The Scripture says in Mark 3:16, “And Simon he surnamed Peter” (KJV). This seemingly insignificant text reveals the plan of the Lord to transform Peter from a Simon (a reed or piece of grass blown here and there) to a Peter (a rock of maturity and stability). When you look at Peter’s life, including his bragging that he would never forsake the Lord and his eventual denial of the Lord with cursing, it doesn’t seem that he was much of a rock. But all that changed 50 days later when Peter preached and 3000 souls were saved in one day. In addition to his preaching ministry and the healing of the beggar at the temple gate, Peter stood up to the Pharisees and teachers of the law when they demanded the Apostles stop teaching and preaching in the name of Jesus. Peter’s reply was simple: we ought to obey God rather than man.
So what happened? What caused this amazing transformation? First, the resurrection happened. All that Jesus taught and all that he claimed to be was validated on resurrection morning. There’s nothing more faith building than to understand and believe that because He lives, we live also.
Second, grace and mercy happened. Jesus personally reached out to restore Peter making sure the angel of the Lord told his disciples that they and Peter should gather and prepare to see the Lord. We also know that Jesus’ repeated questioning of Peter (do you love me more than these) was the Lord’s way of showing grace and mercy, and recommissioning Peter to the ministry of the gospel.
Finally, the Holy Ghost happened. Peter’s boldness reflects the result of the resurrection, grace and mercy, and the personal encounter he and others had with the Holy Spirit after Jesus ascended back to the Father. The prophet Samuel told the reluctant King to be, Saul, that the Spirit of the Lord would come on him in power and he would be changed into a different person (1 Samuel 10:6). That’s what happens when someone encounters the love and power of God through the Holy Spirit Jesus sent to be our teacher and helper.
Let me encourage you today to focus not on all the things wrong in your life or all the mistakes you’ve made along the way. Like Peter, the Lord longs to transform our lives and take us from instability to stability, from doubting to faith, from failure to victory through the same power that raised Jesus from the dead, the same power available through his grace and mercy, and the same power available through the Holy Spirit.