I have often heard of Jesus’ name emphasis of Simon to Peter as a declaration of Peter being crowned as head of the church, due to Jesus calling him Peter and then give the reference to a rock, where many assume are the same. Period. Let’s go home. Nope. If we take a step forward, lean in and look at the language, the message is something so much deeper. Matthew 16, Jesus asks the guys “Who do people say I am?” They respond, “John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah and perhaps one of the Prophets.” Alrighty then, “But who do YOU say I am?” Jesus asked. The outspoken Peter replies, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” To which Jesus says, “Blessed are you, Simon, there it is – right there! For you didn’t get this all on your own, your buddies didn’t tell you, but My Father told you, and you are Peter and on this rock I will build My church and the gates of hell won’t be able to conquer it.” (vv17-18, paraphrased, emphasis mine)
If we were to take a peek behind the word Peter (‘petros’) and rock (‘petra’) which is the foundation of the church, they are indeed two different words (or word forms) Petros (Peter) meaning a rock, a stone. According to many scholars, this stone is a piece or fragment of a rock that might be thrown or easily moved. Now petra (rock) is literally a mass of rock. Two different pictures represented. (see photo above) One is easily moved, the other huge and strong enough to build a house on: “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock (petra). The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock (petra).” (Jesus, Matthew 7:24-25 NIV)
The foundation of the church is not the man Peter, it is the solid believing faith and testimony concerning Jesus, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” Which is unchangeable, immovable and strong enough to hold against the stuff that hell would attempt to throw. (Applause erupts!)
May we be like Peter, hear God, with heart acceptance and rock-solid confession of faith.
In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love & good deeds.” – Hebrews 10:24)