Rocks in my head

My current evening lessons are in the Gospel According to John.

Tonight, Jesus gave Simon the fisherman that “Rocky” nickname,

(Andrew) brought Simon to Jesus, who looked at him and said, ‘You are Simon son of John. You are to be called Cephas’ (which is translated Peter).  (John 1:42 NRSV – Cephas/Peter are words for “rock.”)

Peter, famous for vacillating again and again, seems unworthy of the name.

I’ve heard preachers suggest that Jesus was poking gentle fun at Simon, recognizing His follower’s penchant for emotion driven reactions, but this seems inconsistent with Jesus’ later invocation of the name as a foundation of the church,

Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.  (Matthew 16:17-18 NAB)

A few moments later, Peter would evidence his passionate instability by arguing against Jesus’ announcement of His necessary suffering and death, for which Jesus snapped at Peter and called him “Satan.”

Yet Peter would come to understand “rock” as an affirmation of Peter himself and all members of the church as Jesus’ chosen building materials, humbly recognizing Christ as the cornerstone of an ever growing temple,

As you come to him [Jesus], the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For in Scripture it says:

“See, I lay a stone in Zion,
    a chosen and precious cornerstone,
and the one who trusts in him
    will never be put to shame.” (I Peter 2:4-6 NIV)

John would see another expansive vision of building stones in his vision,

So he took me in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and he showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God. It shone with the glory of God and sparkled like a precious stone—like jasper as clear as crystal. The city wall was broad and high, with twelve gates guarded by twelve angels. And the names of the twelve tribes of Israel were written on the gates. There were three gates on each side—east, north, south, and west. The wall of the city had twelve foundation stones, and on them were written the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.  (Revelation 21:10-14 NLT)

All of us who are in Christ, with our flaws that the Lord sees, comprehends and forgives better than we, are His building material.  He knows our part and place in what he is building, and has a name for us that we will receive once we are completed in it,

To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone,with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.’  (Revelation 2:17 ESV)

Here’s a video because I needed something with “rock” in it and didn’t want to do a predictable hymn or something.


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