A New Name

Background Story: After being with the crowds and performing many miracles, Jesus gathers with His disciples to speak to just them.

Read Matthew 16: 13-19

When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”

14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”

16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

Big Idea: God is creating me into something new.

Jesus changed Simon’s name to Peter which means “rock” and said, “and on this rock I will build my church.” What’s amazing is if you read about Peter up to this point, he’s not really a rock. He is impulsive and often gets corrected for saying the wrong thing. After Peter received his new name from Jesus, Peter denied that he ever met Jesus (Matthew 26). Does that sound like a rock for someone to build a church on?

In the previous devotion, we read in Genesis 17:5 that God said to Abram, “No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations.” At this point, Abram was super old and had no kids. How will he be the father of many nations when he’s not even a dad?

Often when God changes a person’s name in the Bible, He does it long before they have received the promise or changed. In Romans 4:17 it says God, “gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did.” We might look at someone like Peter and see an average guy, but Jesus looks at Peter and sees the rock he will become. When we look at Abram, we see a man with no kids. When God looks at Abram, He already sees Abraham even before the kids are around.

God has this amazing way of seeing beyond who we are at the present to see the person He has created us to be. Never forget that this is the God that “calls those things which do not exist as though they did.” He is making us into a new creation and is replacing our previous identity with the new masterpiece He is creating. Isaiah 62:2 says, “you will be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will bestow.”

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