Jesus replied, ‘Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you
by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter,
and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.’
Simon was a fisherman, one of the first called by Jesus as he washed his nets by the seashore. At this encounter Jesus called Simon and told him that he would fish for people. Simon is often depicted as the most impulsive of the disciples, and is usually the one to speak before he thinks.
Despite this, his faith in Jesus is strong. Just before the words from the passage above, he has boldly announced Jesus as Messiah, the son of God. He is made the foundation of the coming church – and he is the one who brazenly declares he will never abandon Jesus.
During Lent we hear the story of the time that Peter does abandon his friend and Saviour. Not long after Peter’s declaration, Jesus is arrested, and Peter bravely follows him. However, when the crowd start to question who he is, he loses his nerve and denies ever having met Jesus.
The challenge this week in Lent is to hold on to our faith even when questioned. To stand firm in what we believe even when others challenge us, or we feel that denying our faith is the easier path.
God of Simon Peter,
we thank you that you choose us and love us,
that you love us no matter who we are.
Give us the strength to love you as you love us,
the courage to defend our faith in you,
the bravery to speak openly of you,
that we show our love publicly as well as in our hearts.
You can download this Prayer for the Week here