The original name of Peter when he was born was Simon. That was the name his mother gave him. Jesus changed the name of Simon to Peter. Peter means rock. Rock as in a boulder, strong, massive, and almost immovable. So Simon’s name was changed to Peter. Peter signifying a huge, hard rock. What does the rock mean for us? Three S’s.
The first “S” is stubborn. Rocks are always hard. Hardness and rock go together. There is no such thing as a soft rock. A rock is always hard; that is why in Tagalog, when we say “matigas ang ulo,” when we speak of being “matigas ang ulo,” we are actually speaking of being stubborn. And when we speak of “pusong parang bato,” it does not mean that the heart is really made of rock. It simply means that the heart is so hard. It is incapable of loving, incapable of pity, incapable of feeling anything.
The Church of Jesus Christ was founded on stubborn people. And we are that stubborn people – hard-headed people, stiff-necked people, arrogant people, and sinful people. That is how we are, and the Lord started His Church on the foundation of stubborn people.
The second “S” is stable. We don’t build a house on sand because sand is always moving. When the house is built on rock, it means that the house is stable, strong, durable, and dependable. The Church of Jesus Christ is founded on something that is very stable. And what makes the Church stable? Certainly, it is not our being stubborn. If the Church will depend on our being stubborn, then the Church would have collapsed a long time ago. The stability of the Church, the stability of the rock does not come from us. It comes from God himself. The rock that is stable; the rock that is firm, refers to Jesus Christ. We are founded on rock, and a house that is made of rock rather than wood is more stable. A house of nipa can be blown by the storm. A house of wood can crumble down during earthquakes. A house that is made from rocks is stable. A house that is built on rock is strong and massive. That is the Church given to us by God. Even if we are stubborn, the love of God is stable. Even if we are arrogant, the love of God is dependable. Even if we are weak, the love of God is always strong. A love that can withstand all time.
The third “S” is spring. When we dig a well, most likely we are going to see water with soil. When water is mixed with the soil, it is murky and yellowish, impure and not suitable for drinking. It cannot even be used to wash anything. If we dig deeper through more murky water and sand, soon the water becomes cleaner and clearer. Yet the water is still hazy. It is when we hit the rock that water becomes pure. Rocks have the capacity of purifying water. The more rocks there are, the better the quality of water. That is why when Moses hit the rock in the desert, pure clean water gushed forth from the rock. This is a symbol of the providence of God. So when the Church is said to be founded on rock, it also means that the Church is founded on a life-giving source, and that life-giving source is God himself. The Church must be an instrument of life all the time, as water is a symbol of life all the time. It is a spring of water gushing forth. It is not like the hazy water from the sand nor is it muddy water coming from the soil but pure clean drinking water coming from the rock of springs. The Church is founded on that type of a rock that brings forth clear living water. Please take note that the Church of Jesus Christ is not founded on pure perfection. It is based on the rock of our stubbornness, and yet it is met with the stability of God’s love and nourished by the spring of life that the Lord continues to give to the Church. “You are rock,” the Lord said, “and upon this rock of your stubbornness, upon this rock of stability of my love, upon this rock, which is the source of spring water, I will build my Church.” Let us, Wandk God, har we belong to that Church. We may be stubborn, but God’s love is stable. We may be hard-headed, but the life of the spring that God offers us will be there until the end of time.
PETER, THE ROCK
Love Like Jesus