Thursday, April 17, 2008

Calling those things that be not as though they are

Am pondering a few things.

When Jesus met Peter he said to him, "You are Simon. From now on your name is Peter."

The word Simon means a "reed" (A broken reed God will not break.) But still reeds are pretty wimpy and drifting and directionless. So Jesus didn't want to call him that. It was a bad name. Hey, the other disciples were probably just as wimpy...and Jesus was praying for all of them, especially since the devil wanted to sift Peter like wheat. So Jesus named Simon "Cephas" which means Rock. Rocky. Petros. A man of stone. He called Peter what he wanted Peter to be.

When James and John wanted to call down thunder to destroy the Samaritans. Jesus called them the Thunder Boys, the sons of thunder. In that case he called them what they were. And yet it wasn't a bad nickname. It's not like he was going to call them Samaritan-killers. It's not so bad knowing one is a son of thunder. They were, like Elijah, quite aware of the power and authority God had put into his people. As long as they didn't send she-bears down to eat up kids, as long as they didn't destroy innocent people out of spite....heck why not keep the name?

When Jesus said he himself was going to be killed in Jerusalem, Peter decided to speak positively and to rebuke Jesus for saying something negative. He said with great authority, "You shall not die in Jerusalem." Either he said it as a note of worry to snap Jesus out of it, or he was exercising his spiritual power of faithful speech and positive confession. After all, Jesus had been trying to teach these guys how to have faith in using his word as authority. But it was the wrong time. God alone can tell us when to use his name and his authority.

When Jesus saw the apostles on the boat, he was about to pass them by...but he realized they weren't going to use the word of power to stop the waves...so he used it themselves. They had power to stop the waves and wind but they were depending on him. Again, it's a matter of knowing what and when......

Am pondering this.
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