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The WriTer’s room
Skillet’s latest single, “Forgiven” takes the
listener on a journey that allows the true nature
of God’s grace and mercy to come alive. Here,
they share the biblical foundation from which
the song was written.
Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard
what John had said and who had followed Jesus. The first thing
Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We
have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). And he brought
him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son
of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is
Peter). - John 1:40-42
When Peter’s brother Andrew introduced him to Jesus for
the very first time, his name was not Peter. It was Simon.
Sometimes they called him Simon the Zealot. He was
young, brash and outspoken. He tended to act before
thinking and he carried a sword, just looking for a fight.
He was a religious school dropout and often went fishing
during Jesus’ seaside sermons.
He certainly wasn’t the apostle type.
But from the very first moment Jesus met Peter, he saw
him in a different light. Jesus took one look at him and said,
“You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas.”
The name Cephas was translated Peter, which means
“rock.” In other words, Jesus saw the tremendous potential
in Peter to become a spiritual leader.
Keep in mind that this was before Jesus got a chance
to really know Peter. He hadn’t yet boasted of being the
greatest disciple; he hadn’t yet cut off a man’s ear; he hadn’t
cursed at the Samaritans or denied knowing Jesus in the
Garden of Gethsemane. This was all still to come.
But by giving Peter a new name, Jesus was essentially
saying, “In spite of everything you’ve ever done, are doing
now or will ever do in the future, you are forgiven. I see you
as a new person.”
Most of us are held back from the life God has for us
because we think our sins are unforgivable. We make
decisions based on how we see ourselves, rather than how
God sees us. This isn’t to say that we wallow in grief or self-
pity, but we disqualify ourselves from God’s blessings. We
condemn ourselves before God has a chance to restore us.
The truth is, if you’ve decided to follow Jesus, he has already
forgiven you. He has looked past your faults and your
selfish tendencies and given you a new name. It’s a name
that speaks to your potential in Christ.
As Peter went on to follow Jesus, he definitely made
mistakes. Throughout the Gospels, Jesus reverts back and
forth between calling him Simon and Peter depending
on how he was acting at the moment. At one point, in a
moment of frustration, Jesus even told him, “Get behind me
Satan.” But these names were not meant to condemn Peter.
They were meant to remind him of his new calling as a child
Before Jesus was crucified, Peter committed the ultimate
offense against him by denying that he ever knew him.
If there was any sin that could be unforgivable by Jesus,
it was this one. Peter must have thought his future was
But when Jesus rose from the dead and visited his
disciples again, he pulled Peter aside to ask, “Simon son of
John, do you truly love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said, “You know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.”
In this surprising moment, Jesus restored Peter as the
spiritual shepherd and leader of his followers. In spite of
everything Peter had done to ruin his chances, he was still
And so are you.
For more on Skillet and their unparalleled crossover success, check out this
month’s Fringe Crossover spotlight.
CliCk here to hear the song, “FORGIVEN.”