What were Jesus’ first impressions of Simon (Peter)? Here was a guy who was ordinary looking, nothing fancy about his clothing, messy hair and probably smelled like fish, being that he was a fisherman. To his defense, he did not have advance warning that he was going to meet Jesus. Andrew, Simon’s brother came running to him, exclaiming that Andrew had found the Messiah and he had to come immediately to meet Jesus (John 1:40-42). This is like when a musician from your favorite band is going to be signing autographs and you grab your best friend to join you. Simon never had time to put on his best clothes.
Yet the first thing Jesus says to Simon was not, “Boy, you smell like fish!” Rather it was that he was getting a name change. “Cephas” or “Peter” was the new name. “Just call me the ‘Rock,” Simon thought to himself.
What did Jesus see in Peter to make that kind of statement? All along, Jesus kept a close listening ear to know what God the Father was doing, so Jesus saw the potential in Peter long before Peter even had a clue to his potential.
What do people see in you? You need to get around positive, influential people who will build qualities into your life, people from whom you can learn skills and character traits. There is a saying, you become like the people you hang around with.
Who is making a positive influence in your life? Are you hanging around people who want to develop and help you to make positive decisions? Find an adult or a group of adults (parents, teachers, youth leaders, relatives, friends) who believe in you and see things in you that you do not see in yourself. These people speak positively into your life, though sometimes you may need to be corrected, people who speak wisdom from the Scriptures and genuinely care for you.
Peter’s life was never the same after that first encounter with Jesus. He was used mightily for God’s glory in his life. You have your own opportunity to be used in an awesome way for God. Often it begins with the encouragement of other Christians.
Headwaters Christian Youth is an interdenominational youth ministry based in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. HCY works with local churched and unchurched Jr. High and Sr. High students and also works regionally with existing youth groups to help develop the groups.
During Memorial Day weekend, HCY is hosting a trip to Great America in Gurnee, IL. If any graduating 8th graders through graduating 12th graders are interested in this youth trip, please contact the HCY office at 715-369-2500.