Perceived Value

by Greg Laurie on Apr 16, 2024
Then Andrew brought Simon to meet Jesus. Looking intently at Simon, Jesus said, ‘Your name is Simon, son of John—but you will be called Cephas’ (which means ‘Peter’).
—John 1:42

Sometimes we forget that the apostles were people just like we are. They were godly men whom God used powerfully. But their greatness did not come from them. It came from the fact that Jesus called them to be His followers.

For example, a blank sheet of paper isn’t worth much by itself. But if it has the signature of a famous person on it, then it could be worth more. And if it has the signature of a very famous person, it could be very valuable.

I read about a piece of paper with handwritten lyrics by one of the Beatles. It sold for thousands of dollars. Did someone buy it because they needed an extra piece of paper? No. Someone bought it because one of the Beatles used that paper to write lyrics to a song that has become famous. The value wasn’t in the paper. It was in who wrote on that piece of paper.

Certain works of art may not be worth much, but if they have the signature of someone like Van Gogh or Picasso, their value skyrockets. The value isn’t in the canvas or the paint. The value is in who created it and signed it.

And where does our value come from? Does it come from who we are? No, it comes from Christ, who lives in us and whose signature is on our lives.

The Bible says, “We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves” (2 Corinthians 4:7 NLT).

When Andrew brought his brother, Simon Peter, to Jesus, the Bible says that Jesus looked “intently” at him. We could also translate this to say that Jesus looked right through him. Have you ever had someone look right through you? To put it another way, do you have a mother? Mothers have a certain way of looking at their children.

Jesus told him, “ ‘Your name is Simon, son of John—but you will be called Cephas’ (which means ‘Peter’)” (John 1:42 NLT).

Jesus was saying, “I know that you’ve been known as Simon. But I have a new name for you. From now on, you’re Peter.”

Simon Peter’s new name meant “rock,” and ultimately, he would grow into that name. Jesus saw his potential.

In the same way, God sees right through you. He has a plan for your life. He knows what He can make you into. Jesus knows the real you. He knows what you think about late at night, what you dream about, what you hope for, and what worries you. And He knows what needs to happen in your life.

Maybe Peter thought he wouldn’t amount to anything. But then he met Jesus, who saw him for who he was. Like Peter, you might be aware of your own shortcomings. You don’t feel as though God could ever do much with someone like you. But God sees you for who you are, and He loves you.

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