Encouragement occurs when we “come alongside and call out.” Jesus modeled this. Peter was prone to speak too soon and boast too much. Yet Jesus saw something in the heart of this crusty fisherman worth calling forth. Jesus asked his followers, “Who do you say that I am?” I hear silence. Finally Peter spoke up. He looked at the penniless rabbi from Galilee and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16).
Jesus all but jumped for joy at the confession. He even changed the apostle’s name. Simon would now be called Peter, a name that is next of kin to petros or Rocky. Simon, the man who expressed rock-solid faith, needed a rock-solid name. Jesus did to Peter what encouragers do. He summoned the best. He built Peter up. Will you do the same for someone else?