“Again he denied it. After a little while, those standing near said to Peter, “Surely you are one of them, for you are a Galilean.” Mark 14:70 (NIV)
For those who may not know, Peter was one of the first people Jesus called to be a disciple. Peter wasn’t always called Peter. When he first met Jesus his name was Simon. In John 1:42 it tells us that Jesus met Simon through Simon’s brother Andrew. Jesus said to Simon, “You are Simon, son of John. You will be called Cephas (which, when translated, is Peter).” When Jesus looked at Simon Peter Jesus was looking at him while looking passed him. Jesus was able to see who he was, who he is, and who he will be. Jesus was able to see the whole lifespan by one glance at Peter. Peter would no longer be called Simon, but be called by a new name and would be known as a follower of Jesus.
Imagine you are in need of a green bush, so you go searching for one in the garden section of a store. You find a green bush without a tag telling you what kind of plant it is, and you figure that it will do the job, so you buy it. You plant it at home. It is perfect the way it is, an average green bush. One day you notice it starts producing a flower bud that turns into a rose. You realize that you have bought a rose bush. When you walk past the bush, your eyes are drawn to the rose, blurring out the sides of the bush. It's no longer an ordinary bush, but now you know its true identity, a rose bush.
You may not see the correlation between Peter’s story and the rose bush, but there is one. In the rose bush scenario, the bush wasn’t identified as anything until it’s idenity was revealed through the budding of a single rose. It would no longer be referred to as an ordinary bush but a rose bush. There was nothing wrong with the bush staying green without a rose, but the rose provided identity and beauty. The one rose blooming would change the bushes identity to something extraordinary.
In the same way Peter would have his identity changed by Christ. He would be identified by Christ’s reputation and not his own. Are you willing to be called by a different name? A name that Jesus has given you. The unidentifiable bush was Simon. He was average and another face in the crowd. Once Jesus picked Simon from the crowd to call him His, Peter became a rose bush that would be known by Christ’s beauty. Jesus knows our real names without looking at a name tag. He knows us before and beyond our time of blooming. Be bold to answer to the name that Christ has given you. You are the rose bush.
Lord Jesus, help me to see myself as I am truly seen by You. Amen.