The Choosing of the Twelve, Part 3—Simon Peter | Mark 3:16
He appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter);
Our Lord appointed twelve to assist Him in the work of His earthly ministry. Let’s focus today on the first of those—Simon Peter. This is the first time the name “Peter” appears in Mark, even though he’s mentioned in the previous chapters. From this point forward, Mark refers to Simon as Peter. As Peter himself is likely speaking through Mark’s writing, it appears that Peter saw this moment as a turning point for Him—the point at which the Lord began to change him.
The Lord gives new names. God frequently changes the names of His saints. Abram (a former idolator who had no children but whose name meant “exalted father”) became Abraham (“father of many nations”). Jacob (“deceiver”) became Israel (“God’s fighter”). Jesus says in Revelation 2:17 that the overcomer in Him receives “a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.” If we are in Christ, we can be new creations (2 Cor 5:17).
The Lord does so knowing our inconsistencies. Petros or “Peter” means rock. Certainly, Peter boasted of being a rock, even emphatically promising in 14:31, “If I must die with you, I will not deny you.” Yet, that is precisely what he did, making his name seem ironic. However, the Lord knew of this betrayal and the repentance that would follow (Lk 22:31–34). He chooses us knowing that we are sinners and inconsistent, and He guards our faith (from ourselves!) in heaven until the end (1 Pt 1:5). Praise God our righteousness is in heaven!