Many Bible students have marveled that Simon Bar-jona's confession of Jesus of Nazareth as the promised Messiah should have rewarded him with a new name, delivered to him the keys to the kingdom of heaven, and established his works of loosing and binding. Doubtless some have reasoned that had they witnessed the healing works of the Master for three whole years, they would have known as surely as did the impulsive disciple that Christ Jesus' coming was the culmination of law and prophecy concerning the Saviour; and they have pondered the more the Scriptural passage: "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." The justice and impartiality of these words of Jesus are seen through the understanding of what constitutes Simon's actual reward. This understanding is found in the teachings of Christian Science, set forth in the writings of Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.
Simon was given a new name. Anciently new names were sometimes assumed in commemoration of spiritual advancement, as in the experience, for instance, of Abram, Jacob, and others. The revelation of Truth in his consciousness broke the mesmerism of the senses and revealed to Simon that the healing Christ actuated the words and works of Jesus. This advanced the disciple's thought to a potent and remedial state of spirituality, which rendered him truly a new man; and appropriate, indeed, was the name Peter (a derivative of petros, the Greek word for stone), which the Master chose to give to this rugged fisher of men.
Though in our day new names are not conferred upon advancing Christians, of great comfort is the fact that all who progress spiritually are exchanging a fleshly nature and human characterization for their true identity in God, Mind. In significant symbolism the Revelator promises a new name as the reward for the attainment of perfection, saying, "To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it."