The Two-Named Leader of the Disciples

This week, our study picks up on the man few would argue against as the leader of the twelve: Simon Peter….or simply, Peter.

I picked up on something new while reading Chapter 2 of our study (this week’s assignment).  Our author talks about the two names for Christ’s “Rock”.  Simon and Peter.  Throughout the gospels, Peter is sometimes referred to as “Simon”; other times as “Peter”; and even fewer times as “Simon Peter”.

John 1:43 describes Jesus’ first face-to-face meeting with Simon Peter:

“Now when Jesus looked at him, He said, ‘You are Simon, the son of Jonah.  You shall be called Cephas’ (which is translated, A Stone).”

So, “Simon” refers to the old ways; the brash, vacillating, and undependable fisherman.

And, “Peter” refers to the person Jesus wanted him to be.

MacArthur writes:

“He wanted the nickname to be a perpetual reminder to him about who he should be.  And from that point on, whatever Jesus called him sent a subtle message.  If He called him Simon, He was signaling him that he was acting like his old self.  If He called him Rock, He was commending him for acting the way he ought to be acting.”

Maybe more of us should go through life with two names; one that describes when we’re acting less than our potential; and the other when we’re leaning towards greatness.

What would your two names be?

Rob Miller leads us this week as we dig more into Peter from the Chapter 2 reading.  Fellowship begins at 7:30 am.  Lesson starts at 7:45 am.  Cornwell Center.

I’ll see you then!

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12 No-bodies who became Some-bodies!

Lots of excitement among our group this week as we kick off (or re-kick-off) a new series, Twelve Ordinary Men by John MacArthur.  For some of the group’s veterans, this is a re-do, of sorts.  For others, it’s a great study that remains a favorite by most of our men.

Selfishly, I looked up the introduction from this study I posted in January, 2018 and pasted it below.  The instructions then are still relevant this week:

This week, our homework is to read the Introduction and Chapter 1 (“Common Men, Uncommon Calling”).

As you read this week’s assignment, think about a few things:

  • First, Jesus chooses the twelve not because they were famous, smart, powerful or even wealthy.  Why do you think this was the case?
  • Next, read 1 Timothy 3:2-7 and write down the qualities that Paul says are prerequisites for being a leader in the local church.  Think about which of those qualities would not have been present in the disciples when Jesus first chose them.
  • Finally, how can we balance out the understanding that God delights in choosing ordinary nobodies (like us) but yet has high expectations for us at the same time?

Lots to cover this week and it’s a long reading.  Remember to break it apart, if you must, and save time to go ponder the three questions above.

Finally, with new study comes the opportunity to invite someone to join us.  I’d encourage you to extend the invitation today!

See you this Friday, SEP 6th at The Cornwell Center.  Gather starting at 7:30 am.  We’ll launch into this week’s lesson at 7:45 am.

Peace!