Peter's Character and Actions are found in all True Christians
When Peter was first introduced to Jesus, the Lord looked into his heart and said to him, "Thou art Simon the son ofJohn: thou sha/t be ca//ed Cephas (which is by interpretation, Peter)" (Jn. 1:42). The name "Peter" meant rock in the Greek and seems to indicate the kind of disciple Peter would be. Peter proved to be a 'rock' in several key incidents in the New Testament. Peter confessed the founding principle of the church by saying to Jesus, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God" (Matt. 16:16). On another occasion, when the multitudes had forsaken Jesus, the Lord turns to His immediate disciples and said, "Would ye also go away?" It was Peter that immediately states, "Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life" (Jn. 6:67-68). While participating in the discussion in the upper room with Jesus, Peter proclaimed, "l wi///ay down my life for thee" (Jn. 13:38). When Jesus faced the angry mob, it was Peter that defended the Lord by cutting off the ear of Malchus (the high priest servant) (Jn. 18:10).
Jesus knew that Peter loved Him. Jesus took special interest in Peter, James, and John. The three were together at the Lord's transfiguration (Mk. 9:2) and at the garden of Gethsemane (Matt. 26:36ff). Although
Jesus thought very highly of Peter, he was not always an ideal apostle.
Peter denied the Lord at a critical time in Jesus' life and thereby sinned (Jn. 18:25-27; Mk. 14:42; Matt. 26:75). Jesus dealt with Peter's sin when appearing to the disciples for a third time on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. Jesus asked Peter three times if he loved Him. The three times were in accordance with the number of times Peter had denied Him.Peter responded all three times in shame, "yes."
This is why I believe there is a part of Peter in all true disciples of Jesus. We all have our moments of great faith yet we also have those moments of great failure.
One of the hardest lessons in life for us all to learn is that while we may easily see the faults of others we too have faults. We are all part of a human race filled with the problem of sin (Rom. 6:23). The sin I deal with may be different than the sin others face yet when all is said and done, we all have disappointed the Lord and thereby come to the realization that we are but lowly sinners, in desperate need the Lord's redemption. It is for this cause that the apostle Paul could say, "Wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me out of the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Rom. 7:24). Again, Paul said, "Faithful is the saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief: howbeitfor this cause I obtained mercy that in me as chief might Jesus Christ show forth all his longsuffering, for an ensample of them that should thereafter believe on him unto eternal life" (l Tim. 1:15- 16). Though we all sin (l Jn. 1:9-10), we must not continue in sin (l Jn. 3:1-3, 8ff). We all must be moved to humility, shame, and embarrassment by the fear of Jehovah God and beg the Lord for our forgiveness (cf. I l Cor. 7:8-11).
Sin is the great equalizer in life. The greatest and most successful man in society is brought on an equal plain with the lowly homeless man, (in relationship to God's fellowship), through a single act of sin. Peter was no better than any other disciple and neither are you and l. Clearly, Peter's character and actions are found in the true Christian. At times we are rocks and at times we are the dirt. May the Lord grant unto us all a spirit of humility that we may ask His forgiveness when acting and speaking as the filth of the world. Peter did!