April 24, 2019
The Apostle Peter gets many comments about his tendency to speak before thinking. I find his life an encouragement because I struggle with the same issue. Apparently, both of us needed to master the principle of James 1:19: “Listen much, speak little and do not become angry.”
I am impressed with Peter’s persistence. The New Testament records several instances when he spoke hastily or even inappropriately, but he did not give up and quit. He kept pursuing, learning, regrouping and eventually became a prominent leader in Jesus’ church.
I have wondered how the other disciples felt about Peter. Did they enjoy the fact that he would speak up when they felt uneasy doing so? Were they annoyed at his impulsiveness? They must have cringed when he challenged Jesus’ statement about dying and heard Jesus say, “Get behind me, Satan.”
When Peter said he would die for Jesus before denying Him – and then denied Him three times – did the other disciples try to encourage him by admitting that they all ran for cover when Jesus was arrested? After Jesus rose from the grave, Peter and John ran to the tomb to see evidence of what the women had told them. John believed, but Peter seemed more curious. Perhaps he was taking time to consider the evidence more carefully before making a statement.
Soon after the resurrection, Jesus met His disciples for breakfast. He talked directly with Peter and ask him three times if he loved Him. Even after this discussion, Peter was worried about John’s future and Jesus gently scolded him again.
We have to read the early chapters of the Book of Acts to see a changed Peter. Still somewhat quick to act, God used this part of his personality to lead the church in a direction that required someone who could take the heat of criticism. Over time, it became obvious that Peter was a man of character and useful to Jesus in building His church. Persistence paid off – he did not give up and I am glad.
Pastor Bill Ehmann