February 10th – Meet Rocky



We get so solemn in our religious habits that we miss the sparkling wit of Jesus, which must have had the crowds in fits of laughter. Such as a very religious man solemnly straining out minuscule sand flies from his drink, then swallowing an entire camel, humps, hooves and all! We speak in such hushed tones about ‘Saint Peter’, when really Peter was a nickname Jesus gave to Simon (or Shimone), and when we realise the nickname was “Rocky”, we ought at least to smile! Never was there a more un-rock like man. Until Jesus had worked on him. There was also that early misunderstanding about Rocky being the rock-like foundation of the church of Jesus. Peter’s confession in Matthew 16 is the turning point of the gospel story, where Jesus began from that time on, to teach them the incredible story of a Messiah who would suffer, and even die. No wonder that Rocky was flabbergasted. He had no problem with the great confession: “Who do you say that I am?” Jesus asked those who had been closest to him for over two years, day and night. Rocky had no trouble speaking for them all when he said “You are the Messiah – Son of the Living God”. Then came the confusion.
Jesus went on “I tell you, you are Rocky (Little Rock), and on this Big Rock (myself) I will build my church, and the gates of death won’t be able to hold out against it”. “Now that you know my destiny I’m calling you all into partnership, to open the Kingdom of Heaven to all men to set men free”. This is the supreme privilege of sharing in the divine mission. I started this, talking about the sense of humour. Well, if you want to hear Peter’s own witty extension to all this, don’t miss tomorrow’s reading. For now this from Matthew Chapter 16: When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They replied “Some say John the Baptist, other say Elijah, and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets”. “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God”.
Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by y Father in heaven. And 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: 13-18
A prayer: Lord, thank you, for opening the door to Eternal life to such people as we, in confessing Jesus as Messiah – your Son, our Saviour.
Now read I Peter 1: 1-12

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