The Life of Peter


The first glimpse we had of him was when Andrew called him. He was first called as a disciple, not as an apostle. The second call •was when he was called to the work of the ministry. The next glimpse we had was related in. the 5th chapter of the Gospel of Luke, when the Lord spoke to the people the words of God from the boat at the seaside, and then follows the miraculous draught of fishes. Then it was that Peter said: "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O God." Then Jesus said that thereafter Peter would catch men. The thought he wanted to call attention to was, that when Peter was called he didn't leave his work until called twice. There were too many unprepared men in the Lord's work; there were too many men made ministers in the world to-day. He said this because there were a good many young men, young converts, who were looking to the work of the ministry and thinking they were called to that. John Wesley used to say to young men, candidates for the ministry, when they preached: "Did you make anyone mad?" u No." "Did you convert anybody?" and then they would say "No." "Then," Wesley said, "that's a very good evidence you're not called." Men need to have souls before they begin this work. The Lord first made these men go to the lake and take a great haul of fish, and then when they were called, they had something to leave. They didn't have much to leave, but they left what they had. What had they to leave? A few broken nets and a haul of fish. And that's the way with a great many Christians of the present day; they don't want to leave their little draught of fishes and their broken nets. The next time we get a glimpse of Peter is in the 14th chapter of Matthew, where the Lord tells Peter to walk on the water. Here we find Peter in "Doubting Castle." And that was where Peter got his eye off the Lord, and he saw the waves and heard the wind; then his eyes wandered away from Christ. But Peter's prayer was to the point; it didn't begin with a long preamble, which would have put him forty feet under water before the Lord heard it But it was to the point: "Lord, save me; I perish." Again, in the

16th chapter we find that Christ is saying, "Whom say men that ] am?" and then he asked Peter, and Peter said, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God." This shows the power there was in confessing Christ. Peter was a true Trinitarian; he got square on the rock. Again we find him indulging in man-worship, the first beginnings of Rome. This was on the Mount of Transfiguration. Peter said, a Let us make three Tabernacles;" and as soon as he said this, why, God just snatched Moses and Elias away and left them only Jesus. There was too much of this minister-worship, of this church-worship at the present day. This was illustrated in the twenty-second chapter of revelations, 9th verse; where the angel said, "Worship God." If Christ was not the Son of God, then Christians were the greatest idolaters that ever lived. Again, we found Peter in the 26th chapter of Matthew, at the 23d verse, where Peter's fall was recited. He became self-confident and spiritually proud. The Lord couldn't use him until he had been humbled, and here he stood up among the Lord's disciples, just as though he was all-powerful. This lesson of humility mustl3e learned by every man whom God uses. "Let him that standeth take heed lest he fall." The greatest Bible characters fell because they failed in their strongest points. Moses, the meekest man, was not allowed to see the promised land, and there were Saul, and David, and Jacob, and Peter, at this very time when he was boasting of his own power. He was always sure that young converts who say they're safe were where the devil will trip them up. Again, Peter was asleep in the garden when the Lord told them to watch. That was the time when Satan had these Christians in the churches asleep, and then troubles came in the churches. Then came the next step—"he followed him afar off." and this was the gradual downward course. No one would find a Christian man in the theatre; those Christians who are in such places are all asleep. Men of the world said they liked "liberal Christians," but these men were never sent for by dying men. They would never find a cardplaying, a smoking and chewing, a horse racing, and a dancing Christian who ever amounted to anything. Then the next step was when Peter drew his sword and cut off the ear of the high priest's servant; and then, again, Peter denied the Lord—first to the young maid, and then to another servant. But so here were two denials by the very man who but a few hours before had said he would never betray or forsake the Lord. Then, again, the third time the servant said, "Thy speech betrayeth thee," but Peter answered with oaths that he never knew him. It's hard for a Christian to forget the speech of the Lord's people, even after he has lone departed from the way of God and Christ. But one look brought Peter back, one word undid all that Satan had been doing for hours, and he went out and wept bitterly. One of the first words that Christ said after the crucifixion and resurrection was, "Tell the disciples and Peter," and Peter had a personal interview with the Lord. And then, when Christ was leaving him, he asked him, "Lovest thou me more than these?1' Bat Peter didn't answer; he had learned humility, and after the Lord asked him again, Peter, now humble, already meet for the Master'i use, said, "Lord, thou knowest."