ROCK ON

Rocks are fascinating. When I was a teenager, I collected rocks. Living in the country near a creek, there were plenty of interesting specimens to gather. Most of us know that there are three types of rocks – metamorphic, igneous, and sedimentary. Metamorphic rocks are formed by great heat and pressure. Igneous rocks are formed from the magma of volcanoes. Sedimentary rocks are formed by many years of sediment compacting together and becoming hard. My point is this: it isn’t easy becoming a rock. Rocks aren’t formed overnight. Harsh elements must be tolerated and withstood, and great sifting must occur.

Such was the case with Peter. In Matthew 16:18, Jesus called Peter a rock. “I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.” I imagine that those who knew Peter laughed at the metaphorical language. The disciples were no strangers to rocks. Huge rocks made their homes on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. As a fisherman, Peter may have even viewed these rocks as nuisances. One fact Peter knew about these rocks, they were immovable – and that’s not a word that would describe Peter. view-over-the-sea-of-galilee-and-volcanic-rocks-on-the-shore-capernaum-cy57xj

Yet, the rock was being formed…

Peter was impetuous. His heart may have been in the right place, but his actions didn’t always match. On those occasions when it was best to say nothing, Peter found something to say. And it was usually an open mouth, insert foot comment! Let’s look at Mark 9 2-6, 2 Six days later, Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John, and *brought them up on a high mountain by themselves. And He was transfigured before them; 3 and His garments became radiant and exceedingly white, as no launderer on earth can whiten them. 4 Elijah appeared to them along with Moses; and they were talking with Jesus.5 Peter *said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three tabernacles, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 6 For he did not know what to answer; for they became terrified. Notice verse six – he did not know what to answer. So what did Peter do? He answered! He suggested making three tabernacles! Yes, Peter was impetuous.

Yet the rock was being formed…

Peter was impulsive. Do you remember when the disciples were on the boat during the storm? They saw Jesus walking on the water toward them. Picture it – high winds, fierce waves, torrential rain, and a fishing boat. What does Peter do? Let’s read Matthew 14:28-31, 28 Peter said to Him, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” 29 And He said, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” Did any of the other disciples ask Jesus to prove Himself? Did any of the other disciples volunteer to walk on water? Yes, Peter was certainly impulsive.

Yet the rock was being formed…

Peter was impertinent. He rebuked Jesus! I’m sure he meant well, but still… Peter didn’t like what Jesus was telling the disciples. Their lack of understanding tainted their view of Jesus’ Kingdom. Let’s take a look at Matthew 16:21-23 – 21 From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day. 22 Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “[God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You.” 23 But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.” Peter was most definitely impertinent!

Yet the rock was being formed…

Peter was idealistic. He failed to understand the most basic teachings of Jesus – that His Kingdom was not of this world. However, Peter was determined that nothing would separate him from Jesus. Jesus knew better. Let’s read Luke 22:31-34 – 31 “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has ]demanded permission to sift you like wheat;32 but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”33 But he said to Him, “Lord, with You I am ready to go both to prison and to death!”34 And He said, “I say to you, Peter, the rooster will not crow today until you have denied three times that you know Me.” Yes, Peter was idealistic.

Yet the rock was being formed…

Peter was illogical. The time had come. Judas had betrayed Jesus. A slew of Roman soldiers were in the Garden of Gethsemane, along with the ragged-looking disciples. What did Peter do? Take a look at John 18:10 – Simon Peter then, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear; and the slave’s name was Malchus. He cut off the ear of the high priest’s slave!! Now anyone will tell you that wasn’t the smartest move to make when surrounded by Roman soldiers. Yet that’s exactly what Peter did. He was illogical.

Yet the rock was being formed…

Peter was indolent. The full gamut of emotions had been played out during the last few hours. Jesus had been arrested, Peter had hacked off an ear, and then ran. But loyalty, or curiosity, had gotten the best of him, and he found himself in the courtyard. Let’s go there in Luke 22:54-60 – 54 Having arrested Him, they led Him away and brought Him to the house of the high priest; but Peter was following at a distance. 55 After they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter was sitting among them. 56 And a servant-girl, seeing him as he sat in the firelight and looking intently at him, said, “This man was with Him too.” 57 But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know Him.” 58 A little later, another saw him and said, “You are one of them too!” But Peter said, “Man, I am not!” 59 After about an hour had passed, another man began to insist, saying, “Certainly this man also was with Him, for he is a Galilean too.” 60 But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about.” Immediately, while he was still speaking, a rooster crowed. Three times Peter denied Jesus. To three different people, he denied even knowing Him. Oh, Peter was indolent.

Yet, the rock was being formed…

Peter was inconsolable. All this time, Peter has been going through the process of becoming the rock, as Jesus saw him. He had been knocked about by the harsh elements of life. He had been sifted by Satan. And now, the process was almost complete. Peter’s old self had been broken. It had been crushed against the horrors of reality. Let’s read Luke 22:61-62 – 61 The Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had told him, “Before a rooster crows today, you will deny Me three times.” 62 And he went out and wept bitterly. Yes, Peter was inconsolable.

Finally, the seemingly incongruent idiosyncrasies of an unremarkable man became…the rock.

Peter became ignited! Finally he realized the purpose of Jesus coming to earth. Finally he realized that His death had not been in vain. Finally his eyes had been opened to the offer of salvation. Let’s read Acts 2:38-41 – 38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” 40 And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” 41 So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. Peter became ignited!

Peter was the rock…

Peter became inspired! He knew that the power of Jesus had been given to him. He knew that he – through Jesus- could heal. Read Acts 3: 1-10 – Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour.[a] 2 And a man lame from birth was being carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple that is called the Beautiful Gate to ask alms of those entering the temple. 3 Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked to receive alms. 4 And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.” 5 And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. 6 But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” 7 And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. 8 And leaping up he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. 9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God,10 and recognized him as the one who sat at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, asking for alms. And they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. Peter was inspired!

Peter was the rock…jesustrail-20-M

Peter became immovable! When he walked with Jesus, he questioned the why’s of current and future events. Yet, in 1 Peter, he admonishes his readers to not be surprised at sufferings. Let’s take a look at 1 Peter 4:12-19 – 12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; 13 but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation.14 If you are reviled [for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.15 Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a [troublesome meddler; 16 but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name.17 For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?18 And if it is with difficulty that the righteous is saved, [what will become of the godless man and the sinner?19 Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right. Peter had become immovable!

Peter was the rock…

Peter was indebted. He acknowledged that only through the mercy of Christ could anyone be born again. Read 1 Peter 1: 3-5 – 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Peter was indebted.

What a transformation! The good news is that we too can be transformed. Let’s ponder one last scripture. found in 1 Peter 2:4-5-4 And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, 5 you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

Did you get that? We too are living stones! God didn’t plan for Peter to be the only rock. We are designed to be living stones! We are precious in God’s sight. However, God gives us a choice. We can choose to take the easy road, or we can choose to be sifted and put through trials. One produces living stones, the other just dust in the wind. As for me, my desire is to ROCK ON!

About Debbie

Debbie is a special education teacher, a wife, and a Meme to four granddaughters. She seeks to bring to life the people of the Bible. They were real, with real emotions, just like us.

2 Comments

  1. Awesome article. Just read it a 3rd time

  2. Rebecca McKinney Rushing

    I really enjoyed reading that Debbie ! Rock on ! ☺️??

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