Get up and go
May 10, 2023
“Only Peter got up and ran to the tomb.” Luke 24:12
Peter. Of the eleven who heard the women’s report, who rejected their witness as “sheer imagination,” Peter is named as the one who chooses to go and see for himself. He may not have believed the women and may have found their story implausible, but he was moved to get up and go. In scripture, Peter is someone who frequently gets up and goes.
Over the next few days, we will spend time with Peter to remember and learn more about this friend of Jesus, who was also a significant person in the resurrection community. He holds such a rich humanity in his friendship, fellowship, and faith.
Initially known as Simon in the gospels, he was given the name Peter or Cephas by Jesus after his bold proclamation that Jesus was the Christ, the Messiah (Matthew 16:18,19). Peter means rock. As the naming incident in Matthew continues, Jesus renames him for his heavenly inspired confession and promises to build on his rock-solid faith, offering him the keys to the kingdom. Peter is known as the first of the disciples to name Jesus as the Christ (God’s anointed one) and has several names: Simon, Cephas, Peter, and the double name Simon Peter.
Simon Peter was married. Jesus cured his mother-in-law of her illness in one of the early healing stories, as accounted in Mark and Luke. He had a brother, Andrew, and they worked together as fishermen with James and John, the sons of Zebedee. In Luke 5:1-12, we hear of Jesus approaching Simon on the shore of Lake Gennesaret as he was cleaning his nets after an unsuccessful night of fishing. Jesus instructed him to push out the boat and drop the nets into the waters, which, after expressing his suspicions, Peter did. And, of course, a massive miraculous catch filled the nets, compelling Peter to fall to his knees before Jesus, making an ego-emptying confession of unworthiness to be in his presence. “Keep away from me Lord, for I am only a sinful man!” Jesus generously and lovingly foretold Peter’s life change. “Don’t be afraid Peter. Soon you will fish for people.”
One of the first followers, one of the first confessors. One of the first to get up and go.
One of the friends whom Jesus named Rock.
Who have been the rock-solid followers upon whom your faith has found footing?
Jesus renamed Peter when he proclaimed him as Messiah. What name does Jesus give you when you blurt out your belief in him?
Prayer: God of life and love, thank you for Peter and for all those whose faith is a bedrock for our believing. May we like him be living stones that proclaim, follow, and bring others to your generous lifegiving grace. Amen. Alleluia.