A New Identity

The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah.” And he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John, You will be called…Peter. (John 1:41-42)
What did Jesus see in that first look at Simon that caused him to change his name? Oswald Chambers wrote, “Individuality is the husk of the personal life. Individuality is all elbows, it separates and isolates.” With that in mind, perhaps what Jesus saw in that initial meeting with Simon Peter was the husk and what was inside the husk. Simon had an identity. He had developed a style of relating to hide that identity and we see glimpses of it in the Gospels: self-confident, self-sufficient, loud, brash, impulsive, fearless, capable, etc. Husk, all of it husk. But Jesus knew who he really was and who he was capable of becoming. A rock, a pillar, a leader, a writer, a speaker, a humble and dependent man. And that is what he became in Christ.
Jesus was very patient with Peter as the layers of husk were peeled off ever so slowly, and I believe he calls us to do the same with others who seem at times to be all elbows. Our ability to be patient depends largely on our viewpoint. If we are able to say to ourselves, “Imagine that man, that woman, as a new creation in Christ,” then we will likely be more patient with them and may become a key instrument in peeling away some of the husk that will free the person to be who they were designed to be in Christ. It is soooooo easy to forget that God is in the transformation business.
What about you? Are you transparent or have you designed a husk that presents the person you would like others to think you are so that they don’t get too close and see who you really are? Some common husks include intimidation, humor, busyness, brusqueness, and shyness, to name a few. Could it be that God has a new name for you as well? A new identity that far exceeds what you or others could imagine? I’m counting on it.
Pastor Doug