“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.” Matthew 16:18
Simon Peter met Jesus. I know several friends and church members who say that besides Jesus, Simon Peter is their favorite person in the Bible because they can easily relate to him.
As he tried to follow Jesus, Simon often made mistakes or blurted out something that he regretted later. Simon was the one who tried to walk on water. Simon was the one who insisted that he would never deny Jesus — and then although Simon did that, he was later restored and called to follow Jesus again.
But sometimes Simon got it right. In our reading for today he made a bold and true confession to Jesus, saying, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” And that is when Jesus gave him a nickname: Peter. The Greek word for Peter means “rock,” so Jesus was letting him know that Peter’s bold confession was the foundation on which he would build his church. The most faithful thing a person can do is to trust in Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of the living God.
When we act like Simon Peter, making mistakes or blurting out things we will regret later, we can be assured that we are not too clumsy or shameful to be of service to God. We too can make the bold and true confession that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of the living God, and by God’s grace we can stand on this firm, rocky foundation.
Lord and God, though we stumble, we thank you that we can trust in you and in your power to save. Amen.