When I was a kid most of my friends mispronounced my name. It was never Jeremy (Jer-ah-me), usually, it sounded like germy (ger-me). I didn’t want people to think I had germs! While I sometimes wished for a new name as a child, I have grown to like it. What I realized is with Jesus, my identity is new and means more than my name. When I looked at the verses in John 1:41-42 and saw how Jesus called Simon, Peter, it made me wonder how impactful that would have been for him. It was a simple change, but it had a profound effect on his life.

Jesus had a purpose in calling him Peter. The name Simon during that day would have meant- to hear, be heard, or a reputation. Simon was a fisherman who probably wanted to be thought of more highly than he was, maybe you can relate? Sometimes a name, a title, a role, or something that identifies changes and it changes everything else around it for us. That is why Simon being called Peter is impactful. Jesus in that moment through a small statement, had changed Simon/Peter’s life. He called Simon to Peter and gave him a new identity and a new reputation. Peter was now the rock and Jesus knew the disciples, the church, and even us today would need to see change. Peter becoming the rock of the early church was that change..

When we received Jesus and became his, our identity changed. He did not need to change our name, instead, he gave us life (2 Cor. 5:17), he gave identity (Eph. 2:10), and purpose (1 Peter 2:9). This is so good! We now have the opportunity to proclaim what he has done. Similar to Simon/Peter sharing his new name with people which the Messiah, Jesus, gave to him. We get to share what Jesus has done for us. Take a few moments to think about what Jesus has done for your identity, how he changed things, and thank him for it. Then go and share it!

Jeremy Johnson
Family Pastor

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