Most of us long for miracles. And Jesus’ perfect life, death on sinners’ behalf as the fulfillment of Passover, and His physical resurrection prove that He is willing and able to meet our greatest needs: complete forgiveness and a new heart to follow Him as our living King. But even in the Bible, most of the journey with Jesus is lived in the moments between miracles. In this 50-day series, we’ll consider some of those moments leading up to the next great miracle in the New Testament: the fulfillment of Pentecost and the incredible growth of the Church.
We can hear Jesus calling Peter’s name many times in the New Testament. John 21:15-17 is the only record of the Lord referring to him as “Simon, son of John”. It’s a question of identify. He was calling Peter to say who he really was. “Are you more the son of a man or more a follower of Christ?” And, of course, He had other questions for him, too. God willing, we’ll get to those tomorrow.
What about you or me? How often do we struggle with our identity and allegiances, positive or negative, powerful or impotent, short-term or forever? We can still hear many voices calling us nicknames of affection, cruel names, titles, surnames, team names, and more. So who are we? Or, more importantly, who does Jesus say that we are?
After a breakfast of fish and bread that particular morning, Jesus didn’t call him “the rock” on which I will build My Church, as He did in Matthew 16:18. He simply referred to him by the name his parents gave to him. Simon. John’s son. The question that was probably burning in his heart was, “Do you still consider me ‘Peter’?”
Jesus drew him in closer because that’s where He always wants each of His people to be.
In Revelation 2:17, the Lord Jesus says “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone that no one know except the one who receives it.” What does that mean? Try to picture being in paradise with the Lord and however many millions He will have saved over the ages, and He calls out one particular name that only you know. That will be His individual call only to you. That is the Lord’s personal love for each of His people.
To our government, you may be a social security number. But to Jesus, you are His. And nothing can change that – not your weak faith, not even denying Him three times in a moment of weakness. Our faith is to be in His perfect love for us, not in our imperfect love for Him. Praise the Lord!
I hope today’s thought and others in this series will be helpful to you as you journey with Jesus in the moments between miracles.