Simon ─ Cephas
Thou art Simon, the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, a stone. *John 1:42 (*Marginal note reads: Peter)
Read Matthew 16:13-20
The initial meeting between the Lord Jesus and Simon was a wonderful one, particularly because Simon does not speak one single word. We are not used to Peter’s silence; often he speaks up out of turn. But here he doesn’t say a word. Perhaps this was because he already understood that the Lord Jesus searches the heart and knows what lives there. That might not seem so strange if we saw how the Lord gazed at him. We know the Lord knew what He could expect from him.
Undoubtedly, Simon became disappointed in himself. That started when the Lord performed the miraculous catch of fish. This disappointment ran far deeper in the judgment hall of Caiaphas. But Simon was not a disappointment to Christ. The Lord Jesus knew what to expect from this fisherman, yet He received him into His service, for the Lord also knew what He was going to make of Simon.
Christ Jesus does not only call Simon by his old name, but by a new name as well. Simon will not remain what he once was—the old man with the old nature. The Lord will transform him into a new man, into a Cephas, a Peter, a stone, which He will use in the building of His Church.
And so Simon learns to remain silent. He does not protest when he is called by his old name. He also does not ask questions when he is called by his new name. Neither does he turn away; he stays with his newly found Master. That was the most sensible thing for him to do.
Thought: The day will come when all of God’s children will receive a new name. Read Isaiah 62:12.
Psalter 238:2, 3 (based on Psalm 87) Heathen lands and hostile peoples Soon shall come the Lord to know; Nations born again in Zion Shall the Lord’s salvation show, God Almighty, God Almighty, Shall on Zion strength bestow. When the Lord shall count the nations, Sons and daughters He shall see, Born to endless life in Zion, And their joyful song shall be, “Blessed Zion, Blessed Zion, All our fountains are in thee.”