Saturday, May 28, 2011

Transformations: The Commissioning, Part 6

By Brenda Cathcart

In this blog we begin by looking at the name Peter since Peter plays a key role when Jesus’ appears to him and the disciples with him at the Sea of Gallilee. Peter’s given name was Simon and Jesus changed his name to Peter.

Matthew 16:15-18 NKJV 15 He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" 16 Simon Peter answered and said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." 17 Jesus answered and said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 "And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.

In addressing Peter, Jesus uses Peter’s whole name, Simon Bar-Jonah. Simon comes from the Hebrew name Shimown which we know as Simeon. Shimown means hearing (#8085). Bar is not part of Peter’s name; it means son. The name Jonah is from the Hebrew for dove (3123). The dove is a symbol of the Spirit of God. At Jesus’ baptism the Holy Spirit falls on Jesus as a dove.

Matthew 3:16-17 NKJV 16 When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. 17 And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

Again, at Jesus’ transfiguration, God’s voice testifies that Jesus is the Son of God giving further instructions to hear him.

Matthew 17:5 NKJV 5 While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!"

Simon’s original name means “Hearing is the ‘son’ of the Spirit of God,” that is hearing comes from the Spirit of God. Simon heard the testimony of the Spirit; Jesus said that the Father Himself revealed it to Simon. And Simon’s testimony is that Jesus is the “Christ, the Son of the Living God.” As a result of this testimony, Jesus changes his name to Peter. Many of you probably already know Peter means rock. It comes from the Greek word petros (#4074) meaning a piece of rock. The word translated rock for the rock Jesus will build his assembley on is a different Greek word petra (#4073) meaning a mass of rock. Matthew 16:18 can be read “you are a piece of rock, and on this mass of rock I will build My church.” Peter is not the mass of rock, he is merely a piece, an important piece but merely a piece. What is the mass of rock? Peter’s testimony is the foundation, “You are the Christ, the son of the Living God.”  Jesus is the rock. David calls Him the Rock of my salvation.

2 Samuel 22:47 KJV 47 The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and exalted be the God of the rock of my salvation.

He is the Rock the builders rejected becoming the foundation stone.

Psalms 118:22 NKJV 22 The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone.

Finally, Paul calls him the Rock that provided the water for the Israelites in the wilderness.

1 Corinthians 10:1-4 NKJV 1 Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, 2 all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 all ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.

Simon Bar-Jonah, the one who hears from the Spirit of God becomes Peter, a piece of rock that builds the Assembly of Christ on the foundation of Christ Himself. We also hear the Spirit of God and are pieces of rock being built into the Temple of God.

Ephesians 2:19-21 NKJV 19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord,

Peter’s testimony here sets the stage for Jesus’ next appearance to the disciples after His resurrection. It is one week after His resurrection and the disciples are again together in the house where they were staying. This time Thomas is with them.

John 20:24-29 NKJV 24 Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 The other disciples therefore said to him, "We have seen the Lord." So he said to them, "Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe." 26 And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, "Peace to you!" 27 Then He said to Thomas, "Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing." 28 And Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord and my God!" 29 Jesus said to him, "Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."

Blessed are those like Peter who believe and testify that Jesus is the Son of the Living God.  This happened on the eights day of the counting of the Omer.

שלום ברוך
Shalom and Be Blessed
Dan & Brenda Cathcart

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