The process was not
R. Miller, "The Friendships of Jesus" 1897)
"Jesus looked at him and said--You are Simon, son of John.
You will be called Cephas (which means 'Rock')." John 1:42
"You are Simon." That was his name then.
"You will be called Cephas." That was what he would become.
This did not mean that Simon's character was changed instantly into
the quality which the new name indicated. It meant that this would be his
character by and by--when the work of grace in him was
finished. The new name was a prophecy of what he was to
become--the man that Jesus would make of him. Now he was only Simon--rash,
impulsive, self-confident, vain--and therefore weak and unstable.
The process was not easy!
Simon had many hard lessons to learn!
Self-confidence had to be changed into humility.
Impetuosity had to be disciplined into quiet self-control.
Presumption had to be awed and softened into reverence.
Heedlessness had to grow into thoughtfulness.
Rashness had to be subdued into prudence.
Weakness had to be tempered into calm strength.
Thus lesson after lesson did Simon have to learn, each one
leading to a deeper humility.
It took a great deal of severe discipline to make him into the strong,
firm man of rock, that Jesus set out to produce in him. But who
will say today, that it was not worth while? The splendid Christian
manhood of Peter, has been now before the eyes of the world for twenty centuries--as a type of character which believers should
emulate--a vision of life whose influence has touched millions with its
inspiration. The price which had to be paid to attain this nobleness
of character and this vastness of holy influence--was not
But how about ourselves? It may be quite as hard for some of us
to be made into the image of beauty and strength,
which the Master has set for us. It may require that we shall pass
through experiences of loss, trial, temptation and sorrow.
Life's great lessons are very long, and cannot be
learned in a day; nor can they be learned easily. But at
whatever cost, they are worth while. It is worth while for the gold
to pass through the fire--to be made pure and clean. It is worth while
for the gem to endure the hard processes necessary to prepare
it for shining in its dazzling splendor. It is worth while for a
Christian to submit to whatever severe discipline may be required-- to
bring out in him the likeness of the Master, and to fit him for noble
living and serving.