He had a big mouth. He couldn’t help that he was impulsive, It was in his nature. So when Jesus asked, Who do you say I am? he blurted “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Sometimes he wished he were quiet like his brother. He’d have fewer headaches. He’d trudged behind his leader faithfully up and down mountains, in and out of villages, and followed him down dusty back roads, dry tracks that made him thirsty. Now they were up the mountain again, the one close to Caesarea-Philippi. And a bunch of other disciples were with him, including the women who always tagged along bringing food to keep Jesus from going hungry.
They weren’t privy to all of Christ’s miracles, like when he’d healed Jairus’ little girl. Neither was his brother, although he too was one of the twelve. Now, in front of everyone, Jesus told Simon his impulsive words weren’t his own. It caught his attention. He looked at his brother Andy and shrugged his shoulders because he wasn’t sure what Jesus was trying to tell him.
Then Jesus changed Simon’s name, “You are Peter . . .” He did it in front of everybody, and Simon got worried Jesus was trying to single him out, again. He ran the name through his head, Peter, Petrus, Pete. . . And on this rock I will build my church.”
Pete’s knees shook. He didn’t want to be a leader. He didn’t want to be in charge. He just wanted to be a fisherman, no responsibilities, no dealing with people who grumble, no dissension in the group. Fish don’t talk back. Fish hang together. He couldn’t help but look down with longing at his beloved Sea of Galilee. But with the rest of the disciples around there was no escape.
Jesus wasn’t finished. He added, “whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaved.” All the disciples understood and began to mill around Peter to kiss his hands.
Tears welled up in Pete’s eyes because the Son of God had singled him out to lead the Church, and all the disciples agreed with Him.