And he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Peter). John 1:42

Have you ever thought how much easier it would be to follow Jesus if you could see Him, touch Him and walk with Him physically every day? It is hard for you some day to worship and believe when you can’t see (with your eyes) the one who has given you the forgiveness and love you need? Being able to see Jesus doesn’t always make the road any easier.

When Simon came to Jesus he was searching for something different in his life. He was a fisherman and apparently a successful one. From what we read about him in the Bible and history he was an independent thinker and a natural born leader.

But Simon was also an arrogant, outspoken, stubborn, rude and bold man who frequently used foul language. Today, if you saw Simon on the street you’d think he was the last person on earth that would even be looking for Jesus much less become someone who would become the leader of your church. Simon was not a pleasant man to be around.

One day, at the invitation of his brother Andrew, Simon came to check out this ‘new kid on the block.’ As soon as Jesus met Simon He saw qualities in him that would be useful for the Kingdom. It wasn’t because Simon had ‘cleaned up his act’ on the way to meeting Jesus. He was still the proud, outspoken arrogant person he’d always been. But Jesus didn’t look at the exterior attributes of this man. He looked at the heart. He looked at the potential in this man.

If you were to follow the life of Peter from that day forward you would see a man that grew strong in the Lord and eventually did great and mighty miracles. But he was the same Simon. He still had tendencies to go his own way. He still stumbled and rebelled. In fact, Simon denied that he even knew Jesus! That was the ultimate rejection!

Because of Jesus, Simon Peter was able to use many of the positive qualities such as his boldness to speak out, his leadership abilities and his passion to proclaim the gospel of Jesus. But those negative qualities were always there in the corner ready and willing to attack and try to bring him down.

Although we think it would be easier to live for Jesus if we could see Him, it isn’t really so. We will always have battle with our inner selves, with those old habits, those selfish ways and those desires to have things our own way.

Jesus looked at Simon and saw the good things about him. He said to him, “I see some great potential in you! I’m going to help you use all your gifts and abilities in a positive way now for My Kingdom. Simon’s new name of Peter was a sign of a new beginning of ministry, but not a sign of perfection. He would still struggle just as we do.

The Bible says that when we accept Christ as Savior we ‘get a new name’. Our new name empowers us to use our gifts and abilities to show Jesus love, and healing to the world around us.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, there are so many times in my life I feel like Peter. I’m arrogant, selfish, rude and deny you when I want things my way. I ask that you would forgive me for my selfish tendencies. Help me to use this new name you have given me to show your love, forgiveness and healing to those who need to see you. May I be the ‘Jesus in skin’ others need for a new name. Amen.