Hi, we’re back again with a Moment of Hope and here’s a special verse for you from the Bible. It’s when Jesus first met Peter. “And one of the two who heard John speak followed him, and it was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, ‘We have found the Christ, the Messiah.'” That’s a powerful declaration to tell your brother. “And he brought Peter to Jesus. Now when Jesus looked at him, he said, ‘You are Simon, the son of John or Jonah, you shall be called Peter the Rock.’”
I want you to think of those words for just a moment. First of all, when Peter meets Jesus, the Bible says Jesus looked at him. That’s an unusual statement. Try to imagine meeting Jesus for the first time, and all he does is stand there and look at you. That’s precisely what happened to Peter. Jesus looked at him and as he was looking inside of Peter, He saw something that gave Jesus hope. When Jesus finally spoke, here’s what he said to Peter: “You are John, Simon, the son of John. You shall be called Peter the Rock.”
Take those two phrases. You are, and you shall be. When Jesus comes to you and me, he comes to us as we are. He sees us as we are. But when Jesus looked at Peter, He saw something more in Peter than just what he was. He saw what he was going to become, and he said, “You are Simon the son of Jonah, but you shall be called Peter the Rock.”
We all know that Peter made a lot of mistakes in following Jesus. Peter was a close companion and disciple of Jesus for three years. Just before Jesus left the Earth as was on trial in Pilate’s courtyard of the palace, Peter stood nearby over a fire warming his hands. A little girl said to Peter, “You’re one of his disciples.” He said, “No, I’m not.” A soldier came and said, “You’re one of his.” “No, I’m not.” Three times that night Peter denied knowing Jesus…and then the rooster crowed and Peter realized what he had done. He had just shamed himself by denying the one who loved him like no other.
The Bible says in the book of Luke, and it’s only in the Gospel of Luke, Jesus turned and looked at Peter. Now think of those two junctures. Jesus meets Peter for the first time. He looks at him, and He says, “You’re Simon, the son of Jonah. You shall be called Peter the Rock.” Now He sees Peter cursing Him and denying Him in front of the fire, and the Bible said, Jesus turned and looked at Peter.
What do you think was in the look of Jesus when he gazed upon Peter? The Bible says Peter went out and wept bitterly. I want to suggest to you that the look that Jesus gave Peter on the night of His betrayal was the same look that He gave Peter when they were initially introduced. When Jesus had said, “You are Simon, but you shall be Peter.” Jesus was forecasting hope in Peter’s life. He’s saying, “Here’s what you are, but here’s what you shall be.”
Peter went away that night and wept bitterly in the dark. I think what he saw in the look of Jesus was the look of hope that was there the first time. The first time Jesus saw him, he hoped. And now the second time, just before he’s passing from the scene, Jesus continues to hope. He looks at Peter and what He’s saying in his heart is, “You are Simon the son of John, but you shall be called Peter the Rock.”
Ten days later on the day of Pentecost, Peter stands up and declares that Jesus is the son of God. And what a message he preached! Peter’s life was changed by the hope of Jesus Christ. When Jesus looked at him, He saw something more than anybody else could see.
When Jesus looks at you and me, He sees our faults and problems, but He looks past them and He forecasts hope over your life and mine. Dare to believe that Jesus looks on you and says, “You are, but you shall be.” What will you be in the kingdom of God? That’s the message of hope. We all have hope to do things in God’s kingdom far bigger than we ever dreamed about ourselves.