed, impulsive, shoot from the hip.
Jesus can re-direct that into a passion for serving Him.
Jesus can use that boldness for the gospel, so needed.
We see a doubter who couldn’t stand the waves.
Jesus saw a risk taker who was not afraid to fail. Jesus saw someone who would step out.
We see a coward who shot off his mouth to Jesus and then denied Him on three occasions.
Jesus saw a man who came back to face his errors, did not run or hide from his guilt. Jesus knew that Peter’s love for the Savior would again bring him face to face with Christ.
Conc. As we think about Peter, are you that different?
As a kid, nicknames in our neighborhood meant that you were accepted by the older kids, you were cool. Unless your nickname was something like, "Doofus." Playing ball once, someone once (and only once) called me, "Slugger". My 8-year old chest swelled. Think what is must be like to hear the Savior give you a special name, like Rock.