Many people, who do not really know me, think I have it all together. I think part of me likes that. Sometimes it’s nice to be looked at as the stable one in a storm. I think it must be how Peter felt when Jesus insinuated that he was a rock (Matthew 16:16-18). “That’s right! I’m Peter…a solid rock…stable…strong. Jesus is going to build his church upon my shoulders.” But much like Peter who later proves that he doesn’t get it, we miss the real point of the passage.
When I read that passage this is what I hear.
Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are just Peter, but on that rock, that revelation, that truth that was revealed to you, on that I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. – Matthew 16:16-18 (italics are my additions)
I like being thought of as the stable, together, rock solid leader of LifePoint but the truth is I am not. I live in a world of uncertainty. I question everything. My abilities, my decisions, my qualifications. There is nothing about myself that I am really sure of except for one thing.
I am certain that God can do what needs to be done despite my deficiencies. There is a huge message of hope to me as a pastor in the above passage. I am just James, and God isn’t building his church upon my shoulders, he is building it upon the firm foundation of Jesus the Christ, the Son of the living God. And his church is built daily as that revelation is dispersed among the people.
So for those of you who might not know me that well yet, when you see me as stable, strong, and rock solid…it is my certainty in Christ and not in myself.